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Sed & Awk 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The raw power of sed and awk will humble even the proudest VB programmer and this book will help you get the most out of both the "Aho, Weinberg and Kernigan" and the "stream editor".
The first chapter section is entitled "May You Solve Interesting Problems" a paraphrase of the old Chinese curse, but with sed and awk no problem seems insurmountable and will make all problems appear interesting.
This book is an outstanding reference and will get you up and running with both of these handy little programs in no time.
Just to give you an example - the first time I ever used these programs (sed and awk) I developed a cron script to query a database every day at midnight, sort the results, grabbed lines with tagged values within certain limits, added a few totals, did some averaging, "starred" the lines that departed from certain parameters, then formatted the results into a report with a header showing the dates, times and query results, statistics then packed them into a report file and e-mailed them to a dozen recipients and added a few recipients if the data was outside certain values.
I did this remarkable feat by copying a few examples from the book, changing a thing or two and in the end had a little shell script that was a few K-bytes at the most.
This VB guy from corporate worked on a VB version of the same function and ended up with six revisions, several megs in the executable and never was able to get it formatted right. Not to say that it couldn't be done but..... I wrote mine before lunch one day. He worked on his for weeks and weeks.Read more ›
I was happy with the GNU version of Guide for Awk "Effective AWK Programming" written by one of the author of this book, Mr. Arnold D. Robbins -- but I needed some good reference for sed as well and this book was logical choice for me. Not only that it helped me to learn SED, now I'm using the book mostly as reference and user guide for awk. It's well written and will certainly satisfy both the advanced and the novice users.
The only objections that I have are examples at the end of the book. Not many readers will find them interesting and useful, especially chapter 12 Full-Featured Applications.
Overall good choice if you want to learn either of the two tools!
This is not that book. I found this book useful in explaining the basics of sed and awk. There is also a quick reference section on both sed and awk. However, my overall observation is that the level of this book is not very advanced and therefore did not do the job for me. I would recommend this book to beginners and not to people who have already used sed and awk themselves. The level is basic, the reference sections are too brief and incomplete to be really 'reference sections'. I am still looking for a real reference book.
Tip: if you want to get started with sed and awk, search the internet for "sed one-liners" and "awk one-liners": these are one-line example 'programs' or commands that most likely will do what you are looking for. And if not, they are helpful to get you going and make some trivial changes so that the program does do what you need. No need for buying a book.
Dale Dougherty (in the 2nd edition with Arnold Robbins, maintainer of GNU Awk and author of several more books on Awk programming language) have made a good job in making a thoroughly readable tutorial on Sed and Awk. However, it remains a mystery to me how they succeeded to fill no less than 407 pages with it. Mind you, Sed and Awk are not really some big monsters. There exist something like two dozens of operators in Sed (most of them you will probably never use), and the syntax of Awk mimics those of C programming language, so it is likely that you know it already. Once you grok the idea of regular expressions, you should become a proficient user of Awk in about 30 minutes.
In conclusion, go buy the book if your need to manipulate text files on Unix and you think you need a lengthy tutorial with a gentle learning curve. Otherwise, short references on Awk and Sed, like the ones in "Unix Power Tools" and a bunch of examples showing some tricks you might not think of, will probably be more useful. In addition, it is good to know that during the nineties, much of the focus has drifted from Awk to Perl, so you might consider a book on Perl as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
if you're ready to use the command line again, and especially if you do research on text-based data, sed and awk are indispensible tools. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bill Horne
this is a great book for people that really want to improve real Unix/Linux shell skills.Published 5 months ago by Fred Potmesil
I read a couple of chapters at the beginning of the book, and feel it was very nicely written, and the program illustrations are quite accurate.Published 8 months ago by Sunny
Just at a time when I became deeply embedded in SunOS 4.x work, I needed to be able to efficiently mange and manipulate text, I ran into a reference to the first edition of this... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Murray Chase
I make my living as a computer techie and this is simply a replacement for a worn-out copy of the first edition which I've been using for what feels like millenia. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book has made me look like a genius more than once. Very usefulPublished 11 months ago by NitaBillS
First of all, let me just say that I am a pretty tough critic, and that the quality of technical paperbacks typically tends to disappoint me. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bruce Spahr