sed & awk: UNIX Power Tools (Nutshell Handbooks) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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Dated material aside, I found the book difficult to use, even though I've been learning programming languages since 1982 -- including that early, primitive BASIC, 8086 assembly, Pascal, C, C++, Perl, HTML, Java, VB, and others. The flow of its materials presentation doesn't seem to build naturally from ground zero. Perhaps if I'd learned programming on a UNIX machine, the references in this book would be clearer.
So, heads up if you're looking to learn sed and awk. This book can probably be of some help (especially if you're a UNIX geek), but you may well need to augment it with a lot of on-line or other research.
It takes you through the basics of sed and awk, shows you regular expression syntax and delves deeper into both programs. For sed it shows you all of the basic sed commands as well as many of the more advanced commands such as multiline pattern spaces. With awk it goes even deeper as awk is a more powerful program. It shows the basics for writing awk scripts then takes you into flow control, functions and debugging.
I find the writing to be concise and clear with many examples to show you how it works in the real world.
All in all it's a great book for the unix admin or programmer to have on their bookshelf.
You can either spend the rest of eternity with a text editor or get these guys, and learn a bit to instruct them to do totally boring but useful drudgery. And perhaps learn about regular expressions and pattern matching. And then do something interesting.
Don't worry, you will have do do it again, if for no other reason than the entity that controls the format of the data decided to change it, for no other reason than to annoy and confound you. But, since you have learned about pattern matching, a minor change will fix it, and you can go back to whatever.
The specific purpose this time was to avoid subscribing to a listing service for cable tv programming. Zap2it publishes the listings on most newspaper websites, and program called wget allows me to write these listings to a file. Then using sed to slice and dice allows me to read simply formatted listings, and eventually feed them to a recording system.
A more modern version would probably include a CD with bunch of lessons ideas to get one started.
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