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6. AWK

Chapter 6. AWK

The Unix philosophy of many small tools, powerful in their combination, is evident in the AWK programming language. Its inventors (Al Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan) describe it as a language for syntax-driven pattern matching. Its straightforward syntax and clever selection of useful features make it easy to slice and dice text through one-liners without having to understand parsers and grammars and finite automata. Though its inspiration has spread to general-purpose languages such as Perl, any modern Unix box still has AWK installed and quietly, effectively, working away.


  

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