Some things don’t change. Thirteen years ago I wrote: “If you use AWK or want to learn how, then read this book.” True then, and still true today.
Learning to use a programming language is about more than mastering the syntax. One needs to acquire an understanding of how to use the features of the language to solve practical programming problems. A focus of this book is many examples that show how to use AWK.
Some things do change. Our computers are much faster and have more memory. Consequently, speed and storage inefficiencies of a high-level language matter less. Prototyping in AWK and then rewriting in C for performance reasons happens less, because more often the prototype is fast enough.
Of course, there are computing operations that are best done in C or C++.
gawk 4.1 and later, you do not have to choose between writing
your program in AWK or in C/C++. You can write most of your
program in AWK and the aspects that require C/C++ capabilities can be written
in C/C++, and then the pieces glued together when the
gawk module loads
the C/C++ module as a dynamic plug-in.
Writing Extensions for
has all the
details, and, as expected, many examples to help you learn the ins and outs.
I enjoy programming in AWK and had fun (re)reading this book. I think you will too.
Michael Brennan Author of mawk October 2014