Seminar Abstract

Awk Programming

This seminar is a practical discussion of the Awk programming language (developed by Aho, Weinberger, and Kernighan). The syntax of awk is very simular to C (developed by Kernighan and Ritchie) with significant extensions to the handling of strings and arrays. Awk is a portable language that builds on C, grep, and sed syntax to provide a tool that allows the quick creation of complex programs.

The emphasis is on topics related to coding including quick programming, prototyping, and data extraction. The different versions (original awk, new awk - nawk, POSIX awk, and gnu awk - gawk) will be compared and contrasted.

The speaker revised and updated the awk programming chapter in UNIX Unleashed, Second Edition, ISBN 0-672-30952-1 (available at and other books.

Topics to be covered include:

The goal of this seminar is to allow the attendee to understand and utilize awk. Various issues involving code portability and understandability will also be considered.

Prerequisites of Attendees:

Attendees should be familiar with 3GL programming or shell scripting (Bourne, Korn, BASH, etc.). Knowledge of grep and sed are helpful but not required. The topics are not environment specific, so UNIX experience is not required, but may be helpful.


Intermediate to Advanced level, technical.

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