I would like to acknowledge Richard M. Stallman, for his vision of a better world, and for his courage in founding the FSF and starting the GNU project. The initial draft of The GAWK Manual had the following acknowledgements: Many people need to be thanked for their assistance in producing this manual. Jay Fenlason contributed many ideas and sample programs. Richard Mlynarik and Robert Chassell gave helpful comments on drafts of this manual. The paper A Supplemental Document for awk by John W. Pierce of the Chemistry Department at UC San Diego, pinpointed several issues relevant both to awk implementation and to this manual, that would otherwise have escaped us.
The following people provided many helpful comments on Edition 0.13 of The GAWK Manual: Rick Adams, Michael Brennan, Rich Burridge, Diane Close, Christopher ("Topher") Eliot, Michael Lijewski, Pat Rankin, Miriam Robbins, and Michal Jaegermann.
The following people provided many helpful comments for Edition 1.0 of Effective AWK Programming: Karl Berry, Michael Brennan, Darrel Hankerson, Michal Jaegermann, Michael Lijewski, and Miriam Robbins. Pat Rankin, Michal Jaegermann, Darrel Hankerson and Scott Deifik updated their respective sections for Edition 1.0. Robert J. Chassell provided much valuable advice on the use of Texinfo. He also deserves special thanks for convincing me not to title this book How
4 Effective AWK Programming To Gawk Politely. Karl Berry helped significantly with the TEX part of Texinfo. David Trueman deserves special credit; he has done a yeoman job of evolving gawk so that it performs well, and without bugs. Although he is no longer involved with gawk, working with him on this project was a significant pleasure.
Scott Deifik, Darrel Hankerson, Kai Uwe Rommel, Pat Rankin, and Michal Jaegermann (in no particular order) are long time members of the gawk "crack portability team." Without their hard work and help, gawk would not be nearly the fine program it is today. It has been and continues to be a pleasure working with this team of fine people. Jeffrey Friedl provided invaluable help in tracking down a number of last minute problems with regular expressions in gawk 3.0.
David and I would like to thank Brian Kernighan of Bell Labs for invaluable assistance during the testing and debugging of gawk, and for help in clarifying numerous points about the language. We could not have done nearly as good a job on either gawk or its documentation without his help.
I would like to thank Marshall and Elaine Hartholz of Seattle, and Dr. Bert and Rita Schreiber of Detroit for large amounts of quiet vacation time in their homes, which allowed me to make significant progress on this book and on gawk itself. Phil Hughes of SSC contributed in a very important way by loaning me his laptop Linux system, not once, but twice, allowing me to do a lot of work while away from home.
Finally, I must thank my wonderful wife, Miriam, for her patience through the many versions of this project, for her proof-reading, and for sharing me with the computer. I would like to thank my parents for their love, and for the grace with which they raised and educated me. I also must acknowledge my gratitude to G-d, for the many opportunities He has sent my way, as well as for the gifts He has given me with which to take advantage of those opportunities. Arnold Robbins Atlanta, Georgia February, 1997