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A. The Evolution of the awk Language

This Web page describes the GNU implementation of awk, which follows the POSIX specification. Many long-time awk users learned awk programming with the original awk implementation in Version 7 Unix. (This implementation was the basis for awk in Berkeley Unix, through 4.3-Reno. Subsequent versions of Berkeley Unix, and systems derived from 4.4BSD-Lite, use various versions of gawk for their awk.) This chapter briefly describes the evolution of the awk language, with cross-references to other parts of the Web page where you can find more information.


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A.1 Major Changes Between V7 and SVR3.1

The awk language evolved considerably between the release of Version 7 Unix (1978) and the new version that was first made generally available in System V Release 3.1 (1987). This section summarizes the changes, with cross-references to further details:


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A.2 Changes Between SVR3.1 and SVR4

The System V Release 4 (1989) version of Unix awk added these features (some of which originated in gawk):


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A.3 Changes Between SVR4 and POSIX awk

The POSIX Command Language and Utilities standard for awk (1992) introduced the following changes into the language:

The following common extensions are not permitted by the POSIX standard:


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A.4 Extensions in the Bell Laboratories awk

Brian Kernighan, one of the original designers of Unix awk, has made his version available via his home page (see section Other Freely Available awk Implementations). This section describes extensions in his version of awk that are not in POSIX awk:

The Bell Laboratories awk also incorporates the following extensions, originally developed for gawk:


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A.5 Extensions in gawk Not in POSIX awk

The GNU implementation, gawk, adds a large number of features. This section lists them in the order they were added to gawk. They can all be disabled with either the `--traditional' or `--posix' options (see section Command-Line Options).

Version 2.10 of gawk introduced the following features:

Version 2.13 of gawk introduced the following features:

Version 2.14 of gawk introduced the following feature:

Version 2.15 of gawk introduced the following features:

Version 3.0 of gawk introduced the following features:

Version 3.1 of gawk introduced the following features:


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A.6 Major Contributors to gawk

Always give credit where credit is due.
Anonymous

This section names the major contributors to gawk and/or this Web page, in approximate chronological order:


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