As this and subsequent chapters show,
gawk has a
large number of extensions over standard
awk built-in to
the program. These have developed over time. More recently, the
focus has moved to using the extension mechanism (see Writing Extensions for
for adding features. This section discusses the “guiding philosophy”
behind what should be added to the interpreter as a built-in
feature versus what should be done in extensions.
There are several goals:
awk; it should not become unrecognizable, even if programs in it will only run on
@include) or in loadable extensions written in C or C++ (-l,
Combining modules with
awk files is a powerful technique.
Some of the sample extensions demonstrate this.
Loading extensions and library files should not be done automatically, because then there’s overhead that most users don’t want or need.