Part III:
Moving Beyond Standard awk with gawk

12 Advanced Features of gawk

Write documentation as if whoever reads it is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.

Steve English, as quoted by Peter Langston

This chapter discusses advanced features in gawk. It’s a bit of a “grab bag” of items that are otherwise unrelated to each other. First, we look at a command-line option that allows gawk to recognize nondecimal numbers in input data, not just in awk programs. Then, gawk’s special features for sorting arrays are presented. Next, two-way I/O, discussed briefly in earlier parts of this Web page, is described in full detail, along with the basics of TCP/IP networking. We then see how gawk can profile an awk program, making it possible to tune it for performance. Next, we present an experimental feature that allows you to preserve the values of awk variables and arrays between runs of gawk. Finally, we discuss the philosophy behind gawk’s extension mechanism.

Additional advanced features are discussed in separate chapters of their own: