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16.3.1 Arbitrary Precision Arithmetic is On Parole!

As of version 5.2, arbitrary precision arithmetic in gawk is “on parole.” The primary gawk maintainer is no longer maintaining it. Fortunately, a volunteer from the development team has agreed to take it over.

This feature is on parole because its inclusion was a mistake. It has led to endless bug reports, misuse of the feature and public abuse of the maintainer, for no real increased value.

If the situation with support changes, the feature will be removed from gawk.

If you use this feature, you should consider finding a different toolset with which to accomplish your goals.97



Of course, you can always continue to use a version of gawk that still supports arbitrary precision arithmetic. It simply will be unmaintained.