Title: Effective AWK Programming Author: Arnold Robbins Publisher: SSC Pages: 336 Price: US $27.00 (lay-flat soft-bound) ISBN: 0-916151-88-3 Audience: AWK and shell programmers Rating: A+
My first reaction was "AWK - Another aWk booK!" but that attitude quickly disappeared. There are very few people who can build a complex interpreter, program well in it, and then write about it; Arnold Robbins is one of the few.
The organization is somewhat unconventional (you probably wouldn't even notice unless you go through a lot of books like I do), but it works beautifully. This is one of the best thought-out books I've seen. It covers everything you need to know about AWK and gawk (the GNU version of AWK).
In the penultimate chapters the author develops some very useful AWK library routines (AWK versions of getopt(3), getpwent(3), and many more) and some well-written programs (the most useful of which is probably ``igawk'', which adds include file processing to AWK programs).
If you even think you might need to use AWK sometime, you should get this book.
Arnold Robbins is one of the people responsible for the current version of gawk.
This is one of the Top 5 UNIX books of 1996.
Copyright 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.