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gawk: Foreword4

 Foreword to the Fourth Edition
 Some things don't change.  Thirteen years ago I wrote: "If you use AWK
 or want to learn how, then read this book."  True then, and still true
    Learning to use a programming language is about more than mastering
 the syntax.  One needs to acquire an understanding of how to use the
 features of the language to solve practical programming problems.  A
 focus of this book is many examples that show how to use AWK.
    Some things do change.  Our computers are much faster and have more
 memory.  Consequently, speed and storage inefficiencies of a high-level
 language matter less.  Prototyping in AWK and then rewriting in C for
 performance reasons happens less, because more often the prototype is
 fast enough.
    Of course, there are computing operations that are best done in C or
 C++.  With 'gawk' 4.1 and later, you do not have to choose between
 writing your program in AWK or in C/C++.  You can write most of your
 program in AWK and the aspects that require C/C++ capabilities can be
 written in C/C++, and then the pieces glued together when the 'gawk'
 module loads the C/C++ module as a dynamic plug-in.  ⇒Dynamic
 Extensions, has all the details, and, as expected, many examples to
 help you learn the ins and outs.
    I enjoy programming in AWK and had fun (re)reading this book.  I
 think you will too.
      Michael Brennan
      Author of 'mawk'
      October 2014
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