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gawk: History

 
 History of 'awk' and 'gawk'
 ===========================
 
                    Recipe for a Programming Language
 
           1 part 'egrep'   1 part 'snobol'
           2 parts 'ed'     3 parts C
 
    Blend all parts well using 'lex' and 'yacc'.  Document minimally and
 release.
 
    After eight years, add another part 'egrep' and two more parts C.
 Document very well and release.
 
    The name 'awk' comes from the initials of its designers: Alfred V.
 Aho, Peter J. Weinberger, and Brian W. Kernighan.  The original version
 of 'awk' was written in 1977 at AT&T Bell Laboratories.  In 1985, a new
 version made the programming language more powerful, introducing
 user-defined functions, multiple input streams, and computed regular
 expressions.  This new version became widely available with Unix System
 V Release 3.1 (1987).  The version in System V Release 4 (1989) added
 some new features and cleaned up the behavior in some of the "dark
 corners" of the language.  The specification for 'awk' in the POSIX
 Command Language and Utilities standard further clarified the language.
 Both the 'gawk' designers and the original 'awk' designers at Bell
 Laboratories provided feedback for the POSIX specification.
 
    Paul Rubin wrote 'gawk' in 1986.  Jay Fenlason completed it, with
 advice from Richard Stallman.  John Woods contributed parts of the code
 as well.  In 1988 and 1989, David Trueman, with help from me, thoroughly
 reworked 'gawk' for compatibility with the newer 'awk'.  Circa 1994, I
 became the primary maintainer.  Current development focuses on bug
 fixes, performance improvements, standards compliance, and,
 occasionally, new features.
 
    In May 1997, Ju"rgen Kahrs felt the need for network access from
 'awk', and with a little help from me, set about adding features to do
 this for 'gawk'.  At that time, he also wrote the bulk of 'TCP/IP
 Internetworking with 'gawk'' (a separate document, available as part of
 the 'gawk' distribution).  His code finally became part of the main
 'gawk' distribution with 'gawk' version 3.1.
 
    John Haque rewrote the 'gawk' internals, in the process providing an
 'awk'-level debugger.  This version became available as 'gawk' version
 4.0 in 2011.
 
    ⇒Contributors for a full list of those who have made important
 contributions to 'gawk'.
 
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