GNU Awk: This is Not Your Father's Awk
Awk, the little language loved by so many, has been around in one form or another since the days of V7 UNIX, circa 1978. Its data- and text-processing capabilities, expressed in a concise, highly expressive syntax, are the epitome of what DSLs strive for and were, in fact, the inspiration for general-purpose scripting languages, particularly Perl.
The original language has evolved considerably. In particular, the GNU version — gawk — is far more powerful than standard Awk. In this article, I provide some background on the development of the Awk language, focusing particularly on gawk. I also take a high-level look at the new features available in gawk 4.1, which was released in May of this year.