While the Nutshell book is more of a reference guide, Aho's shows how to really use the language with practical examples. From basic examples to flatfile reports and using Awk to try out language issues in compiler design. For those who know Awk there are some great ideas in here. For those who are just starting out it's an excellent way to ease yourself into writing Awk scripts. A script writers must have.
Chapter 2 of The AWK Programming Language serves as the formal definition of the language, written by its creators. There is no other published standard or official document. So this book is the primary, definitive resource for all issues related to the awk programming language in general. Other awk resources (e.g., the GNU awk manual) should be regarded as secondary and treated as subordinate to The AWK Programming Language. It is especially important for contributors to the Usenet newsgroup comp.lang.awk to bear this in mind when posting general, version-independent information about awk to that newsgroup. Owning this book is a prerequisite to becoming an expert awk programmer. Though there are other resources available for learning awk, both in print and on the Internet, none of them are as succinct and as straighforward as The AWK Programming Language.
The AWK Programming Language was written very well. The first couple of chapters describe the language and the rest are full of real-world examples. The exercises at the end of each section are very helpful and expand on the examples given. Any one who works with flat data files should be familiar with awk, and this is the book to get the job done.
This book is to AWK what "The C Programming Language" is to C. Its the bible. Its your first read. Its your constant reference guide. I too, am an AWKaholic. The examples are well thought out and designed to show the power of AWK. If a problem fits AWK's problem space....there is Nothing better at solving the problem.
Chapter 1 was the perfect intro when I started in awk years ago. Chapter 2 was my bible while I developed my skills, and I still refer to it from time to time. Worth the money just for those two chapters. I have no other reference work which "just does it" for newbies and experts alike. Six out of five stars!
This is the shortest and most expensive computer book I have ever bought and it is worth every penny. It is my favorite computerbook and I have in fact two copies, one at work and one at home. It has 200 pages and not over 1000 like most modern crappy computer books, that you will never read. The authors surnames show you why the programming language is called awk, they know what they are talking about! awk is an easy scripting language, that is on every unix installation, very well suited to reformat files and sort and combine output from other computer programmes. It is a wonderfull book with good examples and a nice overview of functions and ways to do things in a unix environment, and I use it every day in my work as a bioinformatician at a Danish hospital. Our python pipeline it glued together with a lot of awk programmes.
I found this book to be well written and to the point. I was able to quickly learn the basics. Yet the book is also a valuable reference book covering all facets of the language. I would highly recommend it.
I think this is the best AWK reference book around. Easy to read and understand references and examples. As a beginner I was able to start quickly, and now it still makes a fine reference to the finer points of using AWK.