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sed & awk (Nutshell Handbooks) [Kindle Edition]

Arnold Robbins , Dale Dougherty
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £26.50
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Book Description

sed & awk describes two text processing programs that are mainstays of the UNIX programmer's toolbox.sed is a "stream editor" for editing streams of text that might be too large to edit as a single file, or that might be generated on the fly as part of a larger data processing step. The most common operation done with sed is substitution, replacing one block of text with another.awk is a complete programming language. Unlike many conventional languages, awk is "data driven" -- you specify what kind of data you are interested in and the operations to be performed when that data is found. awk does many things for you, including automatically opening and closing data files, reading records, breaking the records up into fields, and counting the records. While awk provides the features of most conventional programming languages, it also includes some unconventional features, such as extended regular expression matching and associative arrays. sed & awk describes both programs in detail and includes a chapter of example sed and awk scripts.This edition covers features of sed and awk that are mandated by the POSIX standard. This most notably affects awk, where POSIX standardized a new variable, CONVFMT, and new functions, toupper() and tolower(). The CONVFMT variable specifies the conversion format to use when converting numbers to strings (awk used to use OFMT for this purpose). The toupper() and tolower() functions each take a (presumably mixed case) string argument and return a new version of the string with all letters translated to the corresponding case.In addition, this edition covers GNU sed, newly available since the first edition. It also updates the first edition coverage of Bell Labs nawk and GNU awk (gawk), covers mawk, an additional freely available implementation of awk, and briefly discusses three commercial versions of awk, MKS awk, Thompson Automation awk (tawk), and Videosoft (VSAwk).

Product Description

From the Publisher

The sed & awk Pocket Reference is a handy, quick reference guide to frequently used functions, commands, and regular expressions used for day-to-day text processing needs. This book is a companion to both sed & awk, Second Edition and Effective awk Programming, Third Edition.

About the Author

Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 872 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (1 Mar. 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D4Y302
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible tools for text manipulation 2 May 2000
Unix has earned itself quite a reputation for its potent tools, used for batch editing of text files (like program output). Sed and Awk are two of these tools. Sed is a direct descendent of Ed, the original Unix line editor, which employs <I>regular expressions</I>, a powerful method for description of patterns in text, for operations like substitute, append or delete. Awk is a complete scripting language with programming structures like conditionals, loops, functions etc., developed in 1970's by Alfred Aho, Brian Kernighan and Peter Weinberger (hence A-W-K). The trio has also written a book on Awk.

Dale Dougherty (in the 2nd edition with Arnold Robbins, maintainer of GNU Awk and author of several more books on Awk programming language) have made a good job in making a thoroughly readable tutorial on Sed and Awk. However, it remains a mystery to me how they succeeded to fill no less than 407 pages with it. Mind you, Sed and Awk are not really some big monsters. There exist something like two dozens of operators in Sed (most of them you will probably never use), and the syntax of Awk mimics those of C programming language, so it is likely that you know it already. Once you grok the idea of regular expressions, you should become a proficient user of Awk in about 30 minutes.

In conclusion, go buy the book if your need to manipulate text files on Unix and you think you need a lengthy tutorial with a gentle learning curve. Otherwise, short references on Awk and Sed, like the ones in <I>Unix Power Tools</I> and a bunch of examples showing some tricks you might not think of, will probably be more useful. In addition, it is good to know that during the nineties, much of the focus has drifted from Awk to Perl, so you might consider a book on Perl as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle guide to two daunting tools. 29 April 1999
By A Customer
Sed & Awk are two of the most hostile looking Unix utilities. Although I was an experienced shell scripter I was terrified of Sed & Awk until I got this book. It's an excellently written guide, starting very simply without being too basic and working up to some complex concepts.
I use sed/awk daily now, they're extremely useful tools.
If this make VERY heavy use of these tools I'd also recommend reading another O'Reilly book - "Mastering Regular Expressions"
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really excellent cant praise it enough! 15 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book over a year ago now when I was doing a shell scripting course at university and couldnt understand a thing the lecturer was saying! This book took me out of the hole I was in and passed me the course, no doubt about it.
As if that werent enough, I have recently undertaken the LPIC1 certification and again this book was worth its weight in gold. I was studying basic use of sed in the certification guide and deicded to brush up on regular expressions and the use of sed and again, out came this book and again, within a few hours it was all made clear.
There is a large chapter on regular expressions thrown in so there's no need to buy a separate book on those unless your going in heavy, the material taught in this book is advanced enough for all but the most masochistic of people!
Thoroughly good read very impressive book. Well worth the money. Its one of the most satisfying feelings when you finally crack a regexp and get the sed script to spit out what you need!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has saved my bacon 4 July 2004
By bernie VINE VOICE
Say what you will about the depth of this book. I am here to tell you that on more than one occasion this book has saved my bacon. Several times in different environments I needed to use sed to correct data in flat files. Once I used sed to change the format and numbers when we wanted to match accounting numbers to a different system. I haven't used that much awk. However there has been occasion to transfer awk programs from one UNIX to a different UNIX flavor. I found that the regular awk in this book was newer than the newawk in the other system. I Still keep the book handy incase I get squeezed for time and have to manipulate files. However I am learning more and more to appreciate PERL on those occasions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
sed and awk are two of the most essential UNIX utilities and I knew I had to get to grips with them. You can rely on O'Reilly for a good technical book and this has to be one of their best.
This is NOT a reference guide. It is an excellent tutorial which is written in such as way that you can dip in and refer to sections in isolation. The writing style is the right balance between light humour and technical detail. It does seem to take a while to get started, but you soon realise that the thorough grounding is regular expressions is essential to make best use of the tools. One of the best UNIX books I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2012 - still valuable tools 15 Feb. 2012
Many. many years ago I had a job converting data from all kinds of sources into a format for uploading to Oracle databases and this book was joined to my hip. Twenty odd years down track, I still have jobs where I use sed and awk because they are the simplest way of doing them and I still use this book. It is a clear and excellent tutorial, reference and masterclass useful to both novice and expert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, a must for anyone working with UNIX 4 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
The book provides a good intro to sed and awk and regular expressions in general. I recommend it for anyone that spends any time at a shell prompt. Even if you think you know these 2 tools you should give this one a look.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good approach
This book demystified SED and AWK, a subject that, I don't know, seemed to be so obscure. I really like the approach around the subject with a lot of examples and the language used... Read more
Published on 18 Jun. 2012 by Fernando
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to use, and hard to follow
I guess it's just me, but when I want to use AWK I reach for this book, spend an hour trying to find something, try a few test programs which the book infers will hang together,... Read more
Published on 6 Oct. 2000 by Jonathan Bryce
5.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly the KEY reference for sed and awk
These are the heart of text processing on unix systems and this book manages a comprehensive analysis of how to use these in most situations. Read more
Published on 9 April 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Top marks to Dougherty & Robbins
Of all the O'Reilly books that I have read, "Sed & Awk" rates the most highly. As a tutorial it really is superb: it is well written, the learning curve is just... Read more
Published on 8 Jun. 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the wannabe UNIX wizard
This is a good book. Although I find some of the information that I need. There seems to be a fair amount that's concealed by the books approach to each topic.
Published on 24 April 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Amaze & Astound your work mates :)
simple yet powerful commands, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.
Published on 25 Feb. 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessity for every Unix System Administrator
This is a well written technical book. It will lead you from the very basic to the most advance concept of sed & awk. Read more
Published on 10 Nov. 1998
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