Tag Archives: scripting

awk: Not so much an application, as a language

As if yesterday’s post about two video editor suites with console-only interfaces wasn’t strange enough, here’s a post about awk.


awk isn’t an application. In fact, I had serious reservations about mentioning it at all, because it’s so very distant (in my opinion) from an application.

Saying awk is an application is like saying a paintbrush is art. It’s not the result, it’s the tool you use to get there.

There’s the added complication in that, at least on my Arch system, awk is actually provided by the gawk package. With nawk, mawk and some other *awks available, as I desire.

So it’s not just one flavor, in a package called “awk.” There are many. And they seem to reproduce, like rabbits. Or clothes hangers. 😯

I won’t pretend to be any kind of programming expert, even if I’ve done a little tinkering with (m)awk in the past. I know my limitations, and actually programming something is where I find mine.

On the other hand, there are countless tutorials, howtos, case examples and gimmicks out there using awk. Just search the internets for awk, and the first dozen will give you mounds more information than I can.

But here’s one push, toward my own personal favorite. Have fun. 😉