(gawk) Manual History
The GNU Project and This Book
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit organization
dedicated to the production and distribution of freely distributable
software. It was founded by Richard M. Stallman, the author of the
original Emacs editor. GNU Emacs is the most widely used version of
The GNU project is an on-going effort on the part of the Free
Software Foundation to create a complete, freely distributable, POSIX
compliant computing environment. (GNU stands for "GNU's not Unix".)
The FSF uses the "GNU General Public License" (or GPL) to ensure that
source code for their software is always available to the end user. A
copy of the GPL is included for your reference ( GNU GENERAL
PUBLIC LICENSE Copying.). The GPL applies to the C language source
code for `gawk'.
A shell, an editor (Emacs), highly portable optimizing C, C++, and
Objective-C compilers, a symbolic debugger, and dozens of large and
small utilities (such as `gawk'), have all been completed and are
freely available. As of this writing (early 1997), the GNU operating
system kernel (the HURD), has been released, but is still in an early
stage of development.
Until the GNU operating system is more fully developed, you should
consider using Linux, a freely distributable, Unix-like operating
system for 80386, DEC Alpha, Sun SPARC and other systems. There are
many books on Linux. One freely available one is `Linux Installation
and Getting Started', by Matt Welsh. Many Linux distributions are
available, often in computer stores or bundled on CD-ROM with books
about Linux. (There are three other freely available, Unix-like
operating systems for 80386 and other systems, NetBSD, FreeBSD,and
OpenBSD. All are based on the 4.4-Lite Berkeley Software Distribution,
and they use recent versions of `gawk' for their versions of `awk'.)
This Info file itself has gone through several previous, preliminary
editions. I started working on a preliminary draft of `The GAWK
Manual', by Diane Close, Paul Rubin, and Richard Stallman in the fall
of 1988. It was around 90 pages long, and barely described the
original, "old" version of `awk'. After substantial revision, the first
version of the `The GAWK Manual' to be released was Edition 0.11 Beta in
October of 1989. The manual then underwent more substantial revision
for Edition 0.13 of December 1991. David Trueman, Pat Rankin, and
Michal Jaegermann contributed sections of the manual for Edition 0.13.
That edition was published by the FSF as a bound book early in 1992.
Since then there have been several minor revisions, notably Edition
0.14 of November 1992 that was published by the FSF in January of 1993,
and Edition 0.16 of August 1993.
Edition 1.0 of `Effective AWK Programming' represents a significant
re-working of `The GAWK Manual', with much additional material. The
FSF and I agree that I am now the primary author. I also felt that it
needed a more descriptive title.
`Effective AWK Programming' will undoubtedly continue to evolve. An
electronic version comes with the `gawk' distribution from the FSF. If
you find an error in this Info file, please report it! Reporting
Problems and Bugs Bugs, for information on submitting problem reports
electronically, or write to me in care of the FSF.
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