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5.0 out of 5 stars 2 cute little guys that will work hard for you
I've had this book for 3-4 years now and find it to be mu handiest refernce. I even use ot more than my vi book.
The raw power of sed and awk will humble even the proudest VB programmer and this book will help you get the most out of both the "Aho, Weinberg and Kernigan" and the "stream editor".
The first chapter section is entitled "May...
Published on July 1 2004 by Alexander E. Paulsen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tutorial, problematic reference
I suppose if the proof of the teaching is in the learning, the authors' idea (in this edition) of interlacing their discussions of Sed and Awk throughout the volume is vindicated, because I am learning easily from the book. Yet this organization detracts seriously from its reference value, especially when one uses the index.
You can look up a feature which you...
Published on May 25 1999 by Paul Emmons (pemmons@voicenet.com)


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5.0 out of 5 stars 2 cute little guys that will work hard for you, July 1 2004
By 
Alexander E. Paulsen "AlexP" (Jacksonville, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
I've had this book for 3-4 years now and find it to be mu handiest refernce. I even use ot more than my vi book.
The raw power of sed and awk will humble even the proudest VB programmer and this book will help you get the most out of both the "Aho, Weinberg and Kernigan" and the "stream editor".
The first chapter section is entitled "May You Solve Interesting Problems" a paraphrase of the old Chinese curse, but with sed and awk no problem seems insurmountable and wil make all problems appear interesting.
This book is an outstanding reference and will get you up and running with both of these handy little programs in no time.
Just to give you an example - the first time I ever used these programs (sed and awk) I developed a cron script to query a database every day at midnight, sort the results, grabbed lines with tagged values within certain limits, added a few totals, did some averaging, "starred" the lines that departed from certain parameters, then formatted the results into a report with a header showing the dates, times and query results, statistics then packed them into a report file and e-mailed them to a dozen recipients and added a few recipients if the data was outside certain values.
I did this remarkable feat by copying a few examples from the book, changing a thing or two and in the end had a little shell script that was a few K-bytes at the most.
This VB guy from corporate worked on a VB version of the same function and ended up with six revisions, several megs in the executable and never was able to get it formatted right. Not to say that it couldn't be done but..... I wrote mine before lunch one day. He worked on his for weeks and weeks.
Such is the power contained within should you want to tap it Grasshopper.
Great book. Amaze your friends and colleagues. Have the office women ( or men) throw flowers at your feet as you enter every day - well maybe not, but this will make you more productive.
You real nerds will hardly get finished with a single box of Pop Tarts before you are writing really cool scripts when using this book.
Like all O'Reilly books this one is terse, practical and highly usable - just like UNIX.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You'll not regret this one!, Sept. 25 2001
By 
Ales Kavsek (Ljubljana, Slovenia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
My primarily profession is database administration on Windows NT/2000 platform so I'm pretty new to Unix tools. Several months ago I needed some inexpensive, yet powerful tools to manipulate some large text files for our data warehouse project -- basically I was looking for a way to avoid expensive commercial ETL tools. PERL was my first choice, but it seemed to me that learning curve is too steep for what I needed, so I ended with GNU sed and awk.
I was happy with the GNU version of Guide for Awk "Effective AWK Programming" written by one of the author of this book, Mr. Arnold D. Robbins -- but I needed some good reference for sed as well and this book was logical choice for me. Not only that it helped me to learn SED, now I'm using the book mostly as reference and user guide for awk. It's well written and will certainly satisfy both the advanced and the novice users.
The only objections that I have are examples at the end of the book. Not many readers will find them interesting and useful, especially chapter 12 Full-Featured Applications.
Overall good choice if you want to learn either of the two tools!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful tools for text manipulation, April 15 2000
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
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 regular expressions, 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 "Unix Power Tools" 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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good tutorial, problematic reference, May 25 1999
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
I suppose if the proof of the teaching is in the learning, the authors' idea (in this edition) of interlacing their discussions of Sed and Awk throughout the volume is vindicated, because I am learning easily from the book. Yet this organization detracts seriously from its reference value, especially when one uses the index.
You can look up a feature which you need to review, turn to one of the listed pages, begin reading, and then realize that you have no idea which program is being described. While the approach is an interesting experiment, I question whether its benefits are worth such drawbacks. If the authors decide to continue the approach in later edition, a simple device such as different type faces of page references in the index (e.g. Roman for Awk, the more elaborate package, and Italic for Sed) would help relieve this problem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars sed, awk ... useful tools, Dec 22 2003
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
sed and awk typically get a bum rap from perl users. "why learn sed or awk when perl can do both?" yes, it can. and so much more.
but what if you just need to print, say, the first field of a file? or just replace a few characters in a stream? what about the situations when you dont have perl handy (ie a freshly installed IRIX box)?
the sed & awk book is *the* standard. it's not written by anyone famous or whatnot, but it does a fantastic job of covering the basics, the meat, and advanced uses of sed and awk (and variants).
if you spend time on the command line and need to know a few quick tips, this is the book to have for sed and awk. you'll learn regexp material, how to use sed and awk and a bunch of useful routines.
highly reccomended for UNIX shell geeks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good intro to Sed and Awk, plus more, Dec 8 2000
By 
Doug M "陀愚" (The Jack n' the Box at the corner) - See all my reviews
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
This book had far more information on Sed and Awk than I really wanted to read, but objectively speaking, this book did a fabulous job explaining how to use both. The idea of linking them together in one book seems odd, but the author did a pretty nice job utilizing both. I particularly liked the section on debugging awk because the techniques he explained are very applicable to program debugging in general. I also found the section on regular expressions very clearly written and easy to understand (the best I have seen thus far). I wish I had read this book sooner. Also, to the credit of this book, I saved quite a lot of time recently updating about 90 flat files in seconds using sed. Awk has proven quite useful recently in another project too. Thank you Dale and Arnold!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book from the O'Reilly crew., March 29 2001
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
This is a typically great book from O'Reilly Press. I find this book to be invaluable when I need to look up how to do something with sed or awk.
It takes you through the basics of sed and awk, shows you regular expression syntax and delves deeper into both programs. For sed it shows you all of the basic sed commands as well as many of the more advanced commands such as multiline pattern spaces. With awk it goes even deeper as awk is a more powerful program. It shows the basics for writing awk scripts then takes you into flow control, functions and debugging.
I find the writing to be concise and clear with many examples to show you how it works in the real world.
All in all it's a great book for the unix admin or programmer to have on their bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book has saved my bacon, May 30 2000
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction, mediocre reference, May 12 2000
By 
Erik L. Arneson (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
I was very interested in learning sed and awk, and so picked up this book. Like most O'Reilly titles, it is an excellent piece of work. I learned a great deal and was able to get started and pump out some useful code after spending some time with this book. However, I soon found that when it came to tackling some very difficult tasks with sed and awk, this book didn't seem to serve me very well as a reference. I have a feeling that sed and awk are not the sort of thing that one could learn with just one book; there are so many applications for these tools that one must choose what one wishes to do, and find the right books to supplement this excellent text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good first book on Awk & Sed, March 19 2004
By 
Juan J. Casero (Hialeah, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: sed & awk (Paperback)
This is a great first book on awk and sed. It also has one of the clearest explanations of regular expressions I could find. I use it all the time in my database programming/data processing work. It has served me well. There are probably more advanced features of awk that are not covered in this book but for the price it is a great bargain. If you want to learn awk buy this book and you won't be disappointed. You can ignore the sections on sed if you like.
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sed & awk
sed & awk by Arnold Robbins (Paperback - March 11 1997)
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