awk comes from the initials of its designers: Alfred V.
Aho, Peter J. Weinberger, and Brian W. Kernighan. The original version of
awk was written in 1977 at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
In 1985 a new version made the programming
language more powerful, introducing user-defined functions, multiple input
streams, and computed regular expressions.
This new version became generally available with Unix System V Release 3.1.
The version in System V Release 4 added some new features and also cleaned
up the behavior in some of the "dark corners" of the language.
The specification for
awk in the POSIX Command Language
and Utilities standard further clarified the language based on feedback
from both the
gawk designers, and the original Bell Labs
The GNU implementation,
gawk, was written in 1986 by Paul Rubin
and Jay Fenlason, with advice from Richard Stallman. John Woods
contributed parts of the code as well. In 1988 and 1989, David Trueman, with
help from Arnold Robbins, thoroughly reworked
gawk for compatibility
with the newer
awk. Current development focuses on bug fixes,
performance improvements, standards compliance, and occasionally, new features.
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