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Probable Future Extensions

AWK is a language similar to PERL, only considerably more elegant.
Arnold Robbins

Larry Wall

This section briefly lists extensions and possible improvements that indicate the directions we are currently considering for gawk. The file `FUTURES' in the gawk distributions lists these extensions as well.

This is a list of probable future changes that will be usable by the awk language programmer.

The GNU project is starting to support multiple languages. It will at least be possible to make gawk print its warnings and error messages in languages other than English. It may be possible for awk programs to also use the multiple language facilities, separate from gawk itself.
It may be possible to map a GDBM/NDBM/SDBM file into an awk array.
The special files that provide process-related information (see section Special File Names in gawk) may be superseded by a PROCINFO array that would provide the same information, in an easier to access fashion.
More lint warnings
There are more things that could be checked for portability.
Control of subprocess environment
Changes made in gawk to the array ENVIRON may be propagated to subprocesses run by gawk.

This is a list of probable improvements that will make gawk perform better.

An Improved Version of dfa
The dfa pattern matcher from GNU grep has some problems. Either a new version or a fixed one will deal with some important regexp matching issues.
Use of GNU malloc
The GNU version of malloc could potentially speed up gawk, since it relies heavily on the use of dynamic memory allocation.
Use of the rx regexp library
The rx regular expression library could potentially speed up all regexp operations that require knowing the exact location of matches. This includes record termination, field and array splitting, and the sub, gsub, gensub and match functions.

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