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public beta test release of next gawk patch

From: Aharon Robbins
Subject: public beta test release of next gawk patch
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 13:44:44 +0300

This note is to announce the first BETA release of patch 4 to version
3.1 of gawk.

It is available from:


and from:


Overall, this release fixes a number of bugs, as well as offering
performance improvements in regular expression matching and correctness
improvements in internationalization.  The list of changes from the NEWS
file is appended, below.

As far as I can tell, the documentation and code have both hit the
freeze point.  Other than changing the version and patch levels, this
is what I expect to release as 3.1.4.

So, why do a beta release? So that you, yes you, the end user, can see
if anything I've done breaks gawk for you.  Then you can TELL ME ABOUT
IT so that I can fix it for the final release.


Arnold Robbins
Changes from 3.1.3 to 3.1.4

1. Gawk now supports the POSIX %F format, falling back to %f if the local
   system printf doesn't handle it.

2. Gawk now supports the ' flag in printf. E.g., %'d in a locale with thousands
   separators includes the thousands separator in the value, e.g. 12,345.

   This has one problem; the ' flag is next to impossible to use on the
   command line, without major quoting games.  Oh well, TANSTAAFL.

3. The dfa code has been reinstated; the performance degradation was
   just too awful.  Sigh.  (For fun, use `export GAWK_NO_DFA=1' to
   see the difference.)

4. The special case `x = x y' is now recognized in the grammar, and gawk
   now uses `realloc' to append the new value to the end of the existing
   one.  This can speed up the common case of appending onto a string.

5. The dfa code was upgraded with most of the fixes from grep 2.5.1, and
   the regex code was upgraded with GLIBC as mid-January 2004.  The regex
   code is faster than it was, but still not as fast as the dfa code, so
   the dfa code stays in.  The getopt code was also synced to current GLIBC.

6. Support code upgraded to Automake 1.8.5, Autoconf 2.59, and gettext 0.14.1.

7. When --posix is in effect, sub/gsub now follow the 2001 POSIX behavior.
   Yippee.  This is even documented in the manual.

8. Gawk will now recover children that have died (input pipelines, two-way
   pipes), upon detecting EOF from them, thus avoiding filling
   up the process table.  Open file descriptors are not recovered
   (unfortunately), since that could break awk semantics.  See the
   ChangeLog and the source code for the details.

9. Handling of numbers like `0,1' in non-American locales ought to
   work correctly now.

10. IGNORECASE is now locale-aware for characters with values above 128.
    The dfa matcher is now used for IGNORECASE matches too.

11. Dynamic function loading is better. The documentation has been improved
    and some new APIs for use by dynamic functions have been added.

12. Gawk now has a fighting chance of working on older systems, a la SunOS 

13. Issues with multibyte support on HP-UX are now resolved. `configure' now
    disables such support there, since it's not up to what gawk needs.

xx. Various bugs fixed; see ChangeLog for the details.

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