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New release of gawk now available

From: Aharon Robbins
Subject: New release of gawk now available
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 14:12:04 +0300
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.5 6/20/10

Greetings all.

This note announces the next major release of GNU Awk: version 4.1.0.

The following files may be retrieved from,
or via HTTP from

-rw-r--r--    1 3003     3002          490 May 10 09:50 gawk-4.1.0.tar.xz.sig
-rw-r--r--    1 3003     3002      2049080 May 10 09:50 gawk-4.1.0.tar.xz
-rw-r--r--    1 3003     3002          490 May 10 09:49 gawk-4.1.0.tar.gz.sig
-rw-r--r--    1 3003     3002      3995528 May 10 09:49 gawk-4.1.0.tar.gz

This is a major new release, with a number of new features.  The relevant
part of the NEWS file is appended below.

This release represents close to two years of very hard work by a number
of people.  I thank them all for their contributions, I could not have
done it by myself.

Differences from gawk 4.0.2 are not available; they would be too large.

The usual GNU build incantation should be used:

        tar -xpvzf gawk-4.1.0.tar.gz
        cd gawk-4.1.0
        ./configure && make && make check

Bug reports should be sent to address@hidden


Arnold Robbins (on behalf of all the gawk developers)
Changes from 4.0.2 to 4.1.0

1. The three executables gawk, pgawk, and dgawk, have been merged into
   one, named just gawk.  As a result:
        * The -R option is gone
        * Use -D to run the debugger. An optional file argument is a
          list of commands to run first.
        * Use -o to do pretty-printing only.
        * Use -p to do profiling.
   This considerably reduces gawk's "footprint" and eases the documentation
   burden as well.

2. Gawk now supports high precision arithmetic with MPFR.  The default is
   still double precision, but setting PREC changes things, or using
   the -M / --bignum options.  This support is not compiled in if the MPFR
   library is not available.

3. The new -i option (from xgawk) is used for loading awk library files.
   This differs from -f in that the first non-option argument is treated
   as a script.

4. The new -l option (from xgawk) is used for loading dynamic extensions.

5. The dynamic extension interface has been completely redone!  There is
   now a defined API for C extensions to use.  A C extension acts like
   a function written in awk, except that it cannot do everything that awk
   code can. However, this allows interfacing to any facility that is
   available from C.  This is a major development, see the doc, which has
   a nice shiny new chapter describing everything.

   This support is not compiled in if dynamic loading of shared libraries
   is not supported.

   The old extension mechanism is still supported for compatiblity, but
   it will most definitely be removed at the next major release.

6. The "inplace" extension, built using the new facility, can be used to
   simulate the GNU "sed -i" feature.

7. The and(), or() and xor() functions now take any number of arguments,
   with a minimum of two.

8. New arrays: SYMTAB, FUNCTAB, and PROCINFO["identifiers"]. SYMTAB allows
   indirect access to any defined variable or array; it is possible to
   "walk" the symbol table, if that should be necessary.

9. Support for building gawk with a cross compiler has been improved.

10. Infrastructure upgrades: bison 2.7.1, gettext, automake 1.13.1,
    libtool 2.4.2 for the extensions.

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