awk is an extraction and reporting language, named after its three original authors:
Awk is a convenient and expressive programming language that can be applied to a wide variety of computing and data-manipulation tasks.
The title of the book uses `AWK', but the contents of the book use `awk' (except at the beginning of sentences, as above). I will attempt to do the same (except perhaps at the beginning of sentences, as above).
Most implementations of awk are interpreters which read your awk source program and parse it and act on it directly.
Some vendors have developed awk compilers which will produce an executable that may be run stand-alone -- thus, the end user does not have access to the source code. There are also various awk->C converters which allow you to achieve the same functionality (by compiling the resulting C code later).
I don't really want to start a reviews section, but it may be appropriate. I think it's of general interest, and a good thing for the FAQ, but I don't want to be given any grief by a negative review I didn't write just because I'm distributing it. if you have a review you'd like me to put a pointer to, please inform me -- I already have some pointers of this form listed.
comp.lang.awk is not particularly about sed; for sed discussion. For sed related issues, there is a newsgroup alt.comp.lang.sed. See the sed FAQ (and other documents) for answers to common questions and group recommendations:
this all seems unrelated to AWK Engineering AG at http://www.awk.ch
(This text was originally imported from the comp.lang.awk faq)
It's a bit embarrassing to note that the exact origins of each are a bit hazy. This whole section requires further work.
Awk systems published under closed licenses are uninteresting.
(there may or may not be a WartAndWishList detailing the annoying bits of awk, and those bits that are annoying because they are missing...)