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Mar 01: Michael Sanders demos an X-windows GUI for AWK.

Mar 01: Awk100#24: A. Lahm and E. de Rinaldis' patent search, in AWK

Feb 28: Tim Menzies asks this community to write an AWK cookbook.

Feb 28: Arnold Robbins announces a new debugger for GAWK.

Feb 28: Awk100#23: Premysl Janouch offers a IRC bot, In AWK

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Jan 31: Comment system added to For example, see discussion bottom of ?keys2awk

Jan 31: Martin Cohen shows that Gawk can handle massively long strings (300 million characters).

Jan 31: The AWK FAQ is being updated. For comments/ corrections/ extensions, please mail

Jan 31: Martin Cohen finds Awk on the Android platform.

Jan 31: Aleksey Cheusov released a new version of runawk.

Jan 31: Hirofumi Saito contributes a candidate Awk mascot.

Jan 31: Michael Sanders shows how to quickly build an AWK GUI for windows.

Jan 31: Hyung-Hwan Chung offers QSE, an embeddable Awk Interpreter.

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categories: Mascot,Jul,2009,DickL

New Awk Mascot: 'AWK-eye the Dwarf?

by Dick L.

I write to suggest that the Awk mascot's name is Hawk-eye (usually spoken as 'AWK-eye with a silent H).

I suggest 'AWK-eye is a DWARF, based on the following analogy:

  • My good friend hAWK-eye is a dwarf, from the first ages, long ago. The dwarves are renowned for their skill in mining and metalwork.
  • My friend is known as Hawk-eye, because even among dwarves, he can mine precious metals and jewels from the dross with great ease and precision. And, having found these precious things, he is able to quickly fashion them into all manner of things, both practical and beautiful.
  • As one from the first age, he is sometimes called primitive. I prefer to call him elemental, so tightly focused is he on what he does best: mining and making from the mountains of text I throw to him. Like all dwarves, he is small - but sinewy and unbreakable.
  • He carries with him his tools of trade - a strong sieve of subtle REGEXP for separating the jewels and metal from the dross, and his hammer that he uses to fashion the gold, silver and jewels into useful and beautiful objects. In appearance he is old and gnarly, but don't be put off - he knows his stuff and works willingly.

I can't draw, but 'AWK-eye looks about half way between Gimli from Lord of the Rings, and Doc from the Disney Snow White and Seven Dwarves. (He has been known to sing "hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go". He likes to work!)

I know many spirits and sprites from the first age - LISP, APL, Assembler, Basic, Fortran and Algol. However, I have lost contact with most of these old friends, but ask 'AWK-eye to do new work most weeks. Why?

  • He is small enough that I can take him everywhere. No esoteric installs and fancy GUIs and other bloat.
  • He is so focused on doing the work that I often need done: simple mining and re-fashioning of text, voluminous text.
  • I can say what I want so simply. 'AWK-eye speaks filtering and fashioning. Usually a few lines to 'AWK-eye accomplish what would take ten or twenty lines with the new age creatures.

Yes, I love python, and javascript and all those creatures of later ages. And for some projects, functions as first class citizens, objects and the works is just what I want.

But for many daily jobs, 'AWK-eye is on the sweet spot of enough expressiveness to do the job, but not so much as to be hard to remember, and is small enough I have him everywhere.

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