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Gawk 5.3.0 released

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Aharon Robbins

Nov 2, 2023, 10:24:24 AM11/2/23
Greetings all.

This note announces the next release of GNU Awk: version 5.3.0.

The following files may be retrieved via HTTPS from

-rw-rw-r-- 1 arnold arnold 6254035 Nov 2 15:38 gawk-5.3.0.tar.gz
-rw-rw-r-- 1 arnold arnold 3307027 Nov 2 15:37 gawk-5.3.0.tar.lz
-rw-rw-r-- 1 arnold arnold 3436180 Nov 2 15:38 gawk-5.3.0.tar.xz

This is a major release. The relevant part of the NEWS file is appended
below. A diff file from the previous release is not available.

The online manuals have also been updated.

The usual GNU build incantation should be used:

tar -xpvzf gawk-5.3.0.tar.gz
cd gawk-5.3.0
./configure && make && make check

Please use the gawkbug script to report bugs. If it doesn't
work for you, then send email to

NOTE that the manual's instructions for sending bug reports were
updated for the earlier 5.2.0 release. Please review them carefully before
submitting a report!

ONLY bug reports should be submitted to the bug-gawk list. All other
questions should use the mailing list.


Arnold Robbins (on behalf of all the gawk developers)
Copyright (C) 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification,
are permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright
notice and this notice are preserved.

Changes from 5.2.x to 5.3.0

1. Infrastructure changes: Removed the use of libsigsegv. The
value-add was never very much and it caused problems in some

2. In keeping with new features in BWK awk, gawk now has built-in
CSV file parsing. The behavior is intended to be identical to
that of the "One True AWK" when --csv is applied. See the
manual for details.

3. Also in keeping with BWK awk, gawk now supports a new \u escape
sequence. This should be followed by 1-8 hexadecimal digits. The
given code point is converted to its corresponding multibyte encoding
for storage inside gawk. See the manual.

4. If PROCINFO["BUFFERPIPE"] exists, then pipe output is buffered.
You can also use PROCINFO["command", "BUFFERPIPE"]. See the manual
for details.

5. Because of the additional `do_csv' variable in the API, which breaks
binary compatibility, the API major version was updated to 4 and
the minor version was reset to zero. The API remains source code
compatible; that is, existing extensions should only require recompilation.

6. The manual now requires Texinfo 7.1 and its texinfo.tex for formatting.
As a result, we no longer need to pre-process it, removing the need
for and leaving just gawk.texi.

7. And of course, there have been several minor code cleanups and bug fixes.
See the ChangeLog for details.

Changes from 5.2.2 to 5.2.x

1. The readdir extension has been updated with additonal code and
features, see the manual or its man page. As a result, the
readdir_test.c extension has been removed.

2. We have a new translation: Ukranian.

3. Several subtle issues related to null regexp matches around
multibyte characters have been fixed.
Aharon (Arnold) Robbins arnold AT skeeve DOT com

Ben Hoyt

Nov 10, 2023, 2:28:03 AM11/10/23
Thanks, Arnold, for your tireless work on this!

> 2. In keeping with new features in BWK awk, gawk now has built-in
> CSV file parsing. The behavior is intended to be identical to
> that of the "One True AWK" when --csv is applied. See the
> manual for details.

As the author of GoAWK, I'm particularly happy about this. I think proper CSV support using a simple command-line argument is going to really make AWK easier to use in this data-heavy world, where .csv files are heavily used.

For compatibility, GoAWK also added the "--csv" argument recently (though GoAWK has had CSV support for a while using different argument -- ).

For what it's worth, I have emailed the maintainers for the "gawk" and "original-awk" Debian packages, to see if we can get those updated soon. Assuming they get updated before Feb next year, that will also flow down from Debian to Ubuntu, so that the new version of Gawk appears in Ubuntu by default too.

Thanks again, Arnold and other Gawk contributors. I'm excited to see what the world does with --csv.

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