Introduction to Gawk
It seems impossible to have such ease of use together with speed; there must be a trade-off. This is one area in which gawk suffers—run-time performance. However, this is not to say that gawk is a terribly slow language. Since gawk is interpreted rather than compiled, it cannot compete with compiled languages for speed of execution. (It also is somewhat slower than a comparable program written in Perl.) However, if your main concern is getting a working program written as quickly as possible, you probably do not want to wrestle with C or C++ for a week to perfect the most efficient algorithm. By trading off the speed advantages and control features of C (or another compiled language) for ease of use, gawk lets you get the job done quickly and relatively painlessly.
If, however, execution speed is a critical point, gawk makes an excellent tool for implementing and testing a prototype before you start to code in C. And when the prototype is complete you may find that the gawk version is fast enough to meet your needs.
gawk offers the programmer a simple, somewhat C-like syntax, automatic file handling, associative arrays, and powerful pattern matching—features which can help you to create a program much more quickly than with a more traditional language. gawk also has many other useful and powerful features such as user-defined functions, recursion, many built-in functions, regular expressions, multidimensional arrays, formatted output using printf and sprintf, even the ability to set variables on the command line. These features are beyond the scope of this article. Without doubt, gawk's interpreter will produce a slower running final product than a C compiler, or even a Perl interpreter. But this slower execution speed (it certainly is not slow!) is more than compensated for by the speed and ease of program development and testing. When you need a program to perform a task and you need it right now, whether it is a quick-and-dirty, use-once program or a program that will be getting plenty of use, gawk may prove to be the right language for the task.
Ian Gordon (email@example.com) is a support programmer at Hyprotech Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta. He discovered the joys of Linux 15 months ago, a discovery which has taken up much of his free time.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide