Subject: Re: bug in gawk/gsub() (not present in nawk)
To: None <,,>
From: Aharon Robbins <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 06/08/2003 15:10:12
Greetings. Re this:

> Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 00:14:19 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Jose Nazario <>
> To:,,
> Subject: bug in gawk/gsub() (not present in nawk)
> while playing with some tools in data massaging, i had to migrate from an
> openbsd/nawk system to a netbsd/gawk system. i found the folllowing
> behavior, which seems to be a bug.
> the following gsub() pattern has a strange effect under gawk which is not
> visible in nawk (at least as compiled on openbsd). the intention is to
> take a string like "This Is a Title: My Title?" and turn it into a
> normalized string: "ThisIsaTitleMyTitle". to do this, i wrote the
> following gross gsub line in an awk script:
> 	gsub(/[\ \"-\/\\:;\[\]\@\?\.\,\$]/, "", $2)
> 	print $2
> in gawk, as found in netbsd-macppc/1.5.2, this will drop the first letter
> of every word. the resulting string will be "hissitleyitle", while in nawk
> as built on openbsd-3.3 this will get it correct.
> any insights? the inconsistency with this relatively naive pattern seems a
> bit odd. (i would up installing nawk built from openbsd sources.)
> thanks. sorry i didn't send a better bug report, netbsd folks, i'm not
> much of a netbsd user, and i dont have send-pr set up. yes, this is a
> slightly older version of netbsd and gawk:
> $ uname -a
> NetBSD entropy 1.5.2 NetBSD 1.5.2 (GENERIC) #0: Sun Feb 10 02:00:04 EST
> 2002     jose@entropy:/usr/src/sys/arch/macppc/compile/GENERIC macppc
> $ awk --version
> GNU Awk 3.0.3
> Copyright (C) 1989, 1991-1997 Free Software Foundation.
> thanks.
> ___________________________
> jose nazario, ph.d.

As mentioned by other people, this is a very old version of gawk.  This bug
does not appear in the current gawk (3.1.2).  Unfortunately, current gawk has
some other bugs; I hope to have 3.1.3 out "soon".

In the meantime, I'll add this as a test case to the gawk test suite.