bin/143367: [patch] awk(1) treats -Ft as -F <tab>

Alexander Best arundel at
Fri Dec 24 11:25:33 UTC 2010

On Sat Dec 11 10, Bruce Cran wrote:
> [replying privately since you've reassigned the PR]
> On Sat, 11 Dec 2010 19:57:13 GMT
> arundel at wrote:
> > Back into the pool, since i was not able to contact Brian Kernighan.
> Did you try bwk at ? Wikipedia claims he's currently
> working at Princeton.

i was able to contact him using the email address you recommended.

the problem seems to be that according to bwk the behavior documented in this
PR was initially a feature and not a bug. so changing the semantics would break
historical behavior. i'll send another status update on this issue once bwk
decides which path he wants to follow:

1) changing awk's semantics or
2) mentioning this behavior in the awk(1) manual (BUGS section).

please also note that
awk -Ft '{ print $1, $2 }'
awk '{ FS="t" } { print $1, $2 }'
behave differently. the latter example interprets the "t" as regular character.
so there's also the issue of inconsistency.


> -- 
> Bruce Cran


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