Ask for opinion: changing rand(3) to random(3) in awk(1)

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Aug 27 19:59:15 UTC 2014

Chenguang Li < at> writes:

> Hi guys,
> After encountering the same problem posted here[1] (awk's rand() not
> "random" enough), I did some research. It[2] shows that awk(1) in OSX
> is currently using random(3) instead of rand(3), the same in gawk(1).
> Changing rand(3) to random(3) only requires modifying a few lines of code, but will result in better random number generation.
> So why not? :)
> [1]
> [2]

I had thought about that a few years ago, but I didn't have any cases
where it mattered. Note that your example (footnote 1) is *not* such a
case. The bug in that case is calling srand() multiple times, rather
than just once at the beginning. 

You could take a patch to the security or hackers list, but first you
should figure out what problem you are trying to solve. 

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