Quick and Dirty Data Extraction in AWK
Need to pull some data from text--maybe e-mail messages--and sort it, graph it or otherwise manipulate it? Here's an AWK script to use as a starting point.
Many years ago, probably close to 20, a regular point was made on the comp Usenet newsgroups about using the minimum tool to get the job done. That is, someone would ask for a quick and dirty way to do something. The followups often included a C solution followed by an AWK solution followed by a sed solution and so on.
Today, I still try to use this philosophy when addressing a problem. In this particular case, explained below, I picked AWK. If any of you old-timers are reading this article, though, I expect you will come up with a sed-based solution.
The Problem: Extracting Data from E-mail Messages