(gawk.info) Adding Code
(gawk.info) New Ports
Adding New Features
You are free to add any new features you like to `gawk'. However,
if you want your changes to be incorporated into the `gawk'
distribution, there are several steps that you need to take in order to
make it possible for me to include your changes.
1. Get the latest version. It is much easier for me to integrate
changes if they are relative to the most recent distributed
version of `gawk'. If your version of `gawk' is very old, I may
not be able to integrate them at all. Getting the `gawk'
Distribution Getting, for information on getting the latest
version of `gawk'.
2. See (Version)Top standards, GNU Coding Standards. This
document describes how GNU software should be written. If you
haven't read it, please do so, preferably _before_ starting to
modify `gawk'. (The `GNU Coding Standards' are available as part
of the Autoconf distribution, from the FSF.)
3. Use the `gawk' coding style. The C code for `gawk' follows the
instructions in the `GNU Coding Standards', with minor exceptions.
The code is formatted using the traditional "K&R" style,
particularly as regards the placement of braces and the use of
tabs. In brief, the coding rules for `gawk' are:
* Use old style (non-prototype) function headers when defining
* Put the name of the function at the beginning of its own line.
* Put the return type of the function, even if it is `int', on
the line above the line with the name and arguments of the
* The declarations for the function arguments should not be
* Put spaces around parentheses used in control structures
(`if', `while', `for', `do', `switch' and `return').
* Do not put spaces in front of parentheses used in function
* Put spaces around all C operators, and after commas in
* Do not use the comma operator to produce multiple
side-effects, except in `for' loop initialization and
increment parts, and in macro bodies.
* Use real tabs for indenting, not spaces.
* Use the "K&R" brace layout style.
* Use comparisons against `NULL' and `'\0'' in the conditions of
`if', `while' and `for' statements, and in the `case's of
`switch' statements, instead of just the plain pointer or
* Use the `TRUE', `FALSE', and `NULL' symbolic constants, and
the character constant `'\0'' where appropriate, instead of
`1' and `0'.
* Provide one-line descriptive comments for each function.
* Do not use `#elif'. Many older Unix C compilers cannot handle
* Do not use the `alloca' function for allocating memory off
the stack. Its use causes more portability trouble than the
minor benefit of not having to free the storage. Instead, use
`malloc' and `free'.
If I have to reformat your code to follow the coding style used in
`gawk', I may not bother.
4. Be prepared to sign the appropriate paperwork. In order for the
FSF to distribute your changes, you must either place those
changes in the public domain, and submit a signed statement to that
effect, or assign the copyright in your changes to the FSF. Both
of these actions are easy to do, and _many_ people have done so
already. If you have questions, please contact me ( Reporting
Problems and Bugs Bugs.), or `email@example.com'.
5. Update the documentation. Along with your new code, please supply
new sections and or chapters for this Info file. If at all
possible, please use real Texinfo, instead of just supplying
unformatted ASCII text (although even that is better than no
documentation at all). Conventions to be followed in `Effective
AWK Programming' are provided after the `@bye' at the end of the
Texinfo source file. If possible, please update the man page as
You will also have to sign paperwork for your documentation
6. Submit changes as context diffs or unified diffs. Use `diff -c -r
-N' or `diff -u -r -N' to compare the original `gawk' source tree
with your version. (I find context diffs to be more readable, but
unified diffs are more compact.) I recommend using the GNU
version of `diff'. Send the output produced by either run of
`diff' to me when you submit your changes. Reporting
Problems and Bugs Bugs, for the electronic mail information.
Using this format makes it easy for me to apply your changes to the
master version of the `gawk' source code (using `patch'). If I
have to apply the changes manually, using a text editor, I may not
do so, particularly if there are lots of changes.
7. Include an entry for the `ChangeLog' file with your submission.
This further helps minimize the amount of work I have to do,
making it easier for me to accept patches.
Although this sounds like a lot of work, please remember that while
you may write the new code, I have to maintain it and support it, and
if it isn't possible for me to do that with a minimum of extra work,
then I probably will not.
(gawk.info) New Ports
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