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Function Definition Examples

   Here is an example of a user-defined function, called `myprint', that
takes a number and prints it in a specific format:

     function myprint(num)
          printf "%6.3g\n", num

To illustrate, here is an `awk' rule that uses our `myprint' function:

     $3 > 0     { myprint($3) }

This program prints, in our special format, all the third fields that
contain a positive number in our input.  Therefore, when given the

      1.2   3.4    5.6   7.8
      9.10 11.12 -13.14 15.16
     17.18 19.20  21.22 23.24

this program, using our function to format the results, prints:


   This function deletes all the elements in an array:

     function delarray(a,    i)
         for (i in a)
            delete a[i]

   When working with arrays, it is often necessary to delete all the
elements in an array and start over with a new list of elements (Note:
The `delete' Statement.).  Instead of having to repeat this
loop everywhere that you need to clear out an array, your program can
just call `delarray'.  (This guarantees portability.  The use of
`delete ARRAY' to delete the contents of an entire array is a
non-standard extension.)

   The following is an example of a recursive function.  It takes a
string as an input parameter and returns the string in backwards order.
Recursive functions must always have a test that stops the recursion.
In this case, the recursion terminates when the starting position is
zero; i.e., when there are no more characters left in the string.

     function rev(str, start)
         if (start == 0)
             return ""
         return (substr(str, start, 1) rev(str, start - 1))

   If this function is in a file named `rev.awk', it can be tested this

     $ echo "Don't Panic!" |
     > gawk --source '{ print rev($0, length($0)) }' -f rev.awk
     -| !cinaP t'noD

   The C `ctime' function takes a timestamp and returns it in a string,
formatted in a well-known fashion.  The following example uses the
built-in `strftime' function (*note Using `gawk''s Timestamp Functions:
Time Functions.)  to create an `awk' version of `ctime':

     # ctime.awk
     # awk version of C ctime(3) function
     function ctime(ts,    format)
         format = "%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Z %Y"
         if (ts == 0)
             ts = systime()       # use current time as default
         return strftime(format, ts)

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