Special File Name Caveats ------------------------- Here is a list of things to bear in mind when using the special file names that `gawk' provides. * Recognition of these special file names is disabled if `gawk' is in compatibility mode (Note: Command-Line Options.). * The special files that provide process-related information are now considered obsolete and will disappear entirely in the next release of `gawk'. `gawk' prints a warning message every time you use one of these files. To obtain process-related information, use the `PROCINFO' array. Note: Built-in Variables. * Starting with version 3.1, `gawk' _always_ interprets these special file names.(1) For example, using `/dev/fd/4' for output actually writes on file descriptor 4, and not on a new file descriptor that is `dup''ed from file descriptor 4. Most of the time this does not matter; however, it is important to _not_ close any of the files related to file descriptors 0, 1, and 2. Doing so results in unpredictable behavior. ---------- Footnotes ---------- (1) Older versions of `gawk' would only interpret these names internally if the system did not actually have a a `/dev/fd' directory or any of the other above listed special files. Usually this didn't make a difference, but sometimes it did; thus, it was decided to make `gawk''s behavior consistent on all systems and to have it always interpret the special file names itself.
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