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an efficient awk-like language
In the example I noticed a PREPARE block in addition to the well known BEGIN and END blocks. After a few minutes of searching it appears to be frawk specific:
"Because the repeated map references are both annoying to write and inefficient to execute, frawk has a PREPARE block which executes in the worker threads at the end of its input"
Simple task/command runner with declarative goals and dependencies
As they say: "Good programmer chooses the most powerful tool for the job, best programmer chooses the least powerful tool for the job". Also see .
There is absolutely nothing wrong in learning AWK. It's very small language you can grasp fully in hours or days, and be sure you know it all, since it's very unlikely it chanages any time soon. Besides the classical book  by A., W., K. is absolute pleasure to read.
Shameless plug. I'm the author of a task/command runner  implemented almost 100% in AWK and I still think this was perfect choice for a language for this project.
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One true awk
>There's tons of incompatible dialects. I think that shows the problem with what you're saying.
To my knowledge the major dialects in use are
- one true awk (aka bwk) (https://github.com/onetrueawk/awk) - this one is bundled in all *BSD/macOS
Revive awka - Awk to C Compiler
One of my recent project requires a fast awk implementation, and I tried frawk and got surprised by how robust it is. Although eventually we chose https://github.com/noyesno/awka for better native awk script compatibility, it's still wonderful to see a project incorporating recent advances of programming language implementation into the ancient awk.
PAWK - A Python line processor (like AWK)
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Tokay Programming Language
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Big list of ASCII games you can play in the terminal
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