I have a question about my Ask Ubuntu post:

How can I improve my question to attract meaningful answers? This is a very frustrating software bug which has been troubling us for almost a decade. I have tried to include specifics including command examples showing input and output, version information, and quotes from official sources. I even edited the post with a link to a bug report. So far I only got one non-answer comment which, aside from being unhelpful, has served only to discourage me from using this site.

  • 4
    I don't think there is anything you can do to that question to get the bug fixed. We are not the developers or maintainers of the package, so it is unlikely anyone can help.Contact the devs. As you say this is a known bug the question is off topic anyway, bugs should be reported on launchpad. Also you did get a comment from muru, why not respond to him? he mentioned better alternatives, ask for one.
    – Mark Kirby
    Mar 31, 2016 at 22:56
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    @markkirby Considering OP did use one of the better alternatives in the question, they don't need to ask. :D
    – muru
    Apr 1, 2016 at 2:17
  • I don't understand. Is my question not welcome here?
    – Low Powah
    Apr 1, 2016 at 3:43
  • @markkirby Oh, I tried to respond to muru, but the site won't let me.
    – Low Powah
    Apr 1, 2016 at 3:44
  • @LowPowah We don't fix bugs in peoples code, we just offer support for Ubuntu. If you have as bug report it to the devs so they can do something about it.
    – Mark Kirby
    Apr 1, 2016 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


As no one has given you an answer: Ask Ubuntu is all about providing support for Ubuntu and its official derivatives by an army of volunteers (no we don't get paid for doing this) so everyone answers the questions they like and know something about.

There are a few things we do and don't do, but I suspect you never received an answer to your original question because no one uses mawk any more because there are better alternatives.

And why Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) still ships mawk? We can only guess, and that is off-opic here... ;-)

So what can you do if mawk is that important to you?

Well, fix the bug yourself, hire a developer to do it for you and post the fix upstream, contact the developer, ... But definitely, go here!


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    The bug's fixed - the maintainer is an active user on Unix & Linux and that bug's been fixed long ago. Nobody updated the Ubuntu package.
    – muru
    Apr 14, 2016 at 12:30
  • Old article, but perhaps it still applies to some extent: the reason why Ubuntu still ships with MAWK might be that MAWK has been proven almost 8 times faster than GAWK at certain tasks.
    – kos
    Apr 15, 2016 at 6:00
  • @kos: yeah, read that one too...
    – Fabby
    Apr 15, 2016 at 11:45

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