agrep-2.04: description + notes

This is version 2.04 of agrep - a new tool for fast text searching allowing errors. agrep is similar to egrep (or grep or fgrep), but it is much more general (and usually faster).

The three most significant features of agrep that are not supported by the grep family are

  1. the ability to search for approximate patterns; for example, "agrep -2 homogenos foo" will find homogeneous as well as any other word that can be obtained from homogenos with at most 2 substitutions, insertions, or deletions. "agrep -B homogenos foo" will generate a message of the form best match has 2 errors, there are 5 matches, output them? (y/n)
  2. agrep is record oriented rather than just line oriented; a record is by default a line, but it can be user defined; for example, "agrep -d '^From ' 'pizza' mbox" outputs all mail messages that contain the keyword "pizza". Another example: "agrep -d '$$' pattern foo" will output all paragraphs (separated by an empty line) that contain pattern.
  3. multiple patterns with AND (or OR) logic queries. For example, "agrep -d '^From ' 'burger,pizza' mbox" outputs all mail messages containing at least one of the two keywords (, stands for OR). "agrep -d '^From ' 'good;pizza' mbox" outputs all mail messages containing both keywords.

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