# Python vs. awk

Well, the title is misleading. I am not going to argue which language is better. Obviously, Python is more powerful and has vastly more features. Instead, here I have selected a particular case where (I think) the use of Python is not a good choice at all.

Some time ago, I needed to extract frequency data from a Gaussian calculation. As many of us do, I searched the Net for already existing solutions, after all I do not want to rediscover the wheel... Luckily, the very first hit was a very well written Python script that does the job. Here is the link to the original page with the solution. I have to say that ~50 lines of code were a bit too much for me and for this particular task. Here I will paste the code just to support my case.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 #!/usr/bin/python # Compatible with python 2.7 # Reads frequency output from a g09 (gaussian) calculation # Usage ex.: g09freq g09.log ir.dat import sys def ints2float(integerlist): for n in range(0,len(integerlist)): integerlist[n]=float(integerlist[n]) return integerlist def parse_in(infile): g09output=open(infile,'r') captured=[] for line in g09output: if ('Frequencies' in line) or ('Frc consts' in line) or ('IR Inten' in line): captured+=[line.strip('\n')] g09output.close() return captured def format_captured(captured): vibmatrix=[] steps=len(captured) for n in range(0,steps,3): freqs=ints2float(filter(None,captured[n].split(' '))[2:5]) forces=ints2float(filter(None,captured[n+1].split(' '))[3:6]) intensities=ints2float(filter(None,captured[n+2].split(' '))[3:6]) for m in range(0,3): vibmatrix+=[[freqs[m],forces[m],intensities[m]]] return vibmatrix def write_matrix(vibmatrix,outfile): f=open(outfile,'w') for n in range(0,len(vibmatrix)): item=vibmatrix[n] f.write(str(item[0])+'\t'+str(item[1])+'\t'+str(item[2])+'\n') f.close() return 0 if __name__ == "__main__": infile=sys.argv[1] outfile=sys.argv[2] captured=parse_in(infile) if len(captured)%3==0: vibmatrix=format_captured(captured) else: print 'Number of elements not divisible by 3 (freq+force+intens=3)' exit() success=write_matrix(vibmatrix,outfile) if success==0: print 'Read %s, parsed it, and wrote %s'%(infile,outfile) 

A large amount of the code deals with declarations of functions, reading and finding the data.

Here is how this problem could be solved with awk:

extract-freq.awk
#!/usr/bin/awk -f

/Frequencies/ { for (i=3;i<=NF; i++) { im++; freq[im ]=$i } } /Frc consts/ { for (i=NF;i>=4; i--) fc[im-(NF-i)]=$i   }
/IR Inten/    { for (i=NF;i>=4; i--)     ir[im-(NF-i)]=\$i   }

END { for (i=1;i<=im;i++) print freq[i],fc[i],ir[i] }

Somehow, I think this is much more readable and easier to modify...

python challenge

If you think that this could be done significantly easier in python than the python solution above, here is a link to a smaller file on which you can try your code. I will be glad to share the solution on this page.

./extract-freq.awk H2O.log

23.1750 0.0019 1.4225
34.8104 0.0044 0.0422
42.9143 0.0060 0.0702
46.5066 0.0071 2.7913
48.1367 0.0081 7.5572
79.9492 0.0282 0.0113
87.5406 0.0309 2.7116
93.0389 0.0417 2.5642
121.2068 0.0585 1.9881
145.7597 0.0776 2.0812
. . .
3048.5567 5.8718 1459.3611
3180.5241 6.3493 796.1409
3217.1453 6.5022 2372.1535
3242.9776 6.5949 309.5433
3247.6888 6.6231 2019.7043
3260.1368 6.6708 59.4172
3634.5856 8.2915 533.1068
3636.1663 8.3042 226.5813
3641.2286 8.3247 598.4021
3644.1577 8.3436 313.5530
3830.3485 9.2159 2.4124
3854.9395 9.3284 12.6945
3855.2245 9.3301 50.4032
3858.7550 9.3463 39.0654
3858.9545 9.3474 21.1611


• 2023.03.23 - Solution by ryan-duve

data = {"Frequencies":[], "Frc consts":[], "IR Inten":[]}

with open("H2O.log") as f:
for label in data:
if label in line:
data[label].extend(line.split()[-3:])

for line in zip(*data.values()):
print(" ".join(line))


• 2023.03.24 - Solution by Neil Fitzgerald

from sys import stdin

for line in stdin:
if 'Frequencies' in line:
mat = []
for i in range(3):
mat.append(line.split()[-3:])
line = next(stdin)
if i == 0: line = next(stdin)
for row in zip(*mat):
print('\t'.join(row))