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I am a beginner in programming in general and web development in particular. I am especially bad at regular expressions. Recently I was involved in building a couple of cPanel plugins(Perl-CGI) and that's when I realized how bad I am in regex. As a result, I have decided to build an online regex builder - this will help me to learn regex and help other struggling with regex.

I have checked out GSkinner, Rubular and a couple of others like regexpal. It seemed to be a little difficult to use, hence i thought of writing another one.

I do not know which tool is best suited for the job. should I write it in Perl or Python? My skill level is between beginner and intermediate in both those languages. What would be a good starting point - building it for the CLI or for the browser?

I plan to get a string as an input, ask if the user want to search or search and replace, enter the search string (and the replace string where applicable) and then generate a regex. Would this be the right way to go?

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closed as off-topic by Martijn Pieters, gnat, Simon, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Dan Pichelman Nov 6 '13 at 15:07

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1 Answer

Let me give you some advice. When you're trying to learn a new language or library, it is an excellent idea to try making programs using that language or library, however learn one at a time. If you are new to Python, Perl, web development, and regular expressions and you want to make a program using all of these technologies, you're going to have a bad time.

Start with learning Perl or Python (not both). Once you feel fairly confident, you can add regular expressions into the mix. Write a program which, given a pattern, it will search for that pattern in the file you provide.

Once you have these down should you write a simple html containing a form which when given a name, will take you another page in which it is written "Hello, <name>!"

And finally, once you understand these should you attempt web development. That is a whole new ball game, and even if you are familiar with the technologies surrounding it, there are many new concepts to learn that it is still quite difficult.

I'm not familiar with web development in Perl or Python, so I don't know which libraries to tell you to learn. However if you decided to learn Java, I could point you to a few helpful libraries.

Hope that helps!

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Of note, regular expressions are often part of the idiomatic way to do something in perl. –  MichaelT Nov 6 '13 at 15:28
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