According to Wikipedia, a regular expression (abbreviated regex or regexp) is a sequence of characters that forms a search pattern, mainly for use in pattern matching with strings, or string matching, i.e. "find and replace"-like operations.

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2answers
128 views

What is the best strategy for transforming unicode strings into filenames?

I have a bunch (thousands) of resources in an RDF/XML file. I am writing a certain subset of the resources to files -- one file for each, and I'm using the resource's title property as the file name. ...
5
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2answers
558 views

Python flavor of regular expressions - related to which?

So my copy of the classic book, Mastering Regular Expressions, just arrived, and I'm scanning through it. The cover (third edition) says, "for Perl, PHP, Java, .NET, Ruby, and More!" Well, it does ...
4
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2answers
312 views

Why does Java define homogeneous methods in Matcher and Pattern classes

I wonder why java defines homogeneous methods in two distinct classes: java.util.regex.Pattern and java.util.regex.Matcher. For example split method defined in Pattern class and replaceAll method ...
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5answers
1k views

Lexical Analysis without regular expressions

I've been looking at a few lexers in various higher level langauges (Python, PHP, Javascript among others) and they all seem to use regular expressions in one form or another. While I'm sure regex's ...
74
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23answers
15k views

Is it a must for every programmer to learn regular expressions? [closed]

I am new to programming, and at an interview I got a question on regular expressions; needless to say I couldn't answer. So I was wondering whether I should learn regular expression? Is it a must for ...
15
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8answers
10k views

How do regular expressions actually work?

Say you have a document with an essay written. You want to parse this essay to only select certain words. Cool. Is using a regular expression faster than parsing the file line by line and word by ...
2
votes
4answers
525 views

Maintaining Regex in a .net application

I am sure everybody has had his/her share of regex woes. We have a big application with around 30 developers working on a mvc3 web application , and the two fold regex validations (front-end and ...
40
votes
4answers
9k views

When you should NOT use Regular Expressions?

Regular expressions are powerful tool in programmer's arsenal, but - there are some cases when they are not a best choice, or even outright harmful. Simple example #1 is parsing HTML with regexp - a ...
79
votes
18answers
6k views

How do you learn Regular Expressions? [closed]

I'm not asking where to learn. I've found lots of good resources online, and books etc. But how the heck do I tackle them. Where is the start of it, the end? When does the regexp processor advance on ...
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vote
2answers
313 views

Documentation often ommits to specify which flavour of regular expression to use, so is there a default flavour that we should all be familiar with?

Often I come across documentation that says "use a regular expression here" I have to spend quite some time digging around trying to work out which regular expression format they are expecting. As ...
11
votes
7answers
909 views

What is more standard shortening for “regular expression”, “regex” or “regexp”? [closed]

I want to know what is more standard way to call regular expression in short way. I have seen both, regex and regexp. Google says regex has almost 2 as much hits that regexp, but it depends on way I ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Using lookahead assertions in regular expressions

I use regular expressions on a daily basis, as my daily work is 90% in Perl (legacy codebase, but that's a different issue). Despite this, I still find lookahead and lookbehind to be terribly ...
8
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10answers
2k views

A better way of doing Regex? [duplicate]

I really dislike regular expressions, each time I come back to it I seem to have to relearn it. It's also incredibly hard to maintain, modify and at a glance understand what it is doing. Has anyone ...
13
votes
6answers
708 views

What can / should be done with regular expressions? [closed]

I've recently learnt regular expressions and I love writing / using them. I'm looking for ideas and more opportunities to use them, however I don't want to overuse them as an all purpose tool, as ...
3
votes
1answer
751 views

can a regex search engine for the web be done and if so, how?

I think it would be a great idea if we had a regular expression search engine, but can it be done? It seems impossible since there's no feasible way of indexing such a huge amount of data properly and ...
23
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17answers
6k views

Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?

Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, I guess you won't find it hard to recall other examples. Thing is: if there is more than one way to solve a problem, the PHP programmer (I usually browse the PHP tag on ...
2
votes
2answers
448 views

Regexp or custom parsing algo?

I was trying to parse a java properties file to avoid some Properties loading pitfalls (non ordering, loss of comments). (Property are of the form 'key = value' where the value can span on multiple ...
36
votes
0answers
4k views

What does the Jamie Zawinski's quotation about regular expressions mean? [duplicate]

In a message to comp.emacs.xemacs, Jamie Zawinski once said: Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems. I've always ...
90
votes
25answers
20k views

How far should one take e-mail address validation?

I'm wondering how far people should take the validation of e-mail address. My field is primarily web-development, but this applies anywhere. I've seen a few approaches: simply checking if there is ...