By Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Common expressions are a vital part of UNIX utilities like egrep and programming languages akin to Perl. yet no matter if you are a UNIX consumer or no longer, you could reap the benefits of a greater realizing of normal expressions due to the fact they paintings with purposes starting from validating data-entry fields to manipulating details in multimegabyte textual content records. gaining knowledge of ordinary Expressions fast covers the fundamentals of regular-expression syntax, then delves into the mechanics of expression-processing, universal pitfalls, functionality matters, and implementation-specific adjustments. Written in a fascinating type and sprinkled with recommendations to advanced real-world difficulties, learning normal Expressions deals a wealth info that you should positioned to fast use.
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Extra info for Mastering Regular Expressions
So, in this chapter I would like to quickly introduce some regular-expression concepts. The overview doesn't go into much depth, but provides a basis for the rest of this book to build on, and sets the stage for important side issues that are best discussed before we delve too deeply into the regular expressions themselves. While some examples may seem silly (because some are silly), they really do represent the kind of tasks that you will want to do—you just might not realize it yet. If each and every point doesn't seem to make sense, don't worry too much.
Mike Stok, Jon Orwant, and Henry Spencer helped with detailed reviews (in particular, I'd like to thank Henry for clarifying some of my misconceptions about the underlying theory). Mike Chachich and Tim O'Reilly also added valuable feedback. A review by experts is one thing, but with a book designed to teach, a review by a non-expert is also important. Jack Halpern helped with the early manuscripts, while Norris Couch and Paul Beard were willing testers of the later manuscript. Their helpful comments allowed me to fill in some of the gaps I'd left.
The Introduction The introduction elevates the absolute novice to "issue-aware" novice. Readers with a fair amount of experience can feel free to skim the early chapters, but I particularly recommend Chapter 3 even for the grizzled expert. • Chapter 1, Introduction to Regular Expressions, is geared toward the complete novice. I introduce the concept of regular expressions using the widely available program egrep, and offer my perspective on how to think regular expressions, instilling a solid foundation for the advanced concepts in later chapters.