Mastering Regular Expressions

Mastering Regular Expressions

by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl

Paperback(Third Edition)

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Regular expressions are an extremely powerful tool for manipulating text and data. They are now standard features in a wide range of languages and popular tools, including Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, VB.NET and C# (and any language using the .NET Framework), PHP, and MySQL.

If you don't use regular expressions yet, you will discover in this book a whole new world of mastery over your data. If you already use them, you'll appreciate this book's unprecedented detail and breadth of coverage. If you think you know all you need to know about regularexpressions, this book is a stunning eye-opener.

As this book shows, a command of regular expressions is an invaluable skill. Regular expressions allow you to code complex and subtle text processing that you never imagined could be automated. Regular expressions can save you time and aggravation. They can be used to craft elegant solutions to a wide range of problems. Once you've mastered regular expressions, they'll become an invaluable part of your toolkit. You will wonder how you ever got by without them.

Yet despite their wide availability, flexibility, and unparalleled power, regular expressions are frequently underutilized. Yet what is power in the hands of an expert can be fraught with peril for the unwary. Mastering Regular Expressions will help you navigate the minefield to becoming an expert and help you optimize your use of regular expressions.

Mastering Regular Expressions , Third Edition, now includes a full chapter devoted to PHP and its powerful and expressive suite of regular expression functions, in addition to enhanced PHP coverage in the central "core" chapters. Furthermore, this edition has been updated throughout to reflect advances in other languages, including expanded in-depth coverage of Sun's java.util.regex package, which has emerged as the standard Java regex implementation.Topics include:

  • A comparison of features among different versions of many languages and tools
  • How the regular expression engine works
  • Optimization (major savings available here!)
  • Matching just what you want, but not what you don't want
  • Sections and chapters on individual languages

Written in the lucid, entertaining tone that makes a complex, dry topic become crystal-clear to programmers, and sprinkled with solutions to complex real-world problems, Mastering Regular Expressions , Third Edition offers a wealth information that you can put to immediateuse.

Reviews of this new edition and the second edition:

"There isn't a better (or more useful) book available on regular expressions."

—Zak Greant, Managing Director, eZ Systems

"A real tour-de-force of a book which not only covers the mechanics of regexes in extraordinary detail but also talks about efficiency and the use of regexes in Perl, Java, and .NET...If you use regular expressions as part of your professional work (even if you already have a good book on whatever language you're programming in) I would strongly recommend this book to you."

—Dr. Chris Brown, Linux Format

"The author does an outstanding job leading the reader from regexnovice to master. The book is extremely easy to read and chock full ofuseful and relevant examples...Regular expressions are valuable toolsthat every developer should have in their toolbox. Mastering RegularExpressions is the definitive guide to the subject, and an outstandingresource that belongs on every programmer's bookshelf. Ten out of TenHorseshoes."

—Jason Menard, Java Ranch

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780596528126
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 1,172,788
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Friedl was raised in the countryside of Rootstown, Ohio, and had aspirations of being an astronomer until one day he noticed a TRS-80 Model I sitting unused in the corner of the chem lab (bristling with a full 16K of RAM, no less). He eventually began using Unix (and regular expressions) in 1980, and earned degrees in Computer Science from Kent (BS) and the University of New Hampshire (MS). He did kernel development for Omron Corporation in Kyoto, Japan for eight years before moving in 1997 to Silicon Valley to apply his regular-expression know-how to financial news and data for a little-known company called "Yahoo!"

When faced with the daunting task of filling his copious free time, Jeffrey enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and basketball with friends at Yahoo!, programming his house, and feeding the squirrels and jays in his back yard. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Fumie, and preparing for the Fall 2002 release of their first "software project" together.

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Mastering Regular Expressions 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Regular expressions, unless you¿re a mathematician or a computer scientist, are fairly irregular things. What started as ways to write patterns to match strings of characters has grown out of control, especially with regexes (as they¿re called) being a fundamental part of the Perl programming language.Friedl presents here the most comprehensive covering of regexes that can possibly be put in bound book form. The first six chapters will give you everything you need to learn and hopefully understand regexes, while the latter chapters give you insight into language/framework-specific implementations of them (including Perl, Java, PHP and .NET).Having dealt with regexes a lot in the past, this book did not wow or amaze me. It did, however, provide some useful tips for future regex writing. If you¿re a regex newb, it would be greatly useful, especially if you¿re planning on writing a lot of regexes. If you¿re a seasoned veteran, it may be beneficial to skim this book, but by no means skip it, unless your name happens to be Jeffrey Friedl.My only complaint with this book is that most of the .NET examples are in the abomination of a ¿programming language¿ called Visual Basic. Why such a language even still exists in beyond me. However, since VB is part of .NET, most of the examples can be trivially translated into more meaningful languages, such as C#.I would highly recommend this book for anybody who dedicates any reasonable amount of time towards constructing regular expressions, as well as to anybody who spends an inordinate amount of time writing methods/functions/subroutines to handle complex (that is, more than ¿this string equals this string¿) string matching. Regular expressions will save you countless hours, since somebody¿s done all that heavy lifting for you already!
blaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book, and thorough.
dbday on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book, and thorough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school student and I've read a few programming books, but this one is defiantly one of the best I've read. It's good for beginners and just for a reference. I also like how this book give examples in different languages. No complaints with this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book for anyone who wants to learn Regular Expressions or for someone who wants to know more about them. I've read this book 3 times and still keep it next to the computer to quickly look up something if I need. Great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Are you a programmer working on text-related tasks? If you are, then this book is for you. Author Jeffrey Friedl, has done an outstanding job of writing a cool book that will interest anyone who has an opportunity to use regular expressions. Friedl, begin with an introduction to the concept of regular expressions. Then, the author takes a look at text processing with regular expressions. Next, the author provides an overview of features and utilities, plus a bit of history. He also explains the details of how regular expressions work. The author continues by working through regular expressions examples. Then, he discusses efficiency in detail. Next, the author covers Perl regular expressions in detail. He then looks at Sun¿s java.util.regex package. The author continues by looking at .NET¿s language-neutral regular-expression package. Finally, the author looks at PHP¿s preg suite of regex functions. This most excellent book should expand your understanding, even if you consider yourself an accomplished regular-expression expert. Perhaps more importantly, the book concentrates on mastering a particular implementation!