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Mastering Regular Expressions
by Jeffrey Friedl
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Regular expressions are a central element of UNIX utilities like egrep and programming languages such as Perl. But whether you're a UNIX user or not, you can benefit from a better understanding of regular expressions since they work with applications ranging from validating data-entry fields to manipulating information in multimegabyte text files. Mastering Regular Expressions quickly covers the basics of regular-expression syntax, then delves into the mechanics of expression-processing, common pitfalls, performance issues, and implementation-specific differences. Written in an engaging style and sprinkled with solutions to complex real-world problems, Mastering Regular Expressions offers a wealth information that you can put to immediate use.
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 regular expressions, 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:
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 immediate use.
Reviews of this new edition and the second edition:
"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."
"The author does an outstanding job leading the reader from regex novice to master. The book is extremely easy to read and chock full of useful and relevant examples...Regular expressions are valuable tools that every developer should have in their toolbox. Mastering Regular Expressions is the definitive guide to the subject, and an outstanding resource that belongs on every programmer's bookshelf. Ten out of Ten Horseshoes."
This book is about a powerful tool called regular expressions. Teaches how to use regular expressions to solve problems and get the most out of tools that provide them. Examines a variety of popular, platform-neutral tools and provides an extensive array of examples. Paper.
The publisher, O'Reilly and Associates
Regular expressions are a powerful tool for manipulating text and data. If you don't use them 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 regular expressions, this book is a stunning eye-opener. With regular expressions, you can save yourself time and aggravation while dealing with documents, mail messages, log files -- you name it -- any type of text or data. For example, regular expressions can play a vital role in constructing a World Wide Web CGI script, which can involve text and data of all sorts. Regular expressions are not a tool in and of themselves, but are included as part of a larger utility. The classic example is grep. These days, regular expressions can be found everywhere, such as in: Scripting languages (including Perl, Tcl, awk, and Python) Editors (including Emacs, vi, and Nisus Writer) Programming environments (including Delphi and Visual C++) Specialized tools (including lex, Expect, and sed) While many of these tools originated on UNIX, they are now available for a wide variety of platforms, including DOS/Windows and MacOS, so you can use them in your home environment. Additionally, many favorite programming languages offer regular-expression libraries, so you can include support for them in your own programs, and yes, even applets. There can be certain subtle, but valuable, ways to think when you're using regular expressions, and these can be taught. Jeffrey Friedl has spent years helping people on the Net understand and use regular expressions. In this book he leads you through the steps of knowing exactly how to craft a regular expression to get the job done. Regular expressions are not used in a vacuum. In this book, a variety of tools are examined and used in an extensive array of examples. Perl, in particular, is very well represented throughout the book, with a major chapter dedicated entirely to it alone. Perl is extremely well-endowed with rich and expressive regular expressions. Yet what is power in the hands of an expert can be fraught with peril for the unwary. This book will help you navigate the minefield to becoming an expert.
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