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Yes we do have super powers. However, you do not have to get bitten by a radio active spider. Start small, and grow into larger expressions.
But, regex are no substitute to writing a proper parser. It is basically a rather powerful kludge.

Would you like to know more?

 

Do you watch the silicon valley series? I'm asking because of your last name. Hendriks

 

Yes I do watch it. We're not related, I for one actually exist :p

lol. But you can try and build the "new internet".

 

Thanks for the blog post link. Gives some useful tips on how to deal with this monster

 

Not alone. I rarely turn to Regex unless it's the absolute obvious choice or it's the existing pattern in the code I'm modifying (and even then, sometimes there's a reason to remove it).

That being said, regex can be the underlying implementation of friendlier interfaces.

 
 

You can implement a replaceAll function for Strings just using the built-in replace and regex:

String.prototype.replaceAll = function(search, replacement) {
    return this.replace(new RegExp(search, 'g'), replacement);
}
 

You are not alone, at all, however, I have found regular expressions to be incredibly powerful and extremely useful, it is always a good thing to know, or at least understand.

p.s. We do have super powers ;)

 

The importance and usefulness of regular expressions cannot be stressed enough. However, writing them can be daunting.

 
 

In my opinion, Regex is life-saving. For example This simple web scrapping job using regex at line 49. It save lot of loops.

 

You're certainly not alone.

I actually do really enjoy regular expressions. It's one of the few things I can mentally dive into and not "come up for air" for hours. However, based on the developers I've met, I am in a very small minority.

 

IMHO, regular expressions are one of the best, rakish and pleasing areas of development. If I can do something (save for parsing HTML) with a regexp I would never use anything else.

 
 

I love it. Usually I use in an text editor to create or modify large amounts of text. Sometimes I create sequences in Excel (yep, Excel) and then apply RegExes to it to build some JSON out of it. I rarely use it in production code, because readability and maintainability is much more important than short code.
Just today, we refactored a 3 line regEx to about 100 lines of code which is longer but much more comprehensible.

 

I find them useful and powerful. Maybe I have a superpower...

The way I approach a problem with regular expressions is to break it down into smaller parts, then build on what I have. Let's say I wanted to write a morse code parser. I would probably first try to validate that the input is valid morse code, so I start with a few strings that are valid, and a few that are not. I try my test strings against the regex I think will validate, and see if it works. Then I try replacing the letter E. I make sure that works. Then the letter T... I make sure my "._" doesn't get turned into "ET". Then I build on it...

What I hate about regexs is that they are "write only". That is, if a piece of code has a regular expression in it, you pretty much have to treat it like a black box. If you have to change it to handle a different case (you want to handle digits in your morse code translator) , you more or less have to recreate the regex from scratch. The current version is helpful for hints, but that's about it.

People who can look at a complicated regex and tell you what it does and what cases pass/dont are worthy of great admiration.

Wayne's World.

 

I tend to avoid them. Not because I dont understand them(I believe I am above average there), but because I find them easy to lead me to dirty errors.

Usually there is a better alternative around the API of the language.

so give it a hard try but dont take it personally

 
 

I remember feeling the same way when I was learning Perl - I was tempted to skip over the chapter on regexes, thinking I wouldn't use them. I didn't give in to that temptation; I buckled down and learned them.

And I am so glad I did!

I tend not to use regexes in long-lived code, but I use them all the time on the command line for adhoc data processing. I use them with perl oneliners to extract data, ack to search codebases, among other things. On top of this, I use patterns in Vim (Vim's own little regex dialect).

My advice would be to learn the basics - regexes are a really powerful tool to have in your toolbox!

 

Hey, for better understanding and possibly more interesting learning process you can try such service like regexone.com/
This service helps you learn regular expressions with interesting tasks which you can solve by multiple ways :)

 

It was a problem for me too. Then, after practicing with them and using some GUI, now I have a decent knowledge about RegExp.

I don't know your preferred language, but I use this ruby-based web tool to try/practice (even if I don't use Ruby anymore on a daily basis like before):

rubular.com (it also offers a useful syntax cheat sheet at the bottom)

There are other similar GUIs written in other languages, but Rubular is pretty standard, I still use it today when I need to write some RegExp with Elixir :-)

 

Not alone for sure. I don’t see anything “regular” in regular expressions and getting one that works can be very tough indeed. And don’t even get me started on flags haha

 
 

I love to write regular expressions, unfortunately I don't have enough occasions to use them in web development aside from form validation...

 
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Android and AI developer