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Discussion on: Regex isn't that hard

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pinotattari profile image
Riccardo Bernardini

Am I the only one in the world who actually loves regular expressions? I learned them when I was studying about compilers and I always found them a very powerful tool, not necessarily for niche applications or very large amount of data.

I use them to build "tokenizers" or extract information from text files in just a couple of line of codes (in Ruby, mostly), for example (the first thing that came to my mind)

   $stdin.each do |line|
       next unless line =~ /^([a-z]+) *: *(.*)$/
       name=$1
       value=$2
    end 

The syntax is not great, I agree, it looks much like line noise. I always wondered about an alternative syntax, but everything I tried (not much, to be honest) was not a really huge improvement.

Oh, yes, and let's not forget search-and-replace-regexp in emacs... You can do wonderful stuff with a single command.

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dinmon profile image
Dinys Monvoisin Author

This should be a great job working on regular expression all day. But it's not my cup of tea. I would prefer a mixing Regex with some sort of development.

Oh, is Emacs your favourite editor then? I can't image how good it will be to customise a replace operation using Regex.