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Mastering Regular Expressions [Paperback]

Jeffrey E.F. Friedl
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Aug 2006 0596528124 978-0596528126 3

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

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (18 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596528124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596528126
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.8 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Indispensable for text processing wizards and regex newcomers alike." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, February 2007 "In addition to the sheer volume of information, one thing that sets this book apart is that the author uses "real-world" rather than contrived examples. A few of the examples were situations that I have yet to come across, but many were either "been there, done that" or things that I had to go out and try." - James Mohr, Linux Magazine, April 2007

Book Description

Understand Your Data and Be More Productive

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By jerome
Format:Kindle Edition
al the examples in tables were cut ou
so one couldn't figure out what the sentence actually meant making all practical examples useless and all information presented in tables equally useless

quickly browsed and immediately requested a refund when i noticed this
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference. 9 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am drawn to report on a book I have owned for many years, because it seems to have fewer stars here than it deserves. I think this is because of problems some folks have had with electronic formats. I do see their point, but this is unfair to the editorial content.

So. The following applies to the *paperback* book.

In practice Freidl's book is primarily a programmer's reference. But like the best references (eg the C Programming Language) is formatted as a tutorial.

Introductory chapters establish a need for regexs, giving a brief history and presenting some straightforward use cases.

Thereafter Mr Freidl wades deeper into the waters of obscurity, and we are soon dealing with the minutiae of mode modifiers and greedy versus lazy quantifiers.

Some of this stuff goes rather deeper than I have ever needed to go. For example, opening the book at random to page 245, I read the subheadings 'Pre-check of required character/substring optimization' and 'Length-cognizance optimization'. Not of immediate use to me, but I am glad to know where I can find this if ever (heaven forfend) the performance of my application depends on the construction of regexs.

The last chapters of the book deal with the respective peculiarities and APIs of the regex implementations of Perl, Java, .NET and PHP. This last bit feels a little out of date - an updated edition would, I suppose, highlight JavaScript and other languages that have become important or gained regex implementations since the 2006 edition, eg C++ 11 and even Delphi. Meanwhile Perl's star has faded somewhat since the book was last revised; perhaps it should no longer be the 'default' language of example?

But this is nit-picking. I dare say it is possible to resolve any regex difficulty with a little applied Googling; but to have this book on your shelf is to know that you have an articulate, clear and complete explanation close to hand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality print-on-demand publication 22 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
O'Reilly appears to have abandoned traditional offset printing and is now using a very poor-quality print-on-demand system. The result is that the pages look like fairly bad photocopies which are hard to read.

I'll be avoiding all O'Reilly manuals from now on (unless I can track down one of the older properly printed ones), which is a pity because the content is well-written. The poor print quality does a great disservice to the author.
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