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on 29 August 2010
I've been using Regular Expressions in PHP for about 5 years. I then had to start using them in other languages and came across those oh so subtle differences (incomplete implementation, missing features, etc.) that exist in different environments.

Some of the tools I used day to day are by Jan Goyvaerts, one of the authors of this book.

So, I did some checking and found many positive reviews and opinions of the book.

Since having bought the book, I'd have to recommend this as THE way to learn about Regular Expressions. This book covers all the major Regular Expression libraries/engines on offer today.

I think those at the beginning of their experience with Regular Expressions will gain a lot from this book. It covers all the main languages/environments in ways that I've never seen before. The main asset of this book over others is the recipe approach. For each aspect of regular expressions there are many examples of using that aspect. In all the languages that the book covers. Every example covers every engine. All the time.

And for those who are a little (or a lot) further along their career paths, this book will provide that useful reference to all the aspects that you know you know, but really can't quite remember. Or, if you are like me, moving to incorporate another set of languages into your skill set, then having it spelt out in a clearly understandable way, with worked examples, is going to provide you with a head start in what can be a very complex area of programming.

It is very in-depth, but is written in such a way that a casual dip in will provide you with something useful.

I loved it.
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on 9 September 2012
When you read the book, you can definitelly tell that authors have experience when it comes to different flavors of the regular expressions. When you go over the different aspects of regular expressions you can track the differences between the standards thanks to clear specification what is allowed and what's not in particular regular expressions convention. This is quite useful in case you work with different languages like Java, Perl, Python, etc. There are always small differences that can make a headache when all you need is a simple expression. Book starts with nice introduction into tools that will provide you with heavy support when it comes to regular expressions. It's a shame, though, it doesn't cover comprehensivelly Linux and Mac OS X. Both systems, comparing to Windows, have much more to do with regular expressions - I think. Linux and Mac OS X are the systems where you have an easy, out of the box, access to CLI and variety of languages. In fact, this part looks a little bit like an advertisement for a products developed by the authors. That's fine in the sense you should not expect authors to advertise products created by the competition. But still, without this part the whole book would be still complete.

I always strive to get an access to simple, comprehensive, and well explained content related to development. That's why I pretty much like cookbook style books. This one is such an example. I have found few examples that really cought my attention and were a surprise for me - even though I work with regular expression on day to day basis. However, there are two major issues with the book that may be stoppers for novice developers not familiar with the topic:
- lack of examples for download - if they were available, this would be a great benefit for newcomers. At least some basic examples how to use regular expressions in different languages would highly improve the perception of the content.
- typografic convention used throught the book - in more complex cases it is not possible to copy-paste the regular expressions right into editor. This is due to special characters used in the book to make it easier to read expressions. This can be really painful when you want to check particular recipe.

In my opinion, if you are new to regular expressions, take a look at somethig different. Look out for some sort of introduction to regular expressions instead. On the other hand, if you are working with regular expressions on day to day basis, if you mix various languages during development, this book might be quite handy (even though it is Windows oriented). Great benefit of it is that you get covered eight different standars of regular expressions.

Let me say politically correct - I leave the choice for your consideration.
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2013
I have several Regular Expressions books; most of them are from O'reilly.
However the others are more focused on various unix/c environments.

Yet one cannot concentrate on operating system and ignore what they operate on. This book covers a wider environment that is encounter mostly in websites and occasionally in specific industries (C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, and VB.NET.) You learn that regular expressions even though indispensable are not necessarily uniform in syntax.

You can tell that this was not written in a laboratory or an ivory tower and the recipes are not just practical but the ones you will be challenged within the real world.

Do not tell anyone but I have fun reading this book in advance of a change to see the possibilities be for the questions arise.

While you are being mesmerized by regular expressions you are also being exposed to different environments; some you will be familiar with and others will make you say where have I been? To name a few various editors, the different languages themselves if you have not had a chance to experiment, each chapter tattle is a different concept or valid reason to use regular expressions.
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on 18 May 2017
Lot of useless and obvious examples. I stop reading at page #200.
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on 17 April 2016
Is very good, I learned, but I found another books where all this info is more simplified, the book is shorter and the examples are more graphical.But I recognise that the book is very complete.
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on 15 August 2012
I just wanted to point out that this book is good for someone who knows regex already. I wanted to learn regex but I was disappointed because this book doesn't teach you regex from scratch, it's only using it - once you know it (hmmm...). In my case the next book I bought - "Regular Expressions in 10 minutes" - appeared to be the perfect choice.
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on 22 October 2012
Very comprehensive and clear in everything it covers. I would have liked an appendix that listed the operators with simple examples. Even so this will be very useful.
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on 30 January 2011
Bought this book to get an insight into Regular Expressions.

There are many fine examples of how to use regex, but for someone new to the subject it does take a few skips back and forth to begin to understand why the solutions shown work. A step by step breakdown is not always shown.

Once I'd studied a few more web sites with basic examples of Regex the book began to come into it's own as a very useful reference tool.
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on 26 May 2015
Great reference book, large thick book an complete.
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on 25 June 2009
If you use regular expressions in your IDE or programs then this is a great book to get. It is easier to read than Friedl's Mastering Regular Expressions book and is packed with examples that you can use to base your own regexs on.
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