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on 10 December 2014
Exellent price, but early version. Got the job done.
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on 2 August 2014
Great book. A must have !!
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on 7 June 2000
This is a book about Regular Expressions 'for Perl and Other Tools' but really it's a book about Perl. Other tools are covered, but coverage is a bit woolly, so if you are reading it to get the low-down on Python's RegEx capabilities etc. this book won't get you far. I can't help that feel that if the book had just concentrated on Perl, rather than giving sketchy coverage of 'Other Tools', it could have been even better (and would have definitely got five starts). That said, the extra coverage (particularly the RegEx engine material) was very interesting and has turned out invaluable in practice.
If you are an absolute beginner to Perl or programming you will need another book(s) to get the most out of this one, but it is a gentle and thorough introduction that won't leave you scratching your head, which is a feat in itself considering the complexity of Regular Expressions.
This is an excellent book for getting the most out of Perl's RegEx capabilities, you will close the back cover feeling that you genuinely have Mastered the subject. It is without doubt the best book available on the subject, nicely written, with a friendly and un-patronising tone (grammatical errors aside), you can't really go wrong with this one.
There could have been some more useful real world examples/projects included, and the book could probably do with an overhaul (it was published in 97) to accommodate Perl 5.6 and other developments (O'Reilly are you listening?), but it is still the best out there.
If RegEx is a subject you need to get to grips with, this book is the solution.
3 people found this helpful
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on 5 June 1997
Friedl's book is a masterpiece on all levels - he makes a dry subject fascinating and exciting, coaxes and encourages you through the tough parts without nannying you, repeatedly emphasises important points without boring you, scatters tempting glimpses into later topics and crafts a book which is a delight to read.

In his preface, Friedl advises readers to avoid the temptation to leap to the chapter on their favourite tool, and instead read the book first as a story. The flow of his writing makes it hard to read it any other way. The only distraction is the desire to constantly check your code against that in the book (a desire which usually leads you to completely rewrite your inefficient code).

I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who wants to make their life easier. Must go now, as I still have 5 pages left before I get to the end!
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on 16 February 1997
After reading just 50 pages, I stopped and went back to look at some of my old awk code. I turned 32 lines of code into 3. I spend so much more time on the computer, my wife wants to sue the author for "causing a divorce"! She can't wait for me to finish the book.

I have always wanted to know more about regular expressions, and you have shown me the light. If you are a manager of a technical staff (like myself) and you want to stimulate creativity. buy this book for them. I have heard more "did you know you can do this" statments while passing workstations than I ever have.

Awesome! We all would like to thank Jeffery Friedl and OReilly and Associates so much.
One person found this helpful
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on 6 January 1999
Jeffrey Friedl is one of those rare authors who actually knows how to teach instead of simply trying to impress people with his knowledge, as so many authors try to do. From cover to cover, he takes a thorough, methodical approach to regular expressions and doesn't leave ANY stone unturned, makes NO ASSUMPTIONS about his readers' knowledge, and leaves NOTHING to chance. He is completely knowledgeable about regular expressions and genuine in his desire to pass this knowledge to his readers. Anyone new to regular expressions will have gotten their money's worth by the time they finish the second chapter. Now I just wish someone would pay Jeffrey Friedl to re-write half the computer books on my reference shelf! Authors take note! We don't care how smart you are - we measure you by your ability (and sincere desire) to pass this knowledge on to us! Jeffrey Friedl sets the standard with Mastering Regular Expressions.
One person found this helpful
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on 2 January 2001
"Regular Expressions" -- the term sounds fairly bland and unexciting, but it isn't. Using regexes can cut down the number of lines in your code. How many lines of code would it take you to program Perl to turn text like this:
_text_
into text like this:
<b>text</b>
Well, this book shows you how to do in a few lines of regexes. Jeff uses several different scripting languages: Perl, Tk, Python, etc. and explains how the regexes work in the languages. A great reference book. Buy this if you want to know everything about expressions.
6 people found this helpful
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on 4 November 1997
I had to convert a client's db-backed Web server from the Illustra Web Blade (where it was deadlocking) into the safe fast land of AOLserver Tcl. This involved writing a Perl program to parse the Web Blade syntax and then generate Tcl with the appropriate AOLserver API calls. I didn't have the BNF for the Web Blade language and didn't particularly feel like figuring it out. Reading _Mastering Regular Expressions_ enabled me to hack this out pretty painlessly in Perl in a day or two. Probably saved the client $10,000 in programmer time.
Jeffrey Friedl would say that you're supposed to read it from cover-to-cover but I think that you can benefit by pulling it out in emergencies.
Anyway, I had to pick four O'Reilly titles to give away every month from and this book was the first that came to my mind.
Why doesn't this book get a 10? Because in a world with _Anna Karenina_, I don't think any computer trade book deserves a 10! END
3 people found this helpful
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on 29 November 1999
I found this book a very useful aid to understanding regular expressions. However I do find that the author's lack of attention to detail in the grammar used in the text makes some explanations and examples hard to follow. Frequently the text branches into examples, where the clarity of the explanation of the regular expression being discussed is clouded by the implicit grammar used. This is particularly the case when the text discusses greedy and non greedy matches, the text implicity refers to objects or nouns from paragraphs or pages back with the words "the match" or "it", making the thread of explanation difficult to follow. However no other text covers the subject in anything like as much detail, this is THE book for regular expressions.
3 people found this helpful
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on 16 November 1997
...because even the hearty bond used by O'Reilly is already dog-eared and in danger of wearing out after 5 months of use! My prior review, in retrospect, was not nearly as enthuiastic as it should have been. Even after several cover-to-cover readings, you'll still find this as a must-have reference. Prepare to use your yellow highlighter a lot to mark the gems you'll find yourself using.
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