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Mastering Regular Expressions Paperback – Jul 29 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (July 29 2002)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0596002890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002893
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 17.8 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 785 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #528,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Stinnett on April 29 2004
Format: Paperback
One of the hardest things, even for a seasoned programmer to grasp is regular expressions. They are powerful ways to search, manipulate and parse text fields and can often take several lines of code and shrink it down to a mystic, but powerful, expression.
If you have ever had to parse a file for information, you know that one of the things that still haunts any programmer nowadays is how to match text. In this day and age of Object Oriented Programming, Web Services, etc. the power of Regex holds firm.
Throughout this book the author takes great care not to overwhelm the reader with tons of code that has no meaning. The power of the book comes from the fact that if you read, and follow along, through the examples you will gain an understanding of how to do the techniques the author is referring to. At times it may seem like you have to read over a section twice, but you will realize that as you carry forth into the next section the material you read previously has turned into something you can now apply -- not just another example you can cut and paste and never really learn technique behind.
This is a powerful book, covering many, many pages. Noone should expect to sit down and read it cover to cover and be done with it. The benefit comes from reading, applying, and referencing. I find myself using it several times a week to lookup information on Regular Expressions and to held solidify knowledge of techniques that I have used in the past.
Whether you are a Windows, Unix, or even Macintosh person -- RegEx holds the key to text manipulation -- and this book holds the map you need to find that key.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon Wright on April 14 2004
Format: Paperback
Regular expressions always terrified me. I really got tired of looking for related examples on the 'net and hacking sample code so I decided I had to take the plunge.
I can say that the first chapter of this book is one of the most important chapters of any book I ever read. It leaves you breathless. Actually you'll probably want to read it again as the first time round you were so glued to the pages you didn't have time to try out the examples yourself.
In a book such as this layout and typographical conventions are of utmost importance and this book gets this spot on. An author who can cover this subject without simply using masses of examples and dry outlines of selected syntax arrangements deserves an acolade. This book goes further. It stimulates the juices and is a struggle to put down (to the detriment of your hands-on practice as mentioned above).
I was quite wary of exploring the territory of regular expressions and used to be very ambivalent towards Perl but this book helped to ease me in to a whole new world of script programming.
This book is not just for Perl geeks. PCREs (Perl Compatible Regular Expressions) are creeping into other programming and scripting languages now and this book will serve you no matter where you're coming from.
Get this book and get over your fear!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Nolley II on May 28 2003
Format: Paperback
Most computer programmers have heard of regular expressions, discussed in hushed tones and conjuring images of Unix gurus and their incomprehensible commands and godlike mastery of their systems, yet few actually know enough about regular expressions or how they work to do more than a simple word match using one, if that.
This book covers regular expressions from top to bottom in great and exhaustive detail, including the hows and whys of performance and supported features between the different engines that process them. Though geared mainly toward Perl, the examples and text will apply to nearly any system that provides support, from PHP to ASP to Python.
The text is fairly dense and is not exactly geared toward the novice programmer, though. I've had classes in Finite State Machines and still had to really apply my grey matter in a few spots to understand everything being discussed. However, the understanding the reader gains upon completion of the text is invaluable and will expand one's programming potential exponentially.
The one real lack of the book is a good overview and quick-reference card, but on the whole, the book is a good selection from the O'Reilly library and well worth the read of any serious programmer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason on April 26 2003
Format: Paperback
Regular Expressions ("regexes" for short), have been officially integrated into Java with the release of J2SE 1.4. While many Java developers are just discovering them, they have been a fixture in other languages and tools for quite some time. Regular expressions are powerful tools for performing all kinds of text processing, but they require no small amount of knowledge to use effectively and efficiently. This is where "Mastering Regular Expressions" comes to the rescue.
The book's nine chapters are categorized into three sections. The book first teaches the basics of regular expressions, crafting simple regexes, and the different features and flavors available in various regex packages. Next, the reader is given invaluable information about how the different types of regular expression engines work, as well as techniques for crafting practical and efficient expressions. The final section covers language specific issues in Perl, Java, and .NET.
The author does an outstanding job leading the reader from regex novice to master. The book is extremely easy to read and chock full of useful and relevant examples. The author offers up questions along the way designed to engage the reader to apply what he has learned. In-line references to other parts of the book containing information pertinent the particular topic being discussed are also very helpful.
Regular expressions are valuable tools that every developer should have in their toolbox. "Mastering Regular Expressions" is the definitive guide to the subject, and an outstanding resource that belongs on every programmer's bookshelf.
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