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Regular Expression Pocket Reference: Regular Expressions for Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python, C, Java and .NET [Paperback]

Tony Stubblebine
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 28 2007 0596514271 978-0596514273 Second Edition

This handy little book offers programmers a complete overview of the syntax and semantics of regular expressions that are at the heart of every text-processing application. Ideal as a quick reference, Regular Expression Pocket Reference covers the regular expression APIs for Perl 5.8, Ruby (including some upcoming 1.9 features), Java, PHP, .NET and C#, Python, vi, JavaScript, and the PCRE regular expression libraries.

This concise and easy-to-use reference puts a very powerful tool for manipulating text and data right at your fingertips. Composed of a mixture of symbols and text, regular expressions can be an outlet for creativity, for brilliant programming, and for the elegant solution. Regular Expression Pocket Reference offers an introduction to regular expressions, pattern matching, metacharacters, modes and constructs, and then provides separate sections for each of the language APIs, with complete regex listings including:

  • Supported metacharacters for each language API
  • Regular expression classes and interfaces for Ruby, Java, .NET, and C#
  • Regular expression operators for Perl 5.8
  • Regular expression module objects and functions for Python
  • Pattern-matching functions for PHP and the vi editor
  • Pattern-matching methods and objects for JavaScript
  • Unicode Support for each of the languages
With plenty of examples and other resources, Regular Expression Pocket Reference summarizes the complex rules for performing this critical text-processing function, and presents this often-confusing topic in a friendly and well-organized format. This guide makes an ideal on-the-job companion.

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Book Description

Regular Expressions for Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python, C, Java, and .NET

About the Author

Tony Stubblebine is an Internet consultant, entrepreneur, and blogger. He's also the author of Regular Expression Pocket Reference, former Engineering Director for and former Engineering Lead for O'Reilly Media. He posts regular updates to his blog, StubbleBlog and regularly releases small websites such as Gem Jack, a repository of documentation for Ruby gems, Rate My Dance Moves, a YouTube mashup, and I Heart Quotes, the Unix fortune program re-imagined for the web.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Regular Expression Pocket Reference Nov. 20 2013
By Joel Andrews TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Regular Expression Pocket Reference -- I use this as a quick look up guide for regular expressions. A nice companion to the full sized book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for every developer! July 31 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For someone who develops in multiple languages this book is extremely beneficial. You can use this book for a quick and thorough
reference and it covers many platforms. However, this book is not for beginners. If you are new to regex, then this book is not for you!.

One minor drawback I would say is that because this book tries to cover too many platforms and as such it doesn't go into details on each language,
but otherwise, this book is a great reference book for regex.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many implementations covered Dec 15 2003
I love this series of books (the C#, C++ and STL pocket refs are my favorite), but the Regular Expression pocket ref tries to cover too many implementations. You only get about 10 pages for each language so, unless you use multiple implementations (e.g. C#/.NET, Perl, JavaScript, etc), this just isn't good value for money. I returned my copy and printed out a quick reference from one of the many Internet programming sites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Express yourself Nov. 19 2010
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Real programmers are regularly expressive. The concept is as important to programming languages and utilities as pointers are to "c". You can work your way around regular expression but you will never be great until you master them.

An advantage and a disadvantage is that instead of concentrating on UNIX we get sidetracked on many secondary and transitory environments. The advantage is you can talk regular expressions with everyone. The disadvantage is I prefer concentration on AIX, HP/UX, SCO, SUN and other real programming environments; they could show all the different commands and integrated regular expressions.

Definition: Regular expressions are a language used for parsing and manipulating text. They are often used to perform complex search-and-replace operations and to validate the text data is Well-formed.

I use a lot of vi and sed so regular expression is regularly used.

Bottom line is there are better books for specific environments. This one crosses over disciplines and you never know with whom you may need to converse.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Implementations? May 28 2004
By A Customer
Based on the .NET chapter it would appear that the author tackled too many implementations. It looked like all of the .NET stuff came from the SDK, sans discussion & examples.
Developers worrying about an expression to be executed on several different platforms might find this type of overview helpful. How many folks do that though?
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Regex Reference March 10 2004
I recommend getting this book
if you feel comfortable with regular expressions
and regular expressions are important to you.
As one expects from an O'Reilly Pocket Reference,
this book is compact but still covers a lot of ground.
For a whole bunch of applications, it provides:
* tables of various groupings of regex metacharacters,
summarizing their syntax and meaning;
* summaries of other regex related features,
but not in tabular form;
* examples;
* a few references in case you need to go deeper.
The information is concise and well chosen.
This is a reference,
but in applications where you use regular expressions less,
it may also be useful for expanding your knowledge significantly.
It was for me.
If you wish, take a look at my
more detailed review on Oakland Perl Mongers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Regarding the DavidPerry Review Feb. 24 2004
Nice cut and paste of the Ann Coulter book review. I particularly liked the "Menckenesque invective" comment which made me think that I had remembered reading it somewhere before. Anyway, I just wanted the readers of these reviews to know not to trust that one. Some people actually use these reviews to make a choice and avoid wasting money.
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