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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 19, 2010
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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on December 7, 2003
If you've ever picked up a copy of O'Reilly's Mastering Regular Expressions, then you'll feel right at home with this book. The Pocket Reference is all about usability, and this book is no exception. If you've never seen Mastering Regular Expressions, then this book takes the most important aspects of that book into about 80 pages.
This book is basically divided into various languages (Perl, C, Java, C#) with examples on how to use regular expressions with each language. In addition to discussing the built-in language specific functions that you should use, there is discussion on the differences and nuances to using regular expressions in the specific language.
If you need a desktop quick reference on regular expressions, then I would highly recommend this book. I have it next to my desk with the .NET section bookmarked. If you need something with a little more depth and explanation, then I would suggest picking up a copy of O'Reilly's Mastering Regular Expressions.
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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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on September 9, 2003
Nice compendium, flip thru this before tackling Friedl's Reg Ex book. Pocket refs're 7" high, <100 pages, so there's lots that could be added, some things to cut out.
- hilite significant diffs betw perl 5.8 & other regex modules e.g. MatchEvaluator delegates, or PHP's /U modifier. In particular, compare perl, java.util.regex & C#.
- either add emacs, or cut out vi. If you keep vi, hilite diffs betw vim & vi.
- mention performance issues (grouping, lookbehinds, stuff like that)
- mention deprecated modules to avoid: python regex, PHP's ereg_ functions
Aside from that, it's nice to have a portable summary of perl, python, C#, java and PHP, along with refs to Friedl's book.
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on September 30, 2003
I've been programming with perl for seven years. I've always found it cumbersome trying to remember everything that regular expressions have to offer. Since I have purchased Regular Expression Pocket Reference I no longer have this problem. This book has been a tremendous help to me in utilizing the true power of regular expressions.
The explanations and examples are exceptionally clear and easy to comprehend. The book has improved my programming capabilities while making my job easier. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is required to use regular expressions or to the newbie who wants to learn how.
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on July 31, 2012
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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on November 7, 2003
I totally love this little book! I love how the author cross-references with the Regular Expressions book, it makes getting into the gory details much easier.
This book is perfect for people like me who are always forgetting the little details about regular expressions.
If you program in Perl, PHP, Python, C or Java, I can't recommend this book enough! This book will definitely pay for itself quickly.
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on September 16, 2003
I found this guide very useful. I learned a whole slew of new expressions to incorporate into my everyday vocabulary. To think, I'd been wasting my time saying things like, "Wicked cool!".
Stubblebine gives it to you in an easy-to-understand format. If he had other books I'd buy them (plus, I understand from some women in the geek community that he's a total babe!). Two thumbs up!
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on February 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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