Beginning Regular Expressions
This book introduces the various parts of the construction of a regular expression pattern, explains what they mean, and walks you through working examples showing how they work and why they do what they do. By working through the examples, you will build your understanding of how to make regular expressions do what you want them to do and avoid creating regular expressions that don’t meet your intentions.
Beginning chapters introduce regular expressions and show you a method you can use to break down a text manipulation problem into component parts so that you can make an intelligent choice about constructing a regular expression pattern that matches what you want it to match and avoids matching unwanted text.
To solve more complex problems, you should set out a problem definition and progressively refine it to express it in English in a way that corresponds to a regular expression pattern that does what you want it to do.
The second part of the book devotes a chapter to each of several technologies available on the Windows platform. You are shown how to use each tool or language with regular expressions (for example, how to do a lookahead in Perl or create a named variable in C#).
Regular expressions can be useful in applications such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org Writer, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Access. A chapter is devoted to each.
In addition, tools such as the little-known Windows findstr utility and the commercial PowerGrep tool each have a chapter showing how they can be used to solve text manipulation tasks that span multiple files.
The use of regular expressions in the MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases are also demonstrated.
XML is used increasingly to store textual data. The W3C XML Schema definition language can use regular expressions to automatically validate data in an XML document. W3C XML Schema has a chapter demonstrating how regular expressions can be used with the xs:pattern element.
Chapters 1 through 10 describe the component parts of regular expression patterns and show you what they do and how they can be used with a variety of text manipulation tools and languages. You should work through these chapters in order and build up your understanding of regular expressions.
The book then devotes a chapter to each of several text manipulation tools and programming languages. These chapters assume knowledge from Chapters 1 through 10, but you can dip into the tool-specific and language-specific chapters in any order you want.
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Chapter 1 Introduction to Regular Expressions
Chapter 2 Regular Expression Tools and an Approach to Using Them
Chapter 3 Simple Regular Expressions
Chapter 4 Metacharacters and Modifiers
Chapter 5 Character Classes
Chapter 6 String Line and Word Boundaries
Chapter 7 Parentheses in Regular Expressions
Chapter 8 Lookahead and Lookbehind
Chapter 16 Regular Expression Functionality in SQL Server 2000
Chapter 17 Using Regular Expressions with MySQL
Chapter 18 Regular Expressions and Microsoft Access
Chapter 20 Regular Expressions and VBScript
Chapter 21 Visual Basic NET and Regular Expressions
Chapter 22 C and Regular Expressions
Chapter 23 PHP and Regular Expressions
Chapter 9 Sensitivity and Specificity of Regular Expressions
Chapter 10 Documenting and Debugging Regular Expressions
Chapter 11 Regular Expressions in Microsoft Word
Chapter 12 Regular Expressions in StarOfficeOpenOffice org Writer
Chapter 13 Regular Expressions Using findstr
Chapter 14 PowerGREP
Chapter 15 Wildcards in Microsoft Excel
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alphabetic character argument attempts to match chapter character sequence check box Click the Find command line contains create database datatype displayString document example Find All button findstr following code following pattern inputString inspect the results JScript literal character lookahead lookbehind lowercase match the character match the pattern matches the position matches zero metacharacter matches method Microsoft Word myMatch myPattern myRegExp myRegExp.Pattern MySQL myTestString negated character class newline character numeric digits occurrences OpenOffice.org Writer option parentheses pattern matches period character Perl POSIX PowerGREP problem definition quantifier query RegExp RegExp object regular expression engine regular expression pattern Replace dialog box Run the code sequence of characters shown in Figure space character specified SQL Server Star Training Company supported syntax test file test string test text testString text box Transact-SQL TryItOut Type the following Unicode variable VBScript W3C XML Schema want to match whitespace character wildcards XMLSpy