Regular expressions

You know what's really hard to do using object-oriented principles? Parsing strings to match arbitrary patterns, that's what. There have been a fair number of academic papers written in which object-oriented design is used to set up string parsing, but the result is always very verbose and hard to read, and they are not widely used in practice.

In the real world, string parsing in most programming languages is handled by regular expressions. These are not verbose, but, boy, are they ever hard to read, at least until you learn the syntax. Even though regular expressions are not object oriented, the Python regular expression library provides a few classes and objects that you can use to construct and run regular expressions.

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