I have simplified parsing by identifying a few useful functions and placing them into a library called
LIB_parse. These functions (or a combination of them) provide everything needed for 99 percent of your parsing tasks. Whether or not you use the functions in
LIB_parse, I highly suggest that you standardize your parsing routines. Standardized parse functions make your scripts easier to read and faster to write—and perhaps just as importantly, when you limit your parsing options to a few simple solutions, you're forced to consider simpler approaches to parsing problems. The latest version of
LIB_parse is available from this book's website.