Sebastopol, CA--Regular expressions are an extremely powerful tool for manipulating text and data. They've spread like wildfire in recent years; regular expressions are now offered as standard features in Perl, Java, VB.NET, and C# (and any language using the .NET Framework). If you don't use them yet, O'Reilly's new edition of Mastering Regular Expressions (Friedl, $39.95) might be well worth a look.
"When the first edition of 'Mastering Regular Expressions' came out, it became an instant hit," says O'Reilly editor Andy Oram. "The Perl community (where regular expressions had taken hold most strongly at the time) treated Friedl as a hero. His talk at the first O'Reilly Perl Conference filled a large hall right up to the back doors. We sold out of all copies of his book at the conference. Not only Friedl's book but regular expressions themselves have marched to commanding heights that no other language can point to. Originally marginal outside of Perl and a few old Unix tools, regular expressions now appear as standard offerings in virtually every modern language--including the .NET framework, Java, Python, and PHP--and turn up as conveniences in major utilities such as the Apache web server, the MySQL database engine, and the Postfix and Exim mail transfer agents."
In spite of their wide availability, flexibility, and unparalleled power, regular expressions are frequently underutilized. Regular expressions allow you to code complex and subtle text processing that you never imagined could be automated.
Jeffrey Friedl's "Mastering Regular Expressions" shows exactly how to use a regular expression to describe and parse text. Once you've mastered regular expressions, they'll become an invaluable part of your toolkit. You'll wonder how you ever got by without them. If you already use regular expressions, you'll appreciate Friedl's unprecedented detail and breadth of coverage.
What critics said about the first edition:
"There's no better resource than Jeffrey Friedl's 'Mastering Regular Expressions'--a great source of sample expressions and detailed explanations of how regular expressions work their magic."
--Jason Snell, MacWorld
"This book is important because regex is so intimidating, and Friedl makes it much easier to understand. Many programmers don't use the regex available in their development tools. Chances are, regex will save you a lot of time when you find yourself stuck with a pile of someone else's source code that you need to maintain. If you're just getting started with regex, this book will save you a lot of time (and grief). If you are already using regex, you will extend your ability and understanding."
--Dr. Dobbs Journal
"'Mastering Regular Expressions' is a superior book. Friedl has produced a current, well-written, precise addition to the O'Reilly repertoire, with a volume completely devoted to text and data manipulation...I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone involved with regular expression manipulation."
--Sys Admin Magazine
"A stupendous tour de force of all aspects of pattern matching. With an impeccable eye to the tiniest significant detail, the author covers topics ranging from the subtle differences among NFA, DFA, and POSIX NFA matching behaviors to the practical distinctions of how varying versions of grep, sed, awk, emacs, tcl, Python, and Perl behave. The author at all times connects theory to practical application of this knowledge in daily programming."
What's New with Regular Expressions, an online article by the author
Andy Oram's article, Marshall McLuhan vs. Marshalling Regular Expressions
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