Over the past decade, regular expressions have experienced a remarkable rise in popularity.
Today, all the popular programming languages include a powerful regular expression
library, or even have regular expression support built right into the language.
Many developers have taken advantage of these regular expression features to provide
the users of their applications the ability to search or filter through their data using a
regular expression. Regular expressions are everywhere.
Many books have been published to ride the wave of regular expression adoption. Most
do a good job of explaining the regular expression syntax along with some examples
and a reference. But there aren’t any books that present solutions based on regular
expressions to a wide range of real-world practical problems dealing with text on a
computer and in a range of Internet applications. We, Steve and Jan, decided to fill that
need with this book.
We particularly wanted to show how you can use regular expressions in situations
where people with limited regular expression experience would say it can’t be done, or
where software purists would say a regular expression isn’t the right tool for the job.
Because regular expressions are everywhere these days, they are often a readily available
tool that can be used by end users, without the need to involve a team of programmers.
Even programmers can often save time by using a few regular expressions for information
retrieval and alteration tasks that would take hours or days to code in procedural
code, or that would otherwise require a third-party library that needs prior review and
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