Introducing Regular Expressions
Unraveling regular expressions, step-by-step
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2012
Pages: 154

If you’re a programmer new to regular expressions, this easy-to-follow guide is a great place to start. You’ll learn the fundamentals step-by-step with the help of numerous examples, discovering first-hand how to match, extract, and transform text by matching specific words, characters, and patterns.

Regular expressions are an essential part of a programmer’s toolkit, available in various Unix utlilities as well as programming languages such as Perl, Java, JavaScript, and C#. When you’ve finished this book, you’ll be familiar with the most commonly used syntax in regular expressions, and you’ll understand how using them will save you considerable time.

  • Discover what regular expressions are and how they work
  • Learn many of the differences between regular expressions used with command-line tools and in various programming languages
  • Apply simple methods for finding patterns in text, including digits, letters, Unicode characters, and string literals
  • Learn how to use zero-width assertions and lookarounds
  • Work with groups, backreferences, character classes, and quantifiers
  • Use regular expressions to mark up plain text with HTML5
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oreillyIntroducing Regular Expressions
 
4.1

(based on 7 reviews)

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    (1)

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    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (7)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Accurate (5)
  • Well-written (5)
  • Concise (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (7)
    • Student (7)
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      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 7 customers

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Better than Mastering Regular Expression

    By rogerx

    from North Pole, Alaska

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • None Really

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • For Everything
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

    As previously stated, Mastering Regular Expressions book primarily deals with Perl. Those not using Perl, can easily skip up to 90% of Mastering Regular Expressions book from what I hear and is more book then anybody would need for working with basic regex. This small book well instructs users Regular Expressions usage for several languages and with multiple tools, including Perl and command line and/or shell usage. As I primarily use Bash, I easily ignored the small amount of Perl used and focused on regex overall. I found this book extremely enlightening, with only one unusual over-site, any reference to the "man grep" within the Grep package or "man 7 regex" within your System's man-pages package. If I'm correct, I'd recommend users first reading the very brief manual pages first. I notified the author of this, and if this book goes for a second or more publishings, I'm sure he'll provide the reference. A worthy book for your library.

    The book contains many simple unique examples, for thoroughly teaching a person wanting to learn, and not be bored by repetitive, confusing examples. The book, also, includes many different tools, versus just one tool for demonstrating regex. Most tools mentioned are cross-platform. The book focuses on the majority, rather then a select few Perl or Windows lovers. Need I say more?

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    The best intro into regular expressions

    By Zoltan Varju

    from Szikszo, Hungary

    About Me Computational linguist

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

    This title simply does what its title suggests; it introduces novices into regular expressions. The book is short, but informative, and it tries to be as language independent as possible.

    Expect short, pragmatic chapters on very basic topics. The explanations are pretty clear and easy to follow. The accompanying github repo contains all the files you need to follow the examples - and you should download those files and try out the online tools and unix utilities. This title is using a typical learning by doing approach, you won't get much theory on the background.

    Each chapter ends with a technical notes section in which you can find information about the tools used in the chapter. The Appendix and the Regular Expression Glossary are pretty good for further references.

    I'm sure a novice becomes a well-grounded beginner after working through this book.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Grab it, read it, learn it

    By mko

    from Poland

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

      Basically, if you have never ever used regular expressions before, this book is for you. It will guide you through the most basic and most common patterns used within regular expressions world. There are lots of examples and lots of tools presented inside the book.

      It goes like this. Michael starts with setting reader a high target by introducing complex example just at the beginning. But this is just a means of setting finish line. Throughout the book he will show you how to reach this target by starting from most common, very basic examples and then by gradually increasing the complexity of presented expressions.

      There are few tools presented that can make your life easier. In various flavors (web based, standalone) for various systems (Windows, Linux, Mac). This is a benefit, because by trying all of them (you will be forced to do it if you want to follow examples) you will be able to find one that fits you best.

      One drawback of the book. There are no clear statements which expressions work for particular syntax (e.g. Perl, Java, Ruby, etc.). This may be a little stopper if you try given expression in slightly different environment than one presented in a book.

      If you are looking for comprehensive list of various expressions in the context of various syntaxes take a look here instead: Regular Expressions Cookbook by Jan Goyvaerts and Steven Levithan.

       
      4.0

      Nice introductory book

      By Germán

      from Buenos Aires, Argentina

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

        I did not have any previous background in regular expressions, so the book committed its purpose really well. It is an introductory course, using several tools during the journey. Perhaps, some additional examples like regexp basic recipes could be added to make it a five stars book.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Satisfied with the content of the book

        By d m

        from India

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Missing words sentences

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

        In this book, the author first shows the example and then explains the examples which helps us understand the regular expressions very well. The author also explained some of the pitfalls of blindly using regular expressions, which I think is really helpful. The author also provided detailed and clear explanation of every part of the regular expression syntax he used in the book. The book includes explanations of several useful regular expression tools both online and offline and how each and every regular expression can be used in several editors with clear screenshots.

        If you are new to regular expressions who want to learn the concepts of regular expressions, you can go for this book.

        As a side note, there are some missing words which I think is not a big deal because you can understand the concepts by following the examples, and these missing words doesn't matter.

        Disclaimer: I got the review copy of this book from Oreilly as part of the Oreilly blogger review program.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Delivers what it promises

        By teak

        from Jyväskylä, Finland

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

        • Short

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

        The title says it all, this is an introductory level book on Regular expressions. The book explains what regular expressions are, where one can use them and basics on what can be done with them.

        The book delivers precisely what the title and description promises. On the pure regexp side the book didn't provide more than Learning Perl did (my old edition of the book lacked on unicode stuff, but newer edition should have it). But I think that the book would still be a good buy for novices in regexp using other programming languages. The book had multiple examples on multiple different software besides Perl.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A good read

        By datopdog

        from Johannesburg, RSA

        About Me Developer, Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Some basic grammer errors

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introducing Regular Expressions:

        This book introduces the concepts of regular expressions quite well, and uses various tools available to demonstrate the concepts.

        Its a great read for users with no or limited knowledge of regular expressions, experienced user will also benefit from the array of tools introduced in the book

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