The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions cover page

The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions

The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions

Finding Patterns in Everyday Text

The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions Edit
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About the Book

This is a spinoff of a chapter from the Bastards Book of Ruby. Regular expressions are an essential and useful skill even outside of programming. They can serve not only as a handy tool for anyone whose work involves writing or data, but also act as a gateway into more interesting and complex kinds of programming. While you're waiting for me to finish this experiment in self-publishing, you can get a good start by reading the massive chapter on regular expressions in the BBoR

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Table of Contents

  • Regular Expressions are for Everyone
  • FAQ
  • Release notes & changelog
  • Getting Started
  • Finding a proper text editor
  • Why a dedicated text editor?
  • Windows text editors
  • Mac Text Editors
  • Sublime Text
  • Online regex testing sites
  • A better Find-and-Replace
  • How to find and replace
  • The limitations of Find-and-Replace
  • There’s more than find-and-replace
  • Your first regex
  • Hello, word boundaries
  • Word boundaries
  • Escape with backslash
  • Regex Fundamentals
  • Removing emptiness
  • The newline character
  • Viewing invisible characters
  • Match one-or-more with the plus sign
  • The plus operator
  • Backslash-s
  • Match zero-or-more with the star sign
  • The star sign
  • Specific and limited repetition
  • Curly braces
  • Curly braces, maximum and no-limit matching
  • Cleaning messily-spaced data
  • Anchors: A way to trim emptiness
  • The caret as starting anchor
  • The dollar sign as the ending anchor
  • Escaping special characters
  • Matching any letter, any number
  • The numeric character class
  • Word characters
  • Bracketed character classes
  • Matching ranges of characters with brackets and hyphens
  • All the characters with dot
  • Negative character sets
  • Negative character sets
  • Capture, Reuse
  • Parentheses for precedence
  • Parentheses for captured groups
  • Correcting dates with capturing groups
  • Using parentheses without capturing
  • Optionality and alternation
  • Alternation with the pipe character
  • Optionality with the question mark
  • Laziness and greediness
  • Greediness
  • Laziness
  • Lookarounds
  • Positive lookahead
  • Negative lookahead
  • Positive lookbehind
  • Negative lookbehind
  • The importance of zero-width (TODO)
  • Regexes in Real Life
  • Why learn Excel?
  • The limits of Excel (todo)
  • Delimitation
  • Mixed commas and other delimiters
  • Dealing with text charts (todo)
  • Completely unstructured text (todo)
  • Moving in and out and into Excel
  • From Data to HTML (TODO)
  • Simple HTML tricks
  • Example Domain
  • Tabular data to HTML tables
  • Mocking full web pages from data
  • Visualizations
  • The Exercises
  • Data Cleaning with the Stars
  • Normalized alphabetical titles
  • Make your own delimiters
  • Finding needles in haystacks (TODO)
  • Shakespeare’s longest word
  • Changing phone format (TODO)
  • Telephone game
  • Ordering names and dates (TODO)
  • Year, months, days
  • Names
  • Preparing for a spreadsheet
  • Dating, Associated Press Style (TODO)
  • Scenario
  • The AP Date format
  • Real-world considerations
  • The limits of regex
  • Sorting a police blotter
  • Sloppy copy-and-paste
  • Start loose and simple
  • Conclusion
  • Converting XML to tab-delimited data
  • The payments XML
  • The pattern
  • Add more delimitation
  • Cleaning up Microsoft Word HTML (TODO)
  • Switching visualizations (TODO)
  • A visualization in Excel
  • From Excel to Google Static Chart
  • From Google Static Charts to Google Interactive Charts
  • Cleaning up OCR Text (TODO)
  • Scenario
  • Cheat Sheet
  • Moving forward
  • Additional references and resources

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