Sams Teach Yourself Regular Expressions in 10 Minutes

Sams Teach Yourself Regular Expressions in 10 Minutes

by Ben Forta

NOOK Book(eBook)

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RegEx is supported in all major development environments (for use in editing and working with code) and will thus appeal to anyone using these tools. In addition, every JavaScript developer should be using RegEx, but most don't as it has never been taught to them properly before. Developers using ASP, C#, ColdFusion, Java JSP, PHP, Perl, Python, and more can (and should) be using RegEx, and so every one of them is a potential reader too. The reader of this book will learn how to:

  • Match characters sets
  • Match repeating characters (using minimums and maximums if needed)
  • Match (or ignore) based on case
  • Build sub-expressions
  • Use all of the special characters
  • Work with excape sequences
  • Use POSIX classes to simplify complex expressions
  • Use back-references
  • Use look-behind operators

Sams Teach Yourself Regular Expressions in 10 Minutes is a tutorial book organized into a series of easy-to-follow 10-minute lessons. These well targeted lessons teach you in 10 minutes what other books might take hundreds of pages to cover. Instead of dwelling on syntax, terminology, and arcane examples and scenarios, this book takes a very hands-on approach to solving the needs of the majority of RegEx users who simply need to manipulate data.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780768689952
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 02/24/2004
Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 906 KB

About the Author

Ben Forta is Macromedia Inc.'s Senior Technical Evangelist and has more than two decades of experience in the computer industry in product development, support, training, and marketing. Ben is the author of the popular Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes (in this same series), ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit, its sequel Advanced ColdFusion Application Development, as well as books on JavaServer Pages, Windows development, mobile computing, and other topics. More than one-quarter million Ben Forta books have been printed in more than a dozen languages worldwide. He writes regular columns on Internet and application development topics and spends a considerable amount of time lecturing and speaking on application development worldwide. Ben welcomes your email at and invites you to visit his Web site at

Table of Contents


1. Introducing Regular Expressions.

Understanding the Need. How Regular Expressions Are Used. So What Exactly Is a Regular Expression? Using Regular Expressions. Before You Get Started. Summary.

2. Matching–Single Characters.

Matching Literal Text. Matching Any Characters. Matching Special Characters. Summary.

3. Matching Sets of Characters.

Matching One of Several Characters. Using Character Set Ranges. "Anything But" Matching. Summary.

4. Using Metacharacters.

Escaping Revisited. Matching Whitespace Characters. Matching Specific Character Types. Using POSIX Character Classes. Summary.

5. Repeating Matches.

How Many Matches? Using Intervals. Preventing Over Matching. Summary.

6. Position Matching.

Using Boundaries. Using Word Boundaries. Defining String Boundaries. Summary.

7. Using Subexpressions.

Understanding Subexpressions. Grouping with Subexpressions. Nesting Subexpressions. Summary.

8. Using Backreferences.

Understanding Backreferences. Matching with Backreferences. Performing Replace Operations. Summary.

9. Looking Ahead and Behind.

Introducing Lookaround. Looking Ahead. Looking Behind. Combining Lookahead and Lookbehind. Negating Lookaround. Summary.

10. Embedding Conditions.

Why Embed Conditions? Using Conditions. Summary.

Appendix A: Regular Expressions in Popular Applications and Languages.

grep. JavaScript. Macromedia ColdFusion. Macromedia Dreamweaver. Macromedia HomeSite (and ColdFusion Studio). Microsoft ASP. Microsoft ASP.NET. Microsoft C#. Microsoft .NET. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. MySQL. Perl. PHP. Sun Java.

Appendix B: Regular Expression Solutions to Common Problems.

North American Phone Numbers. U.S. ZIP Codes. Canadian Postal Codes. United Kingdom Postcodes. U.S. Social Security Numbers. IP Addresses. URLs. Complete URLs. Email Addresses. HTML Comments. JavaScript Comments. Credit Card Numbers. Summary.

Appendix C: The Regular Expression Tester.

Understanding the Regular Expression Tester Application. Obtaining a Copy of the Application.

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