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LIS651 lecture 4 regular expressions : 

LIS651 lecture 4 regular expressions Thomas Krichel 2007-04-22

remember DOS?: 

remember DOS? DOS had the * character as a wildcard. If you said DIR *.EXE It would list all the files ending with .EXE Thus the * wildcard would mean “all characters except the dot” Similarly, you could say DEL *.* to delete all your files

a regular expression: 

a regular expression a regular expressions nothing but a fancy wildcard. There are various flavors of regular expressions. The most widely used are Perl regular expressions. They are fairly complicated. We study POSIX regular expressions instead.

POSIX regular expressions: 

POSIX regular expressions They themselves come in two flavors old-style extended We study extended here aka POSIX 1003.2. POSIX regular expressions are accepted by both PHP and mySQL. Details are to follow.

pattern: 

pattern The regular expression describes a pattern of characters. Patters are common in other circumstances. Query: ‘Krichel Thomas’ in Google Query: ‘"Thomas Krichel"’ in Google Dates are of the form yyyy-mm-dd.

pattern matching: 

pattern matching We say that a regular expression matches the string if an instance of the pattern described by the regular expression can be found in the string. If we say “matches in the string” may make it a little more clearer. Sometimes people also say that the string matches the regular expression. I am confused.

metacharacters: 

metacharacters Instead of just giving the star * special meaning, in a regular expression all the following have special meaning \ ^ $ . [ ] * + ? { } () | Collectively, these characters are knows as metacharacters. They don't stand for themselves but they mean something else. For example DEL *.EXE does not mean: delete the file "*.EXE". It means delete anything ending with .EXE.

metacharacters: 

metacharacters We are somehow already familiar with metacharacters. In XML < means start of an element. To use < literally, you have to use &lt; In PHP the "\n" does not mean backslash and then n. It means the newline character.

simple regular expressions: 

simple regular expressions Characters that are not metacharacters just simply mean themselves ‘good’ does not match in ‘Good Beer’ ‘d B’ matches in ‘Good Beer’ ‘dB’ does not match in ‘Good Beer’ ‘Beer ’ does not match in ‘Good Beer’ If there are several matches, the pattern will match at the first occurrence ‘o’ matches in ‘Good Beer’

the backslash \ quote: 

the backslash \ quote If you want to match a metacharacter in the string, you have to quote it with the backslash ‘a 6+ pack’ does not match in ‘a 6+ pack’ ‘a 6\+ pack’ does match in ‘a 6+ pack’ ‘\’ does not match in ‘a \ against boozing’ ‘\\’ does match in ‘a \ against boozing’

other characters to be quoted: 

other characters to be quoted Certain non-metacharacters also need to be quoted. These include some of the usual suspects \n the newline \r the carriage return \t the tabulation character But this quoting occurs by virtue of PHP, it is not part of the regular expression. Remember Sandford’s law.

anchor metacharacters ^ and $: 

anchor metacharacters ^ and $ ^ matches at the beginning of the string. $ matches at the end of the string. ‘keeper’ matches in ‘beerkeeper’ ‘keeper$’ matches in ‘beerkeeper’ ‘^keeper’ does not match in ‘beerkeeper’ ‘^$’ matches in ‘’ Note that in a double quoted-string an expression starting with $ will be replaced by the variable's string value (or nothing if the variable has not been set).

character classes: 

character classes We can define a character class by grouping a list of characters between [ and ] ‘b[ie]er’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘b[ie]er’ matches in ‘bier’ ‘[Bb][ie]er’ matches in ‘Bier’ Within a class, metacharacters need not be escaped. In the class only -, ] and ^ are metacharacters. Example ‘[{}?*]’ matches in ‘Want a beer? Yes!’

- in the character class: 

- in the character class Within a character class, the dash - becomes a metacharacter. You can use to give a range, according to the sequence of characters in the character set you are using. It’s usually alphabetic ‘be[a-e]r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘be[a-e]r’ matches in ‘becr’ ‘be[a-e]r’ does not match in ‘befr’ If the dash - is the last character in the class, it is treated like an ordinary character.

] in the character class: 

] in the character class ] gives you the end of the class. But if you put it first, it is treated like an ordinary character, because having it there otherwise would create an empty class, and that would make no sense. ‘be[],]r’ matches in ‘be]r’ ‘[][][][]’ matches in ‘be[]r’ ‘[][][][]’ matches in ‘be][r’ ‘[][] [][]’ dose not match in ‘be][r’

^ in the character class: 

^ in the character class If the caret ^ appears as the first element in the class, it negates the characters mentioned. ‘be[^i]r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘b[^ie]er’ does not match in ‘bier’ ‘be[^a-e]r’ does match in ‘befr’ ‘be[e^]r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘beer[^6-9] matches ‘beer0’ to ‘beer5’ Otherwise, it is an ordinary character.

standard character classes: 

standard character classes The following predefined classes exist [:alnum:] any alphanumeric characters [:digit:] any digits [:punct:] any punctuation characters [:alpha:] any alphabetic characters (letters) [:graph:] any graphic characters [:space:] any space character (blank and \n, \r) [:blank:] any blank character (space and tab) [:lower:] any lowercase character

standard character classes: 

standard character classes [:upper:] any uppercase character [:cntrl:] any control character [:print:] any printable character [:xdigit:] any character for a hex number They are locale and operating system dependent. With this discussion we leave character classes.

the period . metacharacter: 

the period . metacharacter The period matches any character bar the newline \n. The reason why the \n is not counted is historic. In olden days matching was done line by line, because the computer could not hold as much memory. ‘.’ does not match in ‘’ ‘^.$’ does not match in "\n" ‘^.$ matches in ‘a’

basic quantification operators: 

basic quantification operators * means zero or more times what precedes it. + means one or more times what precedes it. ? means zero or one time what precedes it. The shortest preceding expression is used. Here it is a single character or a group. be+r matches in ‘beeer’ be+r does not match in ‘bebe’

quantification by simple enumeration: 

quantification by simple enumeration We can use {times} to give a number of times a preceding expression is repeated. times must be positive integer. ‘be{3}r’ matches in ‘beeer’ ‘be{2}r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘be{1}r’ does not matches ‘beer’ ‘be{1,3}r’ does not matches in ‘beeeer’

quantification by double enumeration: 

quantification by double enumeration We can use {min,max} to give a minimum min and a maximum max. min and max are positive integers. ‘be{1,3}r’ matches in ‘ber’ ‘be{1,3}r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘be{1,3}r’ matches in ‘beeer’ ‘be{1,3}r’ does not matches in ‘beeeer’

quantification by open enumeration: 

quantification by open enumeration We can use {,max} or {min,} to give a minimum min and a maximum max without giving a maximum or minimum, respectively. min and max are positive integers. ‘be{3,}r’ matches in ‘beeeeeeer’ ‘be{,3}r’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘be{3,}r’ matches in ‘beeer’ ‘be{,3}r’ does not matches in ‘beeeer’

grouping: 

grouping ( and ) enclose a group. Groups can be used with enumerations and repetition operators. Examples (beer )+ matches in ‘beer beer beer’ (beer[?!])+ matches in ‘beer? beer! beer!’ (beer[?!])+ does not match in ‘beer beer’ (beer[?!])+ matches in ‘wine? beer! beer!’ (beer[?!])+ matches in ‘beer? beer! beer! (beer[?!]+){3} matches in ‘beer? beer! beer!?’

back references: 

back references Once expression have been grouped \1, \2, \3 etc can be used to refer to the first, second, third, etc, instance found. (..)\1 matches in ‘bebe’ (..)\1 does not match in ‘beer’ (.e)(e.)\2\1 matches in ‘beererbe’ Groups can be nested, and there is a way to count the back references there. But I have never needed to know how.

alternative operator |: 

alternative operator | This acts like an or ‘beer|wine’ matches in ‘beer’ ‘beer|wine’ matches in ‘wine’ Alternatives are performed last, i.e. they take the component alternative as large as they can.

grouping with alternatives: 

grouping with alternatives Groups are useful with alternatives ‘(beer|wine) (glass|)’ matches in ‘beer glass’ ‘(beer|wine) (glass|)’ matches in ‘wine glass’ ‘(beer|wine) (glass|)’ matches in ‘beer ’ ‘(beer|wine) (glass|)’ matches in ‘wine ’ ‘(beer|wine) (glass(es|)|)’ matches in ‘beer glasses’

examples: 

examples US zip code ^[0-9]{5}(-[0-9]{4})?$ something like a current date in ISO form ^(20[0-9]{2})-(0[1-9]|1[0-2])-([12][0-9]|3[01])$ Something like a Palmer School course code (DIS[89])|(LIS[5-9]))[0-9]{2} Something like an XML tag </*[:alpha:]+ */*>

not using posix regular expressions: 

not using posix regular expressions Do not use regular expressions when you want to accomplish a simple for which there is a special PHP function already available. A special PHP function will usually do the specialized task easier. Parsing and understanding the regular expression takes the machine time.

ereg(): 

ereg() ereg(regex, string) searches for the pattern described in regex within the string string. It returns the false if no string was found. If you call the function as ereg(regex, string, matches) the matches will be stored in the array matches. Thus matches will be a numeric array of the grouped parts (something in ()) of the string in the string. The first group match will be $matches[1].

ereg_replace: 

ereg_replace ereg_replace ( regex, replacement, string ) searches for the pattern described in regex within the string string and replaces occurrences with replacement. It returns the replaced string. If replacement contains expressions of the form \\number, where number is an integer between 1 and 9, the number sub-expression is used. $better_order=ereg_replace('glass of (Karlsberg|Bruch)', 'pitcher of \\1',$order);

split(): 

split() split(regex, string, [max]) splits the string string at the occurrences of the pattern described by the regular expression regex. It returns an array. The matched pattern is not included. If the optional argument max is given, it means the maximum number of elements in the returned array. The last element then contains the unsplit rest of the string string. Use explode() if you are not splitting at a regular expression pattern. It is faster.

case-insensitive function: 

case-insensitive function eregi() does the same as ereg() but work case-insensitively. eregi_replace() does the same as ereg_replace() but work case-insensitively. spliti() does the same as split() but work case-insensitively.

example for split: 

example for split $string=‘a uuuu b f h jls l’ $array=split(‘[ l]+’,$string); foreach($array as $term) { print “$term|”; } a|uuuu|b|f|h|j|s||

regular expressions in mySQL: 

regular expressions in mySQL You can use POSIX regular expressions in mySQL in the SELECT command SELECT … WHERE REGEXP ‘regex’ where regex is a regular expression.

http://openlib.org/home/krichel: 

http://openlib.org/home/krichel Thank you for your attention! Please switch off machines b4 leaving!

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