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DevJuice: Regular Expressions Cookbook enters 2nd edition

Regular expressions are a staple of development. A grammar for matching forms to text, regular expressions are used in Apple development for use with predicates, in validating text entry and more.

O'Reilly just released a new edition of Jan Goyvaerts' & Steven Levithan's "Regular Expressions Cookbook" (US$50 list price, $30 street price.)

Revised and expanded, the book offers a wealth of common regex use-cases, from numbers to URLs, email addresses to post codes.

It's primarily a reference book, so don't expect to sit down with this book on a warm and cozy night. It's the book that you put on your shelf and pull out whenever you need to look up a few specific patterns.

I grabbed the first edition of this book at an O'Reilly Foo camp retreat a few years back. The second edition offers the same well-indexed quick help as the first one.

If you already own the first edition, the second may not exactly be a must-buy except for completionists. The table of contents and book material are largely the same. If you haven't picked one up yet, however, then this is the regex reference you've been looking for.

Here are a few other regex online resources you may find handy:

  • The Regular Expression Library site has indexed thousands of regular expressions from contributors around the world.
  • Go to Regex Pal to test your regex expressions via an interactive JavaScript tool.
  • Use the txt2re generator to build code that extracts elements from source strings that you provide. It supports output in C as well as several other language destinations.


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Regular expressions are a staple of development. A grammar for matching forms to text, regular expressions are used in Apple development...