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Regular Expression Recipes for Windows Developers: A Problem-Solution Approach Paperback – May 26, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1590594971 ISBN-10: 1590594975 Edition: 2005th

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nathan A. Good lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He is a contractor with Alliance of Computer Professionals in Bloomington. When he isn't writing software, Nathan enjoys building PCs and servers, reading about and working with new technologies, and trying to get all his friends to make the move to open source software. When he's not at a computer (which he admits is not often), he spends time with his family, at his church, and at the movies.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Problem-Solution Approach
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2005 edition (May 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590594975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590594971
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,663,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I get the recipe nature but no break down on the syntax.
Fake Name
I also think it is more oriented to someone who doesn't know or care about how regular expressions work and just wants a quick answer.
Jason Rawlins
Most of these issues are trivial, but it isn't good for a book that's obviously aimed at beginners.
Jan Goyvaerts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jan Goyvaerts on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
When I saw the title of this book, I was excited at the prospect of a book filled with detailed regular expression examples. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out that way.

Spread over a whopping 359 pages, the book lists exactly 100 tasks that you can accomplish with a regular expression. As the solution, the author not only gives a regular expression, but also a complete source code snippet in C#, VB.NET, JavaScript and VBScript. Not all solutions have snippets in all languages. Some solutions also have a snippet for ASP.NET.

Obviously, the examples have a heavy bias towards Windows and .NET. If you're using open source languages, you may want to look at this book's precursor "Regular Expression Recipies" instead. It's essentially the same book, with almost the same list of recipes, but with examples in Perl, PHP and Python.

Each recipe also has a "how it works" section, essentially transcribing the regular expression in English, similar in approach to RegexBuddy's plain English regex trees, though the book uses a flat description rather than a tree. The descriptions are brief though. While all the source code snippets easily take up two or more pages per recipe, the explanation is often barely half a page long.

The book does suffer from some sloppy editing. The regular expression in the source code snippets isn't always identical to the one in the description. E.g. in recipe 6-21, the JavaScript snippet uses named capture, and the explanation then proceeds to explain a regex without named capture (which isn't supported by JavaScript). Most of these issues are trivial, but it isn't good for a book that's obviously aimed at beginners.

Most of the recipes solve rather basic problems, organized in six chapters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Love on January 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Regular expressions are one of the most abstract topics for the average developer to master. Nathan does a real good job of producing something that any developer should be able to start and build their own base library of core expressions.

The approach he takes by presenting some introduction to Regular Expressions, then presenting usable code in three languages is so useful. Regular Expressions are so abstract, but yet so simple the best way to learn them is by example. For me this was the best book on using Regular Expressions in .NET.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David R. Totzke on September 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantastic resource. I feel the need to rebut some of the reviews here especially the "most helpful" one that 18 or so obviously deluded people have voted for. Jan Goyvaerts clearly hasn't got a clue.

I actually own this book so I looked up section 6-21 that he calls out for "sloppy editing". He mentioned that the JavaScript version doesn't use named captures like the .NET versions because they are not supported. I'm not sure what his point is. This fact is called out specifically in the "How it works" description and it's the JavaScript version that is then broken down _because_ it's the odd one out.

I love this part:
"Obviously, the examples have a heavy bias towards Windows and .NET."
He says it almost like that's a negative. Look Captain Obvious, Windows and .NET is right in the title/subtitle of the book!

I also think that he's missed the point of the book entirely. His suggestion to leave out the source code is ridiculous and the whole point of the book is to show you how to _implement_ the regular expressions in the different environments as there are subtle differences between them. It would be like leaving the directions out of a food recipe and just listing the ingredients.

Mr. Goyvaerts also recommends you go a certain web site for RegEx help and information. I wonder why:
"Page URL: [...]"
"Copyright © 2003-2012 Jan Goyvaerts. All rights reserved."

At least he's had the decency not to return here and add links to his own Regular Expression "Cookbooks". I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to search them out.

The third "most helpful" reviewer, Monte D.
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Regular Expression Recipes for Windows Developers: A Problem-Solution Approach
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