- Series: A Problem-Solution Approach
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. 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: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,970,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Regular Expression Recipes for Windows Developers: A Problem-Solution Approach 1st ed. Edition
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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.
Top customer reviews
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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. Balam, gives us the following which I will translate from whiny developer into English for you:
"A total lack of explanation for the syntax."
I was too lazy to read the "Syntax Overview" that's right up front in the book and covers it quite nicely.
"I get the recipe nature but no break down on the syntax."
Not only did I not read the Syntax Overview but also since the examples weren't exactly what I needed I didn't bother to read the "How it works" sections that break down the syntax...oh wait.
"I found no learning value and never found a case where the code sample was exactly what I needed."
The author refused to spoon-feed me the information. I was hoping that this book would do my homework/job for me and am disappointed that I might have to think instead of just copy/pasting.
Reviewer Chris Love hits the nail right on the head. I agree with his assessment and highly recommend this book personally. It provides an excellent overview of regular expression syntax and enough examples that I can adapt one to my needs if it isn't "exactly" what I need.
Buy this book.
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.
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.
Most of the recipes solve rather basic problems, organized in six chapters. The first, "Words and Text", deals with finding blank lines, repeated words, words at the start or end of a line, etc. The "URLs and Paths" chapter has examples for finding URLs and file paths, and extracting bits from them. The "CSV and tab-delimited files" has a few recipes for converting between the two and extracting fields.
The "Formatting and Validating" chapter shows how to validate numbers, currency, dates, phone numbers, addresses, etc. The "XML and HTML" chapter has recipes for matching and replacing tags and attributes. Finally, the "Source Code" chapter has a bunch of recipes for manipulating software source code and related files. Most of these tasks are odd jobs that .NET programmers may want to do sometimes.
The book would have been a better deal if it had focused on regular expressions, and left out the many lines of source code, not to mention the redundant copies in several languages. Without the source code, a book of the same size could easily contain 300 examples. That would have made it far more useful for programmers who know how to program, but aren't well-versed in regular expressions.
But don't expect to really learn how regular expressions work from this book. If you develop software for a living, you're better of with a good regular expression tutorial such as the one at [...] or a book like "Mastering Regular Expressions".