[thelist] Tip: (Penance) Regex

Frank lists at frankmarion.com
Mon Aug 4 16:27:55 CDT 2003

First tip as part of Frank's Penance.

<tip type="Regex" author="Frank Marion">

It had to happen! Someone wrote a *visual editor* for regular expressions! 
The fine people at HouseOfFusion.com created a drive to pay the author to 
port it to Windows. At the moment, the tool is in a somewhat nascent state, 
but it shows great promise.  Thought I still prefer to do them by hand, the 
tool is excellent for "verbally" describing the construction of a regex.

 From the manual's introduction:

The regular expression editor is an editor for editing regular
expression in a graphical style (in contrast to the ascii syntax).
Traditionally regular expressions have been typed in the ascii
syntax, which for example looks like ^.*kde\b. The major drawback of
this style is

+ It is hard to understand for non-programmers.

+ It requires that you escapes certain symbols (to match a star for
example, you need to type \*).

+ It requires that you remember rules for precedence (What does x|y*
match? a single x or a number of y, OR a number of x and y's mixed?)

The regular expression editor, on the other hand, lets you draw
your regular expression in an unambiguous way. The editor solves at
least item two and three above. It might not make regular
expressions available for the non-programmers, though only tests by
users can tell that.

The Regular Expresion Editor can be downloaded from the following address.


Frank Marion     lists at frankmarion.com      Keep the signal high.  

More information about the thelist mailing list