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Regular Expressions Cookbook

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 953
Author/s    : Jan Goyvaerts, Steven Levithan
Publisher   : O'Reilly Media
Category   : Advanced Java
Review by : Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating        : 10 horseshoes

"Regular Expressions Cookbook" covers reg exp syntax in different languages and patterns for building them. I had read O'Reilly's "Mastering Regular Expressions" years ago and liked it a lot. I feel the same way about this book.

While the book doesn't require regular expression experience, it is a tough read if you are coming in completely fresh. At least read a tutorial online first. It is a great book for building on basic or advanced knowledge.

Chapter two is like a book in itself. The author says you can skip this chapter if you've read "Mastering Regular Expressions" cover to cover. That's me! Yet I still learned a couple things in chapter 2.

The rest of the book is recipes. Problem, solution, flavors, languages it works in, variations and lots of description. Some recipes were similar/repetitive. But a 500 page pattern book isn't intended to be read cover to cover. The recipes had a great range from zip codes to ISBN numbers to VAT. I like how the examples build up in complexity so they don't start out being overwhelming.

I learned a lot about regular expressions and patterns. And what grep stands for (g/re/p in ed). I also learned about some new Java 7 features like named captures. I liked the parts on performance and Big O notation.

Now I have two really good regular expression books plus the pocket reference. Thanks O'Reilly!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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