May 4, 2004

Review of 'Regular Expressions In 10 Minutes'

TBR writes "Ben Forta introduces the reader to regular expressions in 10 very focused bite-sized chapters. Starting with a basic introduction in chapter one, the book progresses very quickly, covering everything from meta-characters to repeating groups, sub-expressions, back-references and more.

Each chapter focuses on a single topic, with an emphasis on a small set of examples that are clearly presented and which serve to illustrate the points being made in the text. The examples are of the sort that are likely to crop up in the real-world rather than contrivances that don't make much sense in isolation. The layout of the text helps as well, with the presentation organised so that it's easy to see at a glance what is going on.

As a single volume introduction the book works well-enough. The focus is firmly on the practical, so in depth discussions of finite state machines and the like are notably absent. Also the text tries to steer an agnostic course through the various implementations of regular expressions in Perl, JavaScript, Python, Java, C# and so on. A quick over-view of these different implementations is included in an appendix, though it doesn't come near the detail included in Tony Stubblebine's 'Regular Expression Pocket Reference'

Link: techbookreport.com

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