REVIEW - Mastering Regular Expressions


Mastering Regular Expressions


Jeffrey E. F. Friedl



O'Reilly (2002)




Joe McCool


December 2002



Reviewing this book, I am not faced with the decision whether to recommend it or not. That's not an issue. I am concerned merely with recommending this particular edition. For years Jeffrey Friedl's 'Mastering Regular Expressions' has been among the best seller lists for those using regexs. If you haven't got it and you are interested in regular expressions then go out and buy it. It really is the bible. Any of us involved with Perl, parsing html or even unix admin are going to come across regexes eventually. I find them fairly heavy going, but incredibly powerful.

The question remains then: what of those, like myself, that have already got the first edition? Is this 2nd edition worth the money? My answer is still in the affirmative, unless you are a real expert and your learning curve has gone flat. The 2nd edition is not just an update of the first, it is a complete rewrite. Amongst the Perl community, at least, Friedl's book has suffered from the criticism of being, very useful, but outdated. Jeffrey has addressed that here. This edition covers most of the modern technologies; Perl 5.8, Java, VB.NET, C#, Python, Javascript and Ruby. The rewrite improves on the applauded clarity of its predecessor. So, unless you a regex guru and already familiar with the regex implementations in modern technologies, go and buy this book.Pocket References

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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