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Regular Expressions (RegEx) for beginners
More and more information is available, mostly in digitally readable formats. That makes it difficult to find exactly what is needed. It can be as difficult as finding pins in the famous haystack. The form in which information elements are hidden often prevents direct import into your own apps.
Then knowledge of pattern recognition can be a bridge to success. A professional practice of searching and processing information has grown since the 80s in terms of practicality. The name is "regular expressions", in short: RegEx.
The standard is implemented in most programming packages such as Java, Python, Ruby and PHP. An accessible version is also included in the public package AutoIT. In addition, Regex search boxes appear more and more in consumer systems, intended for non-programmers. It is noticeable when you can work with it.
The syntax is not very similar to what many people are used to with computers, sometimes a threshold can be experienced. Today I present a program RegExGui for testing regular expressions. It is intended to replace an earlier version that has been distributed together with the Windows programming package AutoIT3. After installing the package, the earlier version called StringRegExpGui can be found in the \Examples\Helpfile folder. The RegExGui published today is a total remake and offers the following improvements:
Built-in and instant accessible with a menu, there are six instructional applications for finding names, phone numbers, dates, and the like. The direct and fast operation allows the user to take the lead in the little-practiced profession of pattern recognition. Thanks FritsW.
Start all examples with multiple findings that match the specified pattern. In addition, each match is immediately shown and dissected into parts. This is in contrast to software that starts with a single match or just the observation that a match has taken place. With the direct approach, the beginner jumps straight into the deep and can simplify the example as desired. This depth with RegExGui gives the best preparation for practical use.
[1] On the screen is a ruler with numbers, so that an unexpected error in the manufacture of a pattern is now more quickly solved.
[2] Added are a number of tooltips.
[3] At will, the user can adjust and / or save the sample patterns.
The examples include links to sites that explain advanced regular expressions or provide tools. Furthermore, a link to a site for healthy food. Thanks JolandeS.
The width of the graphical user interface is adjustable. As patterns are better controlled, the user may want to go to long expressions. That are on screen completely. Thanks Melba23.
[1] Multiple results are presented in a two-dimensional way. Each match at the beginning of a line, optional decomposition of parts in subsequent columns. As a result, there is a logical distinction between a match and a part that belongs to a different match.
[2] The program now has a 256-bit icon with alpha transparency.
Textual explanations are given with the results. The lime-green background color is chosen for the status field. This improves the contrast. Thanks EmileR.
Repair of errors
A diagnosis has now been made regarding the exchange of details - with primary match data in the results, when using the options Match and All matches. Until it is repaired, users can use the options Match + detail and All Matches + details.
A bug in StringRegExpGui - the unexpected disappearance of all saved patterns - has been fixed. Thank LeaB. With RegExGUi, the patterns remain in the inifile in the same folder as the program.
Few users are aware of the invisibly different codings of the alphabet hidden under water in text files. Since the new millennium the use of unicode has been growing, it has many advantages. Here and there are 8 bit codings. They traversed searching in the past and especially finding it. Again without users knowing this, they have only experienced fruitlessness. The RegExGui presented here relieves the user for that matter. The program takes care of coding differences and always comes up with the most complete results that fit your pattern, thanks DominiqueH.
Efficient code
Compared to the StringRegExpGui, the source code of RegExGui is shorter.
Bert Kerkhof, analyst and programmer
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