Elm Regular expressions made easy
Switch branches/tags
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



VerbalExpressions is an Elm package that helps to construct difficult regular expressions.

Other Implementations

You can see an up to date list of all ports on VerbalExpressions.github.io.


import Regex exposing (Regex)
import VerbalExpressions exposing (..)

{-| Create an example of how to test for correctly formed URLs.
urlTester : Maybe Regex
urlTester =
        |> startOfLine
        |> followedBy "http"
        |> possibly "s"
        |> followedBy "://"
        |> possibly "www."
        |> anythingBut " "
        |> endOfLine
        |> toRegex

{-| Use Regex.contains to determine if we have a valid URL.

    isValidUrl "https://www.google.com" --> True

isValidUrl : String -> Bool
isValidUrl url =
        |> Maybe.map (\regex -> Regex.contains regex url)
        |> Maybe.withDefault False

{-| Replace a string with another.

    replaceRedToBlue "We have a red house" --> "We have a blue house"

replaceRedToBlue : String -> String
replaceRedToBlue string =
        |> find "red"
        |> toRegex
        |> Maybe.map (\regex -> Regex.replace regex (\_ -> "blue") string)
        |> Maybe.withDefault string

API differences

The following table illustrates any differences between this package's function names and the canonical VerbalExpressions operator names, and explains the reason for the difference.

Operator Name Function Name Reason
then followedBy then is a keyword in Elm, and the compiler will not allow aliasing of keywords. andThen is typically used in this scenario, but as a result has taken on an implicit use with chainable data-types like Task and Maybe. followedBy is a good synonym for the semantic meaning of the then VerbalExpressions operator.
maybe possibly maybe might cause confusion due to the existence of the core Maybe type.
or orElse or is already a built-in function for performing logical-or operations on Bool values. It's best practice not to alias basic functions.

Additionally, the following operators have been omitted for technical or conventional reasons.

Operator Name Reason
br Elm conventions encourage a minimal API surface, and br offers no different readability semantics from lineBreak.
any See above for br, as it applies to anyOf.
stopAtFirst Elm regular expressions handle number of matches at the function-call level, with the Regex.HowMany type, so this functionality is not supported or needed.
searchOneLine Elm's regular expressions do not support setting the "m" flag on their internal JavaScript representations yet.

This Elm package is based on the original Javascript VerbalExpressions library by jehna.