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August 8, 2006

Mastering Regular Expressions: Understand Your Data and Be More Productive, Third Edition

Sebastopol, CA--Peer under the hood of most software, regardless of the operating system or language, and you are almost certain to find any number of regular expressions. You might find a Perl script used to change the names on a Macintosh to make them Windows-compatible, or a PHP script that scrapes a web page. Well crafted regular expressions can sweep away countless hours of tedious manual labor with a fifteen second solution. Now a standard feature in a wide range of languages and tools--including Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, VB.NET, and C#--regular expressions allow programmers to code complex and subtle text processing that you never imagined could be automated. They're a critical component of any programmer's tool kit.

Given the importance of regular expressions, it's no surprise that Jeffrey Friedl's definitive book Mastering Regular Expressions, Third Edition (O'Reilly, US $44.99) has reached its third edition. The book brings programmers up to speed on the productivity secrets that will make their lives easier. Those who don't use regular expressions yet will discover a whole new world of mastery over their data. Programmers who use them will appreciate the book's unprecedented detail and breadth of coverage.

Friedl felt that the time had come for a third edition of his bestselling book. "I was really happy with the way the second edition turned out, but I soon realized that I should have given fuller coverage to PHP; this edition gives me a chance to fix that mistake. It also allows me to cover some fairly large changes to Java since the last edition."

He continues, "The importance of the book has only grown over time, particularly with the increased use of text processing on the web. This edition is particularly important for PHP and Java users."

Mastering Regular Expressions offers a wealth of information that can be put to immediate use to craft elegant, time saving solutions to a wide range of problems. Topics covered in the book include:

  • A comparison of features among many languages and tools
  • How a regular expression engine works
  • Optimization
  • Matching just what you want (but not what you don't)
  • Sections on individual languages including Perl, Java, and PHP
  • Written in a lucid, entertaining, tone that makes this complex topic crystal clear, Mastering Regular Expressions allows readers to take control and master their data.

    Praise for the previous edition:

    "If you use regular expressions as part of your professional work (even if you already have a good book on whatever language you're programming in) I would strongly recommend this book to you."
    --Dr. Chris Brown, "Linux Format"

    "Mastering Regular Expressions' is the definitive guide to the subject, and an outstanding resource that belongs on every programmer's bookshelf. Ten out of Ten Horseshoes."
    --Jason Menard,

    "There isn't a better (ore more useful) book available on regular expressions."
    --Zak Greant, Planet PHP

    Additional Resources:

    Mastering Regular Expressions, Third Edition
    Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
    ISBN: 0-596-52812-4, 515 pages, $44.99 US

    About O'Reilly

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