Series: Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2nd edition (July 28, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #68,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #1 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > APIs & Operating Environments > Unicode #4 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > Perl #5 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > Java > Reference
One of the most difficult things when working with regular expressoins -- at least for me -- is dealing with different implementations (i.e., Perl, Java, Python, PHP, UNIX tools, etc.) The basics of regexes and pattern matching don't vary all that much, but each implementation is just different enough that the smae line of code can yield different results. If you work with more than one of these implementations, keeping track of differences in metacharacters and metasequences can be nearly impossible. This is especially true when -- as is the case with me -- you deal with regexes somewhat intermittently.This is one of the main reasons why the "Regular Expression Pocket Reference"was written and this is why I keep it close at hand. This book will not really teach you how to use regexes, nor will it tell you how to use, say, Perl. If, however, you use Perl and you know how to use regexes but just can't remember whether you can disallow backtracking for text matched by a subpattern, then this book will save you quite a bit of time and effort.If you're wondering what it means to "disallow backtracking for text matched by a subpattern," or when you would want to use it, buy "Mastering Regular Expressions" or a similar title. The "Regular Expression Pocket Reference" is designed to be a quick reference tool, and it serves this purpose very well. I would recommend it especially for those who work with regular expressions intermittently or who work with several different implementations.
The editorial blurb on this book suggests that it can be used as a tutorial by those new to regular expressions. That's not the case. This book is strictly a reference, albeit a very good one. I bought O'Reilly's "Mastering Regular Expressions" to learn the area, and I use this book as a quick reference. It serves that purpose very well.
If you've ever picked up a copy of O'Reilly's Mastering Regular Expressions, then you'll feel right at home with this book. The Pocket Reference is all about usability, and this book is no exception. If you've never seen Mastering Regular Expressions, then this book takes the most important aspects of that book into about 80 pages.This book is basically divided into various languages (Perl, C, Java, C#) with examples on how to use regular expressions with each language. In addition to discussing the built-in language specific functions that you should use, there is discussion on the differences and nuances to using regular expressions in the specific language.If you need a desktop quick reference on regular expressions, then I would highly recommend this book. I have it next to my desk with the .NET section bookmarked. If you need something with a little more depth and explanation, then I would suggest picking up a copy of O'Reilly's Mastering Regular Expressions.
I recommend getting this bookif you feel comfortable with regular expressionsand regular expressions are important to you.As one expects from an O'Reilly Pocket Reference,this book is compact but still covers a lot of ground.For a whole bunch of applications, it provides:* tables of various groupings of regex metacharacters, summarizing their syntax and meaning;* summaries of other regex related features, but not in tabular form;* examples;* a few references in case you need to go deeper.The information is concise and well chosen.This is a reference,but in applications where you use regular expressions less,it may also be useful for expanding your knowledge significantly.It was for me.If you wish, take a look at mymore detailed review on Oakland Perl Mongers.