[sf-lug] On learning regular expressions

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Dec 29 12:08:31 PST 2008

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu):

> Sure, all that "regular expression" and globbing/wildcard stuff, and its
> many variants can be quite confusing - at least at first.
> Again, for regular expressions, I'd recommend the familial approach.
> Learn them by their families.  There isn't all that much variation in
> the regular expressions *within* a family.

Yeah, I'm with you.

Among other things I do DNS administration for hundreds of domains, and
my four... no, five main weapons are fear, egrep, awk, sed, and a
fanatical devotion to the Pope.  Er, I'll come in again.

So, basically there's globbing as it's defined in shell, and globbing as
it's defined in egrep/awk/sed regular expressions.  Simple enough, and
Works for Me.<tm>

Perl's extra capabilities (with slight, gratuituous differences) aren't
much needed in my usage model, so I tend to ignore it until such time as
I really need all that.

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