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Date:      Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:34:47 -0700 (MST)
From:      Warren Block <>
To:        "'Devin Teske'" <>
Cc:        'RW' <>,
Subject:   RE: awk programming question
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <050a01cf1929$051c0670$0f541350$>
References:  <F01EB9CE742DEB17DB6B51C7@localhost> <> <> <04a201cf1878$8ebce540$ac36afc0$> <> <04aa01cf187e$cfcf9ef0$6f6edcd0$> <> <04d201cf1895$20956890$61c039b0$> <> <050a01cf1929$051c0670$0f541350$>

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On Fri, 24 Jan 2014, wrote:

>>> I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that -- in terms of
>>> readability, I'm not sure if the following is more readable:
>>> 	/(a[^z]*z)/
>> Wait till you see the other PCRE stuff.  There are lots of things 
>> that really make it much more powerful.  perlre(1) covers it all, 
>> sketchily and not really in order.
>> I've said elsewhere, and will repeat again: "Mastering Regular 
>> Expressions" by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl (the owl book) is amazing.  My 
>> first edition (1997) does not have some of the newer Perl stuff, but 
>> it's now up to a third edition:
> Does it cover "back references" ? Definitely one of the more powerful 
> but esoteric regular expressions (e.g., you want to match a string 
> that starts with a quote and has a matching terminating quote, but not 
> match a string that has a quote without matching termination).

It does cover backreferences, in the sense of egrep:
\<[A-Za-z]+) +\1\>

That will find a word followed by one or more spaces and the same word 

> If-so, I'm totally buying that book.

Buy it.  I've never seen another book that treats such a complex subject 
with such clarity and readability.

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