Regular Expressions

In the world of computer programming and text processing, a versatile and powerful tool exists that can simplify complex pattern-matching tasks – Regular Expression often known as “regex” or “regexp”.

Regular Expression

Regular Expression

A regular expression is a sequence of characters that forms a search pattern this pattern can be used to match strings or part of the string, making it an invaluable tool for the tasks such as text validation, data extraction, and text manipulation. regular expressions are available is most programing languages including Java, python, JavaScript…etc.

Anatomy of Regular Expression

A Regular Expression consists of various components, including –

  • Literals – Character that matches themselves. for example- The letter “a” in regex “a” matches the character “a” in the string.
  • Metacharacters – Special characters with reserved meanings such as '.' (matches any character), '*' (matches zero or more occurrences), '+' (Matches one or more occurrences), and '?' (Matches zero or one occurrence).
  • Character classes – Enclosed is a square bracket [ ], They specify a set of characters to match. for example- [aeiou] matches any vowel.
  • Quantifiers – Used to specify the number of occurrences. {n} matches exactly n occurence, {n, } matches n or more occurance, and {n,m} matches between n and m occurance.
  • Anchors‘^’ (caret) matches the start of a line, and $ matches the end of a line.
  • Groups and Alternation () parenthesis are used to create groups, and the pipe symbol | represents alternation, allowing us to match one of several possible patterns.

Regular Expression is a powerful tool for programmers, data analysts, and anyone dealing with text manipulation. Regular Expressions offer a concise and flexible way to find, validate, and manipulate text patterns in various contexts.

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