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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Regular expressions made easy - building from components

There seems to be a certain macho desire in many programmer's minds to write a single complicated regular expression to match against an input line, ignorning the structured approach that everyone accepts quite cheerfully in almost every other case. Have a look at this Python line:

wholeline = r"\d\d-...-\d\d\d\d\s+(\d\d):(\d\d):(\d\d.\d\d),\s+(-?\d+\.\d+),\s+(-?\d+\.\d+),(-?\d+\.\d+),\s+(-?\d+\.\d+),(-?\d+\.\d+),\s+(-?\d+\.\d+)"

Impressive, isn't it?
Yes
Easy to follow, isn't it?
No!

Much better to build it up from a series of components:

date = r"\d\d-...-\d\d\d\d"
time = r"(\d\d):(\d\d):(\d\d.\d\d)"
whitespace = r"\s+"
floater = r"(-?\d+\.\d+)"
wholeline = date + whitespace + time + "," + whitespace + \
  floater + "," + whitespace + floater + "," + floater + \
  "," + whitespace + floater + "," + floater + "," + \
  whitespace + floater


These examples are from the Python Course I have just concluded - the full example is here - where a log file was to be analysed and a short report generated to highlight any changes in readings of over 1% from one line of the data to the next in any of the data columns.

(written 2007-08-16)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Y115 - Additional Python Facilities
  [183] The elegance of Python - (2005-01-19)
  [208] Examples - Gadfly, NI Number, and Tcl to C interface - (2005-02-10)
  [239] What and why for the epoch - (2005-03-08)
  [463] Splitting the difference - (2005-10-13)
  [663] Python to MySQL - (2006-03-31)
  [672] Keeping your regular expressions simple - (2006-04-05)
  [753] Python 3000 - the next generation - (2006-06-09)
  [901] Python - listing out the contents of all variables - (2006-10-21)
  [1043] Sending an email from Python - (2007-01-18)
  [1136] Buffering output - why it is done and issues raised in Tcl, Perl, Python and PHP - (2007-04-06)
  [1149] Turning objects into something you can store - Pickling (Python) - (2007-04-15)
  [1336] Ignore case in Regular Expression - (2007-09-08)
  [1337] A series of tyre damages - (2007-09-08)
  [1876] Python Regular Expressions - (2008-11-08)
  [2407] Testing code in Python - doctest, unittest and others - (2009-09-16)
  [2435] Serialization - storing and reloading objects - (2009-10-04)
  [2462] Python - how it saves on compile time - (2009-10-20)
  [2655] Python - what is going on around me? - (2010-02-28)
  [2721] Regular Expressions in Python - (2010-04-14)
  [2745] Connecting Python to sqlite and MySQL databases - (2010-04-28)
  [2746] Model - View - Controller demo, Sqlite - Python 3 - Qt4 - (2010-04-29)
  [2764] Python decorators - your own, staticmethod and classmethod - (2010-05-14)
  [2765] Running operating system commands from your Python program - (2010-05-14)
  [2786] Factory methods and SqLite in use in a Python teaching example - (2010-05-29)
  [2790] Joining a MySQL table from within a Python program - (2010-06-02)
  [3089] Python regular expressions - repeating, splitting, lookahead and lookbehind - (2010-12-17)
  [3442] A demonstration of how many Python facilities work together - (2011-09-16)
  [3469] Teaching dilemma - old tricks and techniques, or recent enhancements? - (2011-10-08)
  [4085] JSON from Python - first principles, easy example - (2013-05-13)
  [4211] Handling JSON in Python (and a csv, marshall and pickle comparison) - (2013-11-16)
  [4298] Python - an interesting application - (2014-09-18)
  [4439] Json is the new marshall, pickle and cPickle / Python - (2015-02-22)
  [4451] Running an operating system command from your Python program - the new way with the subprocess module - (2015-03-06)
  [4536] Json load from URL, recursive display, Python 3.4 - (2015-10-14)
  [4593] Command line parameter handling in Python via the argparse module - (2015-12-08)
  [4709] Some gems from Intermediate Python - (2016-10-30)

T247 - Tcl/Tk - Advanced Regular Expressions
  [943] Matching within multiline strings, and ignoring case in regular expressions - (2006-11-25)
  [1195] Regular Express Primer - (2007-05-20)
  [1410] Tcl / regsub - changing a string and using interesting bits - (2007-10-27)
  [1412] Sparse and Greedy matching - Tcl 8.4 - (2007-10-27)
  [1613] Regular expression for 6 digits OR 25 digits - (2008-04-16)
  [4205] Regular Expression Substitution - Tcl - (2013-11-12)

R109 - Ruby - Strings and Regular Expressions
  [970] String duplication - x in Perl, * in Python and Ruby - (2006-12-07)
  [986] puts - opposite of chomp in Ruby - (2006-12-15)
  [987] Ruby v Perl - interpollating variables - (2006-12-15)
  [1588] String interpretation in Ruby - (2008-03-21)
  [1875] What are exceptions - Python based answer - (2008-11-08)
  [1887] Ruby Programming Course - Saturday and Sunday - (2008-11-16)
  [1891] Ruby to access web services - (2008-11-16)
  [2293] Regular Expressions in Ruby - (2009-07-16)
  [2295] The dog is not in trouble - (2009-07-17)
  [2608] Search and replace in Ruby - Ruby Regular Expressions - (2010-01-31)
  [2614] Neatly formatting results into a table - (2010-02-01)
  [2621] Ruby collections and strings - some new examples - (2010-02-03)
  [2623] Object Oriented Ruby - new examples - (2010-02-03)
  [2980] Ruby - examples of regular expressions, inheritance and polymorphism - (2010-10-02)
  [3424] Divide 10000 by 17. Do you get 588.235294117647, 588.24 or 588? - Ruby and PHP - (2011-09-08)
  [3621] Matching regular expressions, and substitutions, in Ruby - (2012-02-23)
  [3757] Ruby - a teaching example showing many of the language features in short but useful program - (2012-06-09)
  [3758] Ruby - standard operators are overloaded. Perl - they are not - (2012-06-09)
  [4388] Global Regular Expression matching in Ruby (using scan) - (2015-01-08)
  [4505] Regular Expressions for the petrified - in Ruby - (2015-06-03)
  [4549] Clarrissa-Marybelle - too long to really fit? - (2015-10-23)

Q806 - Regular Expression Cookbook
  [1230] Commenting a Perl Regular Expression - (2007-06-12)
  [1840] Validating Credit Card Numbers - (2008-10-14)
  [2165] Making Regular Expressions easy to read and maintain - (2009-05-10)
  [2563] Efficient debugging of regular expressions - (2010-01-04)
  [2702] First and last match with Regular Expressions - (2010-04-02)
  [2727] Making a Lua program run more than 10 times faster - (2010-04-16)
  [2804] Regular Expression Myths - (2010-06-13)
  [3218] Matching a license plate or product code - Regular Expressions - (2011-03-28)
  [3788] Getting more than a yes / no answer from a regular expression pattern match - (2012-06-30)

P212 - Perl - More on Character Strings
  [453] Commenting Perl regular expressions - (2005-09-30)
  [583] Remember to process blank lines - (2006-01-31)
  [586] Perl Regular Expressions - finding the position and length of the match - (2006-02-02)
  [597] Storing a regular expression in a perl variable - (2006-02-09)
  [608] Don't expose your regular expressions - (2006-02-15)
  [737] Coloured text in a terminal from Perl - (2006-05-29)
  [928] C++ and Perl - why did they do it THAT way? - (2006-11-16)
  [1222] Perl, the substitute operator s - (2007-06-08)
  [1251] Substitute operator / modifiers in Perl - (2007-06-28)
  [1510] Handling Binary data (.gif file example) in Perl - (2008-01-17)
  [1727] Equality and looks like tests - Perl - (2008-07-29)
  [1735] Finding words and work boundaries (MySQL, Perl, PHP) - (2008-08-03)
  [1947] Perl substitute - the e modifier - (2008-12-16)
  [2230] Running a piece of code is like drinking a pint of beer - (2009-06-11)
  [2379] Making variables persistant, pretending a database is a variable and other Perl tricks - (2009-08-27)
  [2657] Want to do a big batch edit? Nothing beats Perl! - (2010-03-01)
  [2801] Binary data handling with unpack in Perl - (2010-06-10)
  [2834] Teaching examples in Perl - third and final part - (2010-06-27)
  [2874] Unpacking a Perl string into a list - (2010-07-16)
  [2877] Further more advanced Perl examples - (2010-07-19)
  [2993] Arrays v Lists - what is the difference, why use one or the other - (2010-10-10)
  [3059] Object Orientation in an hour and other Perl Lectures - (2010-11-18)
  [3100] Looking ahead and behind in Regular Expressions - double matching - (2010-12-23)
  [3322] How much has Perl (and other languages) changed? - (2011-06-10)
  [3332] DNA to Amino Acid - a sample Perl script - (2011-06-24)
  [3411] Single and double quotes strings in Perl - what is the difference? - (2011-08-30)
  [3546] The difference between dot (a.k.a. full stop, period) and comma in Perl - (2011-12-09)
  [3630] Serialsing and unserialising data for storage and transfer in Perl - (2012-02-28)
  [3650] Possessive Regular Expression Matching - Perl, Objective C and some other languages - (2012-03-12)
  [3707] Converting codons via Amino Acids to Proteins in Perl - (2012-04-25)
  [3927] First match or all matches? Perl Regular Expressions - (2012-11-19)
  [4452] Binary data handling - Python and Perl - (2015-03-09)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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