ANN: RegexPlor 0.6 - an OS X GUI for interactively exploring regular expressions

Dinu Gherman
Tue, 9 Sep 2003 16:51:00 +0200


Next in line is "RegexPlor", a native Mac OS X Cocoa GUI tool using
PyObjC to provide an intuitive way of exploring regular expressions.
Please see the attached Readme below. I'd be grateful for any
comments you might have!



Dinu C. Gherman
"I am a gentlemen: I live by robbing the poor." (George Bernard Shaw)



RegexPlor is a Mac OS X tool for interactively exploring regular 


RegexPlor is a tool for interactively exploring regular expressions.
It provides a graphic frontend for experimenting with such regular
expressions in a intuitive way. You can edit an input text as well
as a regular expression as well as colors for matched text, etc.
and study various effects at every keystroke. This is a much more
convenient way of hunting down the one expression you're after,
without typing any code at all in the usual trial-and-error method.


RegexPlor is pretty intuitive to use. There are three differen panes
or views you can switch between at the top of the window. The input
pane shows the input text and the regular expression to be applied
to it. Change any of them and various ways of matching (selectable
using the bottom buttons) will be applied instantly, resulting in
coloring the respective portions of the input text. Colors and
specific matching options can be changed in the drawer popping out
horizontally of the main window. The output pane is divided into
several columns where the respective text portions can be easily
copied from if you need them somewhere else. Here you can also
replace text using the drawer popping out vertically of the main
window when the Replace button is pressed. The Syntax pane provides
a summary about the regular expression syntax which you can look-up
to use special features. The files in samples/ only provide a
starting point for your own exploration of regular expressions.


:0.5: first release, relying on an external Python interpreter
:0.6: repackaged with Python 2.2.3 and PyObjC 1.0b included,
       minor fixes


There are no special requirements for running RegexPlor. From
version 0.6 it ships as a standalone application which should be
running on any Mac OS X 10.x, althouth it was developped on 10.2.
As it comes with full source code you can build RegexPlor yourself,
if you have Apple's developer tools installed, plus some Python
interpreter version 2.2 or higher, plus PyObjC 1.0b [1]_.


RegexPlor is released under the GPL - see the included file,


The RegexPlor distribution, screenshots and a sample movie of
RegexPlor in action are all available from:


Among the undoubtly many other GUI tools similar to RegexPlor are
Kodos [2]_ and Regex-Coach [3]_. If you know more of them, please
send me a short note.

You might experience some strange effects with RegexPlor when
moving the window accross the screen. I suspect this is somehow
related to the metal texture being used, but I'm not sure yet. It
usually disappears quickly after clicking in some places of the
windows. If you happen to know the reason for that please tell me.

At the moment, RegexPlor does nothing meaningful when attempting
to save or open a file. This will probably be disabled, soon.


I think RegexPlor 0.6 is quite complete in terms of functionality
but I'd like to mark text also using background colours like it is
done in Hydra, but I have no idea how that can be done. Again, if
you know... And then the usual localization etc. Your help and
suggestions are very welcome!


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Dinu Gherman,
dinu at mac dot com,