Making regex suck less

John Hall wweexxsseessssaa at
Mon Sep 2 15:51:44 EDT 2002

On 2 Sep 2002 19:30:46 GMT, bokr at (Bengt Richter) wrote:

>I agree about new syntax, but I wouldn't mind having a function
>for interactive use that would just explain in 'English' what the regexp expression
>stands for. It would be a nice easy double check on whether I wrote what I meant,
>and helpful for understanding someone else's magic. It shouldn't be that hard to do.

Many years ago, in my PL/I & IBM Mainframe days, I wrote a gizmo to
check the result of some tricky JCL (Job Control Language) parameters.
(Required because if it did not do what the user intended, it could
fail in an overnight run and the user wouldn't know until morning)

Not only did it take an expression and show the result, but it gave a
decision-by-decision commentary on why the result was what it was, so
provided a live tutorial by way of a simulator. It was moderately
difficult to write, IIRC, but most difficult was checking that the
simulator was in accord with reality.

However I don't understand regexs well enough to attempt this yet.

John W Hall <wweexxsseessssaa at>
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
"Helping People Prosper in the Information Age"

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