Parsing for email addresses

Ben Finney ben+python at
Tue Feb 16 02:01:03 CET 2010

galileo228 <mattbarkan at> writes:

> I'm trying to write python code that will open a textfile and find the
> email addresses inside it. I then want the code to take just the
> characters to the left of the "@" symbol, and place them in a list.

Email addresses can have more than one ‘@’ character. In fact, the
quoting rules allow the local-part to contain *any ASCII character* and
remain valid.

> Any suggestions would be much appeciated!

For a brief but thorough treatment of parsing email addresses, see RFC
3696, “Application Techniques for Checking and Transformation of Names”
<URL:>, specifically section 3.

 \          “What I have to do is see, at any rate, that I do not lend |
  `\      myself to the wrong which I condemn.” —Henry Thoreau, _Civil |
_o__)                                                    Disobedience_ |
Ben Finney

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