Robust regex

John Gordon gordon at
Mon Nov 19 21:50:10 CET 2012

In <mailman.7.1353357285.29569.python-list at> "Joseph L. Casale" <jcasale at> writes:

> Trying to robustly parse a string that will have key/value pairs separated
> by three pipes, where each additional key/value (if more than one exists)
> will be delineated by four more pipes.
>     string = 'key_1|||value_1||||key_2|||value_2'
>     regex = '((?:(?!\|\|\|).)+)(?:\|\|\|)((?:(?!\|\|\|).)+)(?:\|\|\|\|)?'
> I am not convinced this is the most effective or safest, any opinions would
> be greatly appreciated!

Regexes may be overkill here.  A simple string split might be better:

    string = 'key_1|||value_1||||key_2|||value_2'
    pairs = string.split('||||')
    for pair in pairs:
        keyval = pair.split('|||')
        print '%s=%s' % (keyval[0], keyval[1])

John Gordon                   A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs
gordon at              B is for Basil, assaulted by bears
                                -- Edward Gorey, "The Gashlycrumb Tinies"

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