|Java Regular Expressions: Taming the java.util.regex Engine|
This book is an excellent introduction to regular expressions in general and the Java regex package in particular. The author assumes that the reader has no experience with regular expressions so even if the subject is completely new to you, you will be able to follow along easily.
The book approaches the topic in a clever way that makes it both an excellent tutorial as well as an excellent reference to keep nearby. The first chapter covers regular expression syntax. The second chapter looks at the two main classes, Pattern and Matcher, and discusses each of the methods in these classes. The way the information is presented makes it a perfect tutorial, as the methods are introduced in a sensible order that allows the detailed discussion to build. At the same time, since each method is discussed with excellent description and examples, it serves as a useful reference. Chapter three looks at some advanced topics such as groups, qualifiers, and lookaheads. In chapter four the author gives us some advice and chapter five demonstrates some useful examples. The books ends with a reference, summarizing the topics discussed in the first two chapters.
Other than a few minor misprints and one slightly confusing group example early on I could find nothing to complain about. Any Java programmer interested in learning regular expressions will find this book extremely useful. It is hard to imagine that there could be a better book on regular expressions than this one.
(Thomas Paul - Sheriff, March 2004)
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