Todd Sedano

Software Engineering, Improv, Craftsmanship

Rethinking Regex

What if regular expressions were easy to write?

While attending the Golden Gate Ruby Conference 2010, I attended a session about Arel and how Rails was changing their ORM layer to make it easier to incrementally build the query.

Old: Article.find(:all, :order => “published_at desc”, :limit => 10)

New: Article.order(“published_at desc”).limit(10)

It occurred to me that this concept of simplifying could be applied to regular expression.

While I have time, I’ll continue to build up examples of what the syntax could look like.

Random thoughts:

What: not a number

  • ie a string that can’t be convert to a number
  • A string that contains at least on character
  • Regex: /^.\D+.$/
  • Positive examples: 113t23io10908-113
  • Negative examples: 13431