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Mark is a programmer who hates writing regular expressions. So he wrote a kind of visual regular expression generator that starts with the string to be searched, identifies recognizable patterns in it, and lets you select those you want. Then it outputs a working (albeit probably inelegant) regular expression to get the job done. The commentariat over at txt2re.com is somewhat predictably divided between grateful regex amateurs and annoyed experts. [via Boing Boing]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://www.facebook.com/blanius Bret Lanius

    I like the idea. As a casual programmer I often struggle to get a Regex that works right

  • Anonymous

    i have known about this tool for years. What irritates me is he WILL NOT release the source code.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bradkoch2007 Brad Koch

    I’ve used them; that particular tool has been around for years. They’re not all that useful. Text matching is either too simple to bother with a generation tool or too complex for the tool to be of any use. Every programmer should learn regex, if for no other reason than being able to more easily perform find & replace operations. It’s not even that hard, if someone teaches you properly. Most tutorials fail miserably at that.