Regex Guru

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Filed under: Regex Libraries — Jan Goyvaerts @ 17:09

R is the name of the programming language in the R project for statistical computing. It’s a bit different from the usual programming languages I work with. R primarily works on vectors, and so does its regular expression functionality. This means the new regular expression source code snippets for R in RegexBuddy 3.2.0 are a little different from those for the other languages RegexBuddy supports. But that’s a good thing. The regexp functionality in R works well with the rest of the language. The new article Regular Expressions with The R Language on has more details.

Though the regex features are tailored for R, the regex flavors are not. R supports three flavors, called basic, extended and perl in R’s documentation. I call these flavors GNU BRE, GNU ERE and PCRE. RegexBuddy supports all three, but the R source code snippets only use PCRE. PCRE is far more powerful than GNU BRE and GNU ERE. These old flavors based on the POSIX standard have the same functionality, but BRE uses a different syntax than ERE and PCRE.

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