Flagrant Badassery

A JavaScript and regular expression centric blog

Writing a Regex Book

I'm excited to announce that I've recently started working on a regular expression book for O'Reilly Media. The back story is that a few months ago, Jeffrey Friedl (author of the world's best regular expression book yet wink) was kind enough to introduce me to his editor at O'Reilly, Andy Oram. After Andy and I discussed what we thought was a good follow-up and alternative approach to Jeffery's very popular book, I asked Jan Goyvaerts (of RegexBuddy and regular-expressions.info) if he was interested in working together. Long story short, Jan and I are now working on what we hope will be an exceptionally practical, high-quality guide to solving real problems using regular expressions. You can see Jan's announcement on his blog.

Unfortunately, due to work on the book and other responsibilities I probably won't be able to spend as much time on this blog until the book is further along. However, as things progress I hope to share more information about the project, and get some early feedback on a few sections. Let me know if there are particular regex problems you'd like to see solutions for in the book.

Update: The book is now available for pre-order: Regular Expressions Cookbook.

There Are 18 Responses So Far. »

  1. Will it be as much of a roach killer as Mastering Regular Expressions? I’ve looked at that and it seems like a lot more than I actually need. I’m not sure I need to be an actual master, I’d just like to be better at them…

  2. @Rob, I’m not sure what you mean by “roach killer”. Regarding your thoughts on MRE, see the related comments from Jan and I at the end of Jan’s post. Since we’re still in he early stages I’m not yet ready to talk much about the format and content of the book, but based on your comment I think it will be right up your alley.

  3. I’m not sure what “roach killer” means but it’s one of the O’Reilly books I’ve owned in multiple editions (the other being Flanagan’s JavaScript book). I’m really looking forward to reading it – one area that would be nice to see Regex solutions for is the parsing of formated text files and also type checking with regular expressions – easy types like numeric values and other more difficult ones like address formats. Search / Replace regex scenarios come up often too…

  4. Loooking forward reading a regexbook book based on JavaScript!
    I got pretty of regex work with JS, Server-side ï¼›)

  5. Congrats Steve! Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

  6. @Frank, it will cover much more than just JavaScript. @David and @Rob, thanks!

  7. Sweet! Glad it’s moving along. You’re a great writer, Jan too, so I’m looking forward to anything you guys write.

  8. Interesting. It seems that whenever I need to look something up about regex I get linked here or regular-expression.info so now I’m really curious to see what you will come up with.

  9. Roach killer = a book large enough to kill a really pesky roach based on just its massive, gravity altering weight.

  10. Congrats Steve!I am looking forward to the book about regExp you will write.

  11. [Edited by Steve because Harold knows some things about the book that I’m not sure can be publicly disclosed yet.]

    I’ll buy the book (or review it … or at least add it to my wish-list on digitarald.de and hope for a generous sponsor)

  12. Awesome Steve! I am sure it will kick ass. Not only are you amazing at regular expressions, I find that your explanations take things that are insanely complicated and make much easier to understand. Definitely looking forward to it.

  13. Very good news and I wish good luck for your new book. I hope this book to be able making its reader setting regular expressions that handles block of codes, something such google Ads code, FLV player and other javascripts coding blocks.

    Best Regards,
    Said Bakr

  14. […] one of the Agile Webmasters, Steve Levithan, is writing a Regex book with Jan that I’d be all over if I didn’t know Steve and couldn’t just ask him my […]

  15. I expect after your own copy I’ll be the owner of the 2nd. Can’t wait. Gombattene!

  16. […] about regular expressions instead of blogging. I’m done writing my part of the book, while Steven wraps up the last chapter. There’s still a lot of work to be done before it’ll appear […]

  17. Get back to work and get it finished,,,more than happy to buy it

  18. Cool!

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