How I learned to stop worrying and love Regular Expressions


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Matt Dawkins at 14:28 on 19 Feb 2016

I thought I already knew about regular expressions. And, sure enough, I did. Right up until 20 minutes in when it got super complicated, and then I was lost. I'll definitely need to go away and look these up and try them in real world scenarios (which was what was missing from this presentation, imo). Sadly, I'm left feeling more worried about regular expressions than before I came in!

David Yell at 14:37 on 19 Feb 2016

A good presentation considering its all about regular expressions! Some good tips and tricks, all the way to some mind bending magic.

Mark Suliga at 17:16 on 19 Feb 2016

good presentation and regexp tutorial, I was hoping it will make me feel better about regexp. Jordi is a good speaker and managed to keep this topic entertaining. On side note a bit tough topic for after-lunch time slot.

Lee Davis at 18:24 on 19 Feb 2016

I love listening to Jordi talk. He's always so chilled and friendly (because he'll only berate you privately). I've always had a fear of regexes, although I'm probably better at them than I give myself credit for, I always flinch when faced with one, or at least the knowledge that now is the time to use one.

Anyway, this talk broke things down really well, and I followed along happily until he moved onto the lookahead/behind syntax, and then in typical fashion I hid back into my shell. I wish I could face them, like Nicolas Cage did in The Rock when confronted with Sergeant Crisp wielding an extremely sharp knife. He slammed on that rocket, "You know how THAT s**t works!!?". Nice one Nicky!

I unfortunately (not as brave as Mr Cage) will have to continue to try and face my demons and figure out exactly how that s**t works. Until then, I'm a half baked regexer, with plenty of space in my toolbox.

Thanks for the inspiration Jordi.

Katy Ereira at 18:36 on 19 Feb 2016

Well, I was surprised by this talk. I consider myself a regex veteran and diehard fan, so I expected not to learn too much in this talk - thinking it would be aimed at beginners, and it would be rather like preaching to the choir. However, some way more advanced topics were covered pretty quickly and I can imagine any newcomer to regex would have been pretty lost! So, if you are a beginner and expecting an easy introduction, I can see why you would be disappointed. However, I was really quite pleased to get a behind-the-scenes peak and learn some interesting regex gotchas. Definitely food for thought. Thank you, Jordi.

Phil at 01:07 on 20 Feb 2016

Sometimes 1 slide is enough.

Jordi clicked the scarab and I did not. I wish I had clicked that as scarab so I could see the breakdown of how each regexp worked.

So glad I know now though.

The content is very good, covering everything from the simplest syntax (*, +) to advanced topics such as look-ahead and backreferences. I only knew half of this content after years of regular expressions production usage.
However, I feel that for highly technical content another format would be best suited to keep people engaged; for example, an interactive REPL or code sample that attendees can tinker with on their laptop. Especially in an after lunch slot it's easy for them to get lost.

Tom Cameron at 10:25 on 22 Feb 2016

Came into this presentation thinking I knew almost everything I needed to about regular expressions. Was definitely incorrect! This was a great presentation, leading from the very basics up through some really advanced stuff very quickly. It was fast-paced, and I think if you lost it at any point you'd struggle to pick it up again - thankfully didn't lose it, and this was a fantastic talk throughout.

Saw this primarily as I enjoyed Jordi's talk the previous day, and this followed on well - great presentation style, and will certainly try to see more in future! Would recommend this to anyone at any level as a starting point for regular expressions.

Gary Fuller at 12:49 on 22 Feb 2016

Jordi is a great speaker, but this broke my brain. I'm very new to Regex and I struggled to follow at various points. That said, I did come out of it having decided to learn more about the subject, so it was definitely worth going.

David Shrive at 14:53 on 22 Feb 2016

As a rookie Regex user I was hoping for some good introductory tips however Jordi went more advanced than I was expecting. Luckily he explained the concepts very well and I just about managed to follow along. Will definitely need to read up on these method before using them in the wild but have a much better, albeit theoretical, understanding of Regex now.

I have to admit that I already love regular expressions (though I am still a bit daunted by very loooong ones) so this was a fantastic talk if only in that it told me I can... comment..... them. That's a bit of a life changer (why did I never think to look it up before?!). Thanks. I am worrying a bit less now already.

Jack Segal at 10:09 on 25 Feb 2016

I thought the talk was a bit dry and that he moved too fast. I think it would have been better to create a "real life problem" and use that one example all the way through, discussing the problems one would face and how they would face it.