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text parsing

Michael Cleary
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2003
Posts: 93
Can anyone point me to any references/examples of parsing text in java? I basically need to search lines in a text file and look for certain patterns, etc. Are there some regular expression classes / methods that are useful for this sort of thing?


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Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41599
Well, what kind of patterns are you looking for? If they're just words or phrases, then String.indexOf might be all you need. If it's more complicated, then the String.matches and String.split methods (and of course the whole java.util.regex package) provide regular expression support.

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Michael Cleary
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2003
Posts: 93
The patterns will vary a bit. One will be a persons name in the form of either "lastname" or "lastname MI". Another might be a number in the form of "3.00" (no quotes on any of them of course). I'm trying to help my son out a bit w/ an assignment (and no, I'm not doing it for him). I got my SCJP a couple of years ago, got to work on one Java project at work, and since then I've been stuck in PERL. So unfortunately, I'm a little rusty w/ Java.

Henry Wong

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18756

Java's regex package is almost as good as the PERL regex library. It is missing some features. And the regex as Java strings causes some extra backspaces -- but should be easy to pickup, if you are a PERL user of regex.


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Michael Cleary
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2003
Posts: 93
I'll take a look - thanks! And yeah, I use regex in PERL on a daily basis! I was hoping Java had something similar - I've just never used it before.

Thanks again,
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: text parsing