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The challenge here is asking youself "What kind of regexes do I want my tool to generate". This makes things a little harder and is one of the reasons that this kind of tool isn't on the market.

A computer program cannot read your mind, obviously. So, the regexes generated from a single simple string will be rather simple - there isn't enough data to work with to create a complex expression there. For example, should the regex retain length? When should a regex generalize a character into a character class or match exactly? If we generalize out to a character class, what about when a character could be placed in several different character classes?

While the tool could produce more useful regexes from additional data (such as multiple strings) the question remains - by what rules do we generate a regex from the given data? The rules will vary from project to project, so a tool that has rules builtin will not be very useful to others, and as such won't be out there in the market. If you want a tool you can program regex generating rules into, you get into a layer of abstraction which makes things harder not easier on the programmer - you'd be better off generating the regexes yourself.

Some tools that might help you out - Parse::RecDecent Parse::Yapp and perhaps Regex::English.

Cheers,
Erik

Light a man a fire, he's warm for a day. Catch a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life. - Terry Pratchet


In reply to Re: Regular Expression Builder by erikharrison
in thread Regular Expression Builder by Rich36

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