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Answer: How do I change .. to the real filename?

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Q&A > regular expressions > How do I change .. to the real filename? contributed by matthewm

To answer your specifc example..
$file =~ s%/[^/]+/\.\.$%%
... will eat the last directory name that's up'ed by the trailing ..
To give a more general/complete example that can handle multiple .'s and ..'s at any point in the path.
# colapse /./ and /.$ 1 while ($file =~ s%/\.(/|$)%$1%g); # colapse /dir/../ and /dir/..$ # ignore /../../ and /../..$ 1 while ($file =~ s%/[^/]+/(?<!/\.\./)\.\.(/|$)%$1%g); # remove ^dir/../ and ^dir/../ # ignore ^../../ and ^../.. 1 while ($file =~ s%^[^/]+/(?<!^\.\./)\.\.(/|$)%%); # colapse ^/../ to / 1 while ($file =~ s%^/\.\./%/%); # expand null to . $file =~ s%^$%.%;
We need the itterations of each loop as each substitution may reveal additional matchs.
We need multiple expressions to get the order of susbistion right. That is /../../ should colapse the two proceding directoires and not itself.
I'm sure it can be reduced more than that but it is as simple as I can see it can be and still catch all the special cases.
I use something very similar to this at the beginning of my scripts to get the conical path for $0 and not the called path. Although spliting the path into its components and working backwards is probably easier/clearer than using a regex.

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