swiftone has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I'm writing a parser for a specified format (so I'm stuck with the format). I have no doubt this will lead to many questions, but here's my first:

Given a string of comma separated elements, where an element can contain a function, and functions can have commas in their arguments, how do I best grab the elements?

After looking over Merlyn's nested C comment parser and The CSV parser from Mastering Regex, I have a working solution. I'm not convinced, however, that this is the easiest/best way to do it. Comments?

#!/usr/bin/perl $teststr="blah,blah(blah,blah(blah,blah(blah))),blah"; #This is three elements: # blah # blah(blah,blah(blah,blah(blah))) # blah # I don't have to worry about escaped parens, the file format forbids +it. foreach (&parse_comma($teststr)){ print "$_\n"; #This just proves that it works } sub parse_comma{ my $commastr=shift; my @tags; my $count=0; my $carrystr=""; foreach (split(/,/, $commastr)){ $_=$carrystr.",".$_ if $carrystr; $count=s/\(/(/g; $count-=s/\)/)/g; if($count){ $carrystr=$_; }else{ $carrystr=""; push @tags, $_; } } return @tags; }