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they have different meta characters (*?[] versus \^$[].|()?*+{}) and with different meanings for those meta characters. Moreover, wildcards are used by the shell to match existing filenames, while regular expressions are not so constrained.

Ok, and this is why i consider this partially to be a trick question, Ie one that brings up much more complex issues that it appears you realize.

To me the glob syntax is just an impoverished regular expression language. Even glob uses similar terms to describe it. Ie, a glob pattern can be directly converted to your regex language of choice. It lacks alternation and proper quantifiers, but that doesn't make it any less regular, just less useful (but of more predictable performance).

Anyway, I doubt I would have been so bashful in an interview scenario, I probably would have had to ask you for some clarification. "What is the difference between a wild-card and a regular expression?" to me is a pretty dodgy question. "The" difference? Umm. Which wild-card syntax and which regular expression syntax. Do you mean perl style (ir)regular-expressions or what? The second part of the question I think i would have got :-)


In reply to Re^3: On Interviewing and Interview Questions by demerphq
in thread On Interviewing and Interview Questions by eyepopslikeamosquito

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