Cameron Laird's personal notes on "Regular Expressions"

Table of contents

What "Regular Expressions" are

Let's distinguish three meanings of "regular expressions" (REs):

There are also, as it happens, several of "Irregular Expressions":

Summary chronology of the "Regular Expressions" column

The column originally began as "Regular Expressions" [tell the story of the name selection] for SunWorld Online beginning in mid-1998. SunWorld Online, arguably the first professional Web magazine, folded into UnixInsider in mid-2000. UnixInsider changed its business model several times, most dramatically in early 2001, and last ran an installment of the column in March 2001. ITworld.com picked up three final installments in April and May 2001. We took a vacation from "Regular Expressions" for the summer, then relaunched the column in August 2001 for UnixReview.com. UnixReview changed its business model in mid-2007, and we took a sabbatical until Linux Developer Network began to host "RE" at the end of summer 2008.

A minimally-annotated index to the "Regular Expressions" column

UnixReview.com did a good job indexing the RE columns it has published. SunWorld Online maintained--somewhat erratically--a minimal index to the twice-a-month column. Or maybe it doesn't; the previous URL seems to have gone badly stale, and this isn't much of a substitute. In any case, Jean-Claude Wippler agitated for a more extensively annotated table of contents to the column [IMPORTANT! As of April 2001, several of these hyperlinks have gone bad. I'm aware of it, and doggedly working to restore them. Write me if there's one in particular you need]:


Cameron Laird's personal notes on "Regular Expressions"/claird@phaseit.net