Home > Interesting > YOW! West 2015 Damian Conway – Everything You Know About Regexes Is Wrong #YOWWest

YOW! West 2015 Damian Conway – Everything You Know About Regexes Is Wrong #YOWWest

For most programmers, regular expressions are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma shrouded in line-noise. So most sensible programmers either don’t use them at all (and are thereby forced to reinvent worse wheels…badly), or else they fall back on an “evolutionary programming” approach: find an existing regex that looks like it might do, then randomly permute its “genome” over and over again until it appears to work.

In this talk, we’ll go back to basics and discover that regexes mostly aren’t what you think they are, mostly don’t work the way you were taught they did, and mostly shouldn’t be created the way everyone tells you to.

More usefully, we’ll also talk about what regexes really are, how they actually work, and see how normal programmers can make use of their existing software development skills to construct correct and efficient regexes…without selling their souls or losing their minds.

Damian Conway holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

A widely sought-after speaker and trainer, he is also the author of numerous well-known Open Source software libraries and developer tools, as well as several books and series of articles on programming. Between 2001 and 2010 was Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Australia.

Other technical areas in which he has worked and published include: developer education, presentation skills, programming language design, language paradigms, software engineering, testing and debugging, documentation systems, natural language generation, synthetic language generation, emergent systems, image morphing, human-computer interaction, geometric modelling, the psychophysics of perception, nanoscale simulation, and parsing techniques.

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