If you write software, you probably use regular expressions frequently in your code, in developer tooling and even maybe in database queries.
But where did they come from? How did the token ^ come to mean “the start of a line”? You might know that “PCRE” means “Perl Compatible Regular Expression” but why is Perl singled out? And maybe you’re aware that the developers of golang were originally wary about including regular expressions in their language design. Why? Are regular expressions – gasp – dangerous?
In this talk we will examine the historical origins of regular expressions and various implementations of regular expressions in programming languages old and new(er). We will discuss why some regular expressions are “bad” and how inefficiencies can be avoided or minimized.
Nova Labs, Software Developer
Jade has been a software developer and dev-ops person for a really long time. She is interested in functional programming, distributed computing and computing history topics. She writes mostly Erlang for her day job.
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