Regex

Usage

use Regex;

or

import Regex;

Regular expression support.

The regular expression support is built on top of the RE2 regular expression library. As such, the exact regular expression syntax available is the syntax from RE2, which is available within the RE2 project at https://github.com/google/re2 and included here for your convenience.

Enabling Regular Expression Support

Setting the environment variable CHPL_RE2 to bundled will enable regular expression support with the RE2 library:

export CHPL_RE2=bundled

Then, rebuild Chapel. The RE2 library will be expanded from a release included in the Chapel distribution.

Note

if re2 support is not enabled (which is the case in quickstart configurations as in Chapel Quickstart Instructions), the functionality described below will result in either a compile-time or a run-time error.

Using Regular Expression Support

Chapel supports both string and bytes regular expressions.

use Regex;
var myRegex = compile("a+");   // b"a+" for matching arbitrary bytes values

Now you can use these methods on regular expressions: regex.search, regex.match, regex.split, regex.matches.

You can also use the string versions of these methods: string.search, string.match, string.split, or string.matches. Methods with same prototypes exist for Bytes type, as well.

Lastly, you can include regular expressions in the format string for readf for searching on QIO channels using the %/<regex>/ syntax.

Regular Expression Examples

a+

Match one or more a characters

[[:space:]]* or \s* (which would be "\\s*" in a string)

Match zero or more spaces

[[:digit:]]+ or \d+ (which would be "\\d+" in a string)

Match one or more digits

([a-zA-Z0-9]+[[:space:]]+=[[:space:]]+[0-9]+

Match sequences of the form <letters-and-digits> <spaces> = <digits>

RE2 regular expression syntax reference

Single characters:
.            any character, possibly including newline (s=true)
[xyz]        character class
[^xyz]       negated character class
\d           Perl character class (see below)
\D           negated Perl character class (see below)
[:alpha:]    ASCII character class
[:^alpha:]   negated ASCII character class
\pN          Unicode character class (one-letter name)
\p{Greek}    Unicode character class
\PN          negated Unicode character class (one-letter name)
\P{Greek}    negated Unicode character class

Composites:
xy           «x» followed by «y»
x|y          «x» or «y» (prefer «x»)

Repetitions:
x*           zero or more «x», prefer more
x+           one or more «x», prefer more
x?           zero or one «x», prefer one
x{n,m}       «n» or «n»+1 or ... or «m» «x», prefer more
x{n,}        «n» or more «x», prefer more
x{n}         exactly «n» «x»
x*?          zero or more «x», prefer fewer
x+?          one or more «x», prefer fewer
x??          zero or one «x», prefer zero
x{n,m}?      «n» or «n»+1 or ... or «m» «x», prefer fewer
x{n,}?       «n» or more «x», prefer fewer
x{n}?        exactly «n» «x»

Grouping:
(re)         numbered capturing group
(?P<name>re) named & numbered capturing group
(?:re)       non-capturing group
(?flags)     set flags within current group; non-capturing
(?flags:re)  set flags during re; non-capturing

Flags:
i            case-insensitive (default false)
m            multi-line mode: «^» and «$» match begin/end line in addition to
               begin/end text (default false)
s            let «.» match «\n» (default false)
U            ungreedy: swap meaning of «x*» and «x*?», «x+» and «x+?», etc.
               (default false)

Flag syntax is:
  «xyz»   (set)
  «-xyz»  (clear)
  «xy-z»  (set «xy», clear «z»)

Empty strings:
^            at beginning of text or line («m»=true)
$            at end of text (like «\z» not «\Z») or line («m»=true)
\A           at beginning of text
\b           at word boundary («\w» on one side and «\W», «\A», or «\z» on the
               other)
\B           not a word boundary
\z           at end of text

Escape sequences:
\a           bell (== \007)
\f           form feed (== \014)
\t           horizontal tab (== \011)
\n           newline (== \012)
\r           carriage return (== \015)
\v           vertical tab character (== \013)
\*           literal «*», for any punctuation character «*»
\123         octal character code (up to three digits)
\x7F         hex character code (exactly two digits)
\x{10FFFF}   hex character code
\C           match a single byte even in UTF-8 mode
\Q...\E      literal text «...» even if «...» has punctuation

Character class elements:
x            single character
A-Z          character range (inclusive)
\d           Perl character class (see below)
[:foo:]      ASCII character class «foo»
\p{Foo}      Unicode character class «Foo»
\pF          Unicode character class «F» (one-letter name)

Named character classes as character class elements:
[\d]         digits (== \d)
[^\d]        not digits (== \D)
[\D]         not digits (== \D)
[^\D]        not not digits (== \d)
[[:name:]]   named ASCII class inside character class (== [:name:])
[^[:name:]]  named ASCII class inside negated character class (== [:^name:])
[\p{Name}]   named Unicode property inside character class (== \p{Name})
[^\p{Name}]  named Unicode property inside negated character class (==\P{Name})

Perl character classes:
\d           digits (== [0-9])
\D           not digits (== [^0-9])
\s           whitespace (== [\t\n\f\r ])
\S           not whitespace (== [^\t\n\f\r ])
\w           word characters (== [0-9A-Za-z_])
\W           not word characters (== [^0-9A-Za-z_])

ASCII character classes::
  Note -- you must use these within a [] group! so if you want
          to match any number of spaces, use [[:space:]]* or \s*

[:alnum:]    alphanumeric (== [0-9A-Za-z])
[:alpha:]    alphabetic (== [A-Za-z])
[:ascii:]    ASCII (== [\x00-\x7F])
[:blank:]    blank (== [\t ])
[:cntrl:]    control (== [\x00-\x1F\x7F])
[:digit:]    digits (== [0-9])
[:graph:]    graphical (== [!-~] ==
               [A-Za-z0-9!"#$%&'()*+,\-./:;<=>?@[\\\]^_`{|}~])
[:lower:]    lower case (== [a-z])
[:print:]    printable (== [ -~] == [[:graph:]])
[:punct:]    punctuation (== [!-/:-@[-`{-~])
[:space:]    whitespace (== [\t\n\v\f\r ])
[:upper:]    upper case (== [A-Z])
[:word:]     word characters (== [0-9A-Za-z_])
[:xdigit:]   hex digit (== [0-9A-Fa-f])

Unicode character class names--general category:
C            other
Cc           control
Cf           format
Co           private use
Cs           surrogate
L            letter
Ll           lowercase letter
Lm           modifier letter
Lo           other letter
Lt           titlecase letter
Lu           uppercase letter
M            mark
Mc           spacing mark
Me           enclosing mark
Mn           non-spacing mark
N            number
Nd           decimal number
Nl           letter number
No           other number
P            punctuation
Pc           connector punctuation
Pd           dash punctuation
Pe           close punctuation
Pf           final punctuation
Pi           initial punctuation
Po           other punctuation
Ps           open punctuation
S            symbol
Sc           currency symbol
Sk           modifier symbol
Sm           math symbol
So           other symbol
Z            separator
Zl           line separator
Zp           paragraph separator
Zs           space separator

Unicode character class names--scripts (with explanation where non-trivial):
Arabic
Armenian
Balinese
Bengali
Bopomofo
Braille
Buginese
Buhid
Canadian_Aboriginal
Carian
Cham
Cherokee
Common       characters not specific to one script
Coptic
Cuneiform
Cypriot
Cyrillic
Deseret
Devanagari
Ethiopic
Georgian
Glagolitic
Gothic
Greek
Gujarati
Gurmukhi
Han
Hangul
Hanunoo
Hebrew
Hiragana
Inherited    inherit script from previous character
Kannada
Katakana
Kayah_Li
Kharoshthi
Khmer
Lao
Latin
Lepcha
Limbu
Linear_B
Lycian
Lydian
Malayalam
Mongolian
Myanmar
New_Tai_Lue  aka Simplified Tai Lue
Nko
Ogham
Ol_Chiki
Old_Italic
Old_Persian
Oriya
Osmanya
Phags_Pa
Phoenician
Rejang
Runic
Saurashtra
Shavian
Sinhala
Sundanese
Syloti_Nagri
Syriac
Tagalog
Tagbanwa
Tai_Le
Tamil
Telugu
Thaana
Thai
Tibetan
Tifinagh
Ugaritic
Vai
Yi

Vim character classes:
\d      digits (== [0-9])
\D      not «\d»
\w      word character
\W      not «\w»

Regular Expression Types and Methods

class BadRegexError: Error
var msg: string
proc init(msg: string)
override proc message()
type BadRegexpError = owned BadRegexError
proc compile(pattern: ?t, posix = false, literal = false, noCapture = false, ignoreCase = false, multiLine = false, dotAll = false, nonGreedy = false): regex(t) throws

Compile a regular expression. This routine will throw a class:BadRegexError if compilation failed.

Arguments
  • pattern – the regular expression to compile. This argument can be string or bytes. See RE2 regular expression syntax reference for details. Note that you may have to escape backslashes. For example, to get the regular expression \s, you’d have to write "\\s" because the \ is the escape character within Chapel string/bytes literals. Note that, Chapel supports triple-quoted raw string/bytes literals, which do not require escaping backslashes. For example """\s""" or b"""\s""" can be used.

  • posix – (optional) set to true to disable non-POSIX regular expression syntax

  • literal – (optional) set to true to treat the regular expression as a literal (ie, create a regex matching pattern as a string rather than as a regular expression).

  • noCapture – (optional) set to true in order to disable all capture groups in the regular expression

  • ignoreCase – (optional) set to true in order to ignore case when matching. Note that this can be set inside the regular expression with (?i).

  • multiLine – (optional) set to true in order to activate multiline mode (meaning that ^ and $ match the beginning and end of a line instead of just the beginning and end of the text. Note that this can be set inside a regular expression with (?m).

  • dotAll – (optional) set to true in order to allow . to match a newline. Note that this can be set inside the regular expression with (?s).

  • nonGreedy – (optional) set to true in order to prefer shorter matches for repetitions; for example, normally x* will match as many x characters as possible and x*? will match as few as possible. This flag swaps the two, so that x* will match as few as possible and x*? will match as many as possible. Note that this flag can be set inside the regular expression with (?U).

Throws

BadRegexError – If the argument ‘pattern’ has syntactical errors. Refer to https://github.com/google/re2/blob/master/re2/re2.h for more details about error codes.

record regexMatch

The regexMatch record records a regular expression search match or a capture group.

Regular expression search routines normally return one of these. Also, this type can be passed as a capture group argument. Lastly, something of type regexMatch can be checked for a match in a simple if statement, as in:

var m:regexMatch = ...;
if m then do_something_if_matched();
if !m then do_something_if_not_matched();
var matched: bool

true if the regular expression search matched successfully

var offset: byteIndex

0-based offset into the string or channel that matched; -1 if matched=false

var size: int

the length of the match. 0 if matched==false

proc string.this(m: regexMatch)

This function extracts the part of a string matching a regular expression or capture group. This method is intended to be called on the same string used as the text in a regular expression search.

Arguments

m – a match (e.g. returned by regex.search)

Returns

the portion of this referred to by the match

proc bytes.this(m: regexMatch)

This function extracts the part of a bytes matching a regular expression or capture group. This method is intended to be called on the same bytes used as the text in a regular expression search.

Arguments

m – a match (e.g. returned by regex.search)

Returns

the portion of this referred to by the match

record regex

This record represents a compiled regular expression. Regular expressions are currently cached on a per-thread basis and are reference counted. To create a compiled regular expression, use the proc:compile function.

A string-based regex can be cast to a string (resulting in the pattern that was compiled). A string can be cast to a string-based regex (resulting in a compiled regex). Same applies for bytes.

proc init(type exprType)
proc init=(x: regex(?))
proc search(text: exprType, ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Search within the passed text for the first match at any offset to this regular expression. This routine will try matching the regular expression at different offsets until a match is found. If you want to only match at the beginning of the pattern, you can start your pattern with ^ and end it with $ or use regex.match. If a capture group was not matched, the corresponding argument will get the default value for its type.

Arguments
  • text – a string or bytes to search

  • captures – (optional) what to capture from the regular expression. If the class:regex was based on string, then, these should be strings or types that strings can cast to. Same applies for bytes.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in text where a match occurred

proc match(text: exprType, ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Check for a match to this regular expression at the start of the passed text. If a capture group was not matched, the corresponding argument will get the default value for its type.

For example, this function can be used to check to see if a string fits a particular template:

if myRegex.match("some string") {
  doSomethingIfMatched();
}
Arguments
  • text – a string or bytes to search

  • captures – what to capture from the regular expression. If the class:regex was based on string, then, these should be strings or types that strings can cast to. Same applies for bytes.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in text where a match occurred

proc fullMatch(text: exprType, ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Check for a match to this regular expression in the full passed text. If a capture group was not matched, the corresponding argument will get the default value for its type.

Arguments
  • text – a string or bytes to search

  • captures – what to capture from the regular expression. If the class:regex was based on string, then, these should be strings or types that strings can cast to. Same applies for bytes.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in text where a match occurred

iter split(text: exprType, maxsplit: int = 0)

Split the text by occurrences of this regular expression. If capturing parentheses are used in pattern, then the text of all groups in the pattern are also returned as part of the resulting array. If maxsplit is nonzero, at most maxsplit splits occur, and the remaining text is returned as the last element.

Arguments
  • text – a string or bytes to split

  • maxsplit – if nonzero, the maximum number of splits to do

Yields

each split portion, one at a time

iter matches(text: exprType, param numCaptures = 0, maxMatches: int = max(int))

Enumerates matches in the text as well as capture groups.

Arguments
  • text – the string or bytes to search

  • captures – (compile-time constant) the size of the captures to return

  • maxmatches – the maximum number of matches to return

Yields

tuples of regexMatch objects, the 1st is always the match for the whole pattern and the rest are the capture groups.

iter matches(text: exprType, param captures = 0, maxmatches: int = max(int))

Warning

regex.matches arguments ‘captures’ and ‘maxmatches’ are deprecated. Use ‘numCaptures’ and/or ‘maxMatches instead.

proc subn(repl: exprType, text: exprType, global = true): (exprType, int)

Perform the same operation as regex.sub but return a tuple containing the new text and the number of substitutions made.

Arguments
  • repl – replace matches with this string or bytes

  • text : string or bytes – the text to search and replace within

  • global – if true, replace multiple matches

Returns

a tuple containing (new text, number of substitutions made)

proc sub(repl: exprType, text: exprType, global = true)

Find matches to this regular expression and create a new string or bytes in which those matches are replaced by repl.

Arguments
  • repl – replace matches with this string or bytes

  • text : string or bytes – the text to search and replace within

  • global – if true, replace multiple matches

Returns

the new string or bytes

proc string.search(needle: string, ignorecase = false): regexMatch

Compile a regular expression and search the receiving string for matches at any offset using regex.search.

Arguments
  • needle – the regular expression to search for

  • ignorecase – true to ignore case in the regular expression

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving string where a match occurred

proc bytes.search(needle: bytes, ignorecase = false): regexMatch

Compile a regular expression and search the receiving bytes for matches at any offset using regex.search.

Arguments
  • needle – the regular expression to search for

  • ignorecase – true to ignore case in the regular expression

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving bytes where a match occurred

proc string.search(needle: regex(string), ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Search the receiving string for a regular expression already compiled by calling regex.search. Search for matches at any offset.

Arguments
  • needle – the compiled regular expression to search for

  • captures – (optional) what to capture from the regular expression. These should be strings or types that strings can cast to.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving string where a match occurred

proc bytes.search(needle: regex(bytes), ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Search the receiving bytes for a regular expression already compiled by calling regex.search. Search for matches at any offset.

Arguments
  • needle – the compiled regular expression to search for

  • captures – (optional) what to capture from the regular expression. These should be bytes or types that bytes can cast to.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving bytes where a match occurred

proc string.match(pattern: regex(string), ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Match the receiving string to a regular expression already compiled by calling regex.match. Note that function only returns a match if the start of the string matches the pattern. Use string.search to search for the pattern at any offset.

Arguments
  • pattern – the compiled regular expression to match

  • captures – (optional) what to capture from the regular expression. These should be strings or types that strings can cast to.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving string where a match occurred

proc bytes.match(pattern: regex(bytes), ref captures ...?k): regexMatch

Match the receiving bytes to a regular expression already compiled by calling regex.match. Note that function only returns a match if the start of the bytes matches the pattern. Use bytes.search to search for the pattern at any offset.

Arguments
  • pattern – the compiled regular expression to match

  • captures – (optional) what to capture from the regular expression. These should be bytes or types that bytes can cast to.

Returns

an regexMatch object representing the offset in the receiving bytes where a match occurred

iter string.split(pattern: regex(string), maxsplit: int = 0)

Split the the receiving string by occurrences of the passed regular expression by calling regex.split.

Arguments
  • pattern – the regular expression to use to split

  • maxsplit – if nonzero, the maximum number of splits to do

Yields

each split portion, one at a time

iter bytes.split(pattern: regex(bytes), maxsplit: int = 0)

Split the the receiving bytes by occurrences of the passed regular expression by calling regex.split.

Arguments
  • pattern – the regular expression to use to split

  • maxsplit – if nonzero, the maximum number of splits to do

Yields

each split portion, one at a time

iter string.matches(pattern: regex(string), param captures = 0, maxmatches: int = max(int))

Enumerates matches in the receiving string as well as capture groups by calling regex.matches.

Arguments
  • pattern – the regular expression to find matches

  • captures – (compile-time constant) the size of the captures to return

  • maxmatches – the maximum number of matches to return

Yields

tuples of regexMatch objects, the 1st is always the match for the whole pattern and the rest are the capture groups.

iter bytes.matches(pattern: regex(bytes), param captures = 0, maxmatches: int = max(int))

Enumerates matches in the receiving bytes as well as capture groups by calling regex.matches.

Arguments
  • pattern – the regular expression to find matches

  • captures – (compile-time constant) the size of the captures to return

  • maxmatches – the maximum number of matches to return

Yields

tuples of regexMatch objects, the 1st is always the match for the whole pattern and the rest are the capture groups.