Mastering Regular Expressions, Third Edition

I've finally finished the writing and production of the Third Edition of my book, Mastering Regular Expressions (published by O'Reilly Media). I'd been working on it since the early fall, and finished the day before my travels started earlier this month.

This third edition is 58 pages longer than the second edition, and now reaches 542 pages in length. The main changes from the second edition are a new, 48-page chapter on PHP, and a rewritten/expanded Java chapter taking into account the many java.util.regex changes between Java 1.4 and Java 1.5/Java 1.6.

I've not yet updated the book's web site to reflect MRE3 changes, but I'll get around to it before the book hits the stores (which should be around the end of next month).

Comments so far....

I was introduced to your book’s 2nd edition by a colleague and I found it really useful…
I’ll be looking forward to the 3rd edition and the additional information…

— comment by Ramana on July 21st, 2006 at 4:48pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Would it be possible to “give” a free update to people (like myself :-p) who owned the second edition?

— comment by Shaolang on July 26th, 2006 at 1:51am JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Congratulations and good luck. Couldn’t O’Reilly change their ways a little a put a bikini model on the cover to boost sales? The bikini could have valid RegEx code all over it. Days and days of relentless rain (including Gion Matsuri) have given way to searing heat down in the valley. Don’t you wish you were home?

— comment by nils on July 27th, 2006 at 7:51pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I can’t hardly wait for the this 3rd edition of a great must-have-in-your-shelf book!

You indicated end of august above, but when I’m made an (pre)order in Amazone(UK) , they are telling me shipping around end of september and delivery in beginning of october.

May I hope for a faster delivery?

— comment by Kjell Arne Rekaa on August 3rd, 2006 at 9:13pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Have you planned a Chinese translation publishing?

— comment by Dengber on August 11th, 2006 at 12:32pm JST (7 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey,

Delighted to see that you are still active in this area. Not had chance to see the 3rd edition yet, but I certainly will do.

If you have not already covered the ksh93 approach to pattern matching/regular expressions, I sincerely hope you will consider this for a fourth edition.

I own and enjoy editions 1 and 2, and look forward to enjoying 3.

Kind regards,

Mike Ellwood

p.s. check out:






(..for example).

— comment by Mike Ellwood on August 18th, 2006 at 6:34pm JST (7 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

When will you include RegEx for JavaScript?

— comment by LHS on October 17th, 2006 at 1:52am JST (7 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink


I am in the middle of reading the 3rd edition of your book. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into it – I have never read any other programming or technical book that would be written as clearly as yours. Your goal “to teach a man how to fish” truly stands out!


— comment by Andy on November 24th, 2006 at 9:40am JST (7 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey,

First of all, Congratulations for coming up with such wonderful book. I am referring to 3rd Ed of your book named “Mastering Regular Expression” ( I am never short of humour ). I am just 1 week old in Regular Expression world and trying hard to work my way out. Your book has definitely helped me to understand – Why and what of regular expression. Though I face few difficulties to implement in Tcl. I wonder, why you haven’t included a separate chapter for Tcl.

And yes your blog is also very impressive , I like those pictures.

And I agree with you about that Japanese (Minister|Moron|Pig).

Thanks for all….


— comment by Sunny on February 3rd, 2007 at 1:56am JST (7 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Ahhh the memories. I remember my teacher one day asking me why I carried a book about owls around with me.

— comment by Leon on April 9th, 2011 at 8:06am JST (3 years ago) comment permalink
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