Regular Expressions

In theoretical computer science and formal language theory, a regular expression (abbreviated regex or regexp) is a sequence of characters that forms a search pattern, mainly for use in pattern matching with strings, or string matching, i.e. "find and replace"-like operations. The concept arose in the 1950s, when the American mathematician Stephen Kleene formalized the description of a regular language, and came into common use with the Unix text processing utilities ed, an editor, and grep (global regular expression print), a filter.Each character in a regular expression is either understood to be a metacharacter with its special meaning, or a regular character with its literal meaning.
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