SPUG:Question from Damian's talk on embedded code in regex

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRunningWolf at att.net
Mon Jan 20 03:02:24 CST 2003

Damian Conway <damian at conway.org> writes:

> Chuck Langenberg wrote:
> > Does anybody know for "sure" if there's a 3rd edition of "Mastering
> > Regular Expressions" by Friedl on the horizon? I've been spoofed
> > before & I'm not interested in cleaning out any more old inventory.
> >   I took notes when Damian recommended Jeff Friedl's book, and he
> > specifically mentioned the "Third Edition".
>      ($what_damian_meant = $what_damian_said) =~ s/Third/Second/;
> (Of course, with my accent, I might actually have said "second", and
> you still heard "third" ;-)

He's so used to zero-time quantum holes, and talking about Perl6 as
though it were in the present, he probably was already channeling
RFC's for Jeffrey's next release.  :-)

The second edition was released at OSCON in July 2002, so it recent.
I had the opportunity to talk with him in person.  He was so happy and
proud to get the accumulated cruft swept out of the first edition
(1997) as he released the second edition.  Not only were the errors
gone, but he'd caught the book up to the state of the art/practice.

I'll *second* that!!!


P.S.  Although I don't yet have a second edition, I know that the part
I'll miss is in the acknowledgements.  At OSCON, I had an opportunity
to acknowledged Jeffrey for the acknowledgement section.  (Recursion
or iteration?)  It touched me.  Unfortunately it's gone in the second
edition.  I've told the story numerous times, in many different
contexts.  I'll reproduce it here.

"Mastering Regular Expressions", Jeffrey E. F. Friedl.  Edition 1,
1997.  pg xxi

>   Personal Comments and Acknowledgements
>     My Mon once told me that she couldn't believe that she ever married
>     Dad.  When they got married, she said they _thought_ that they loved
>     each other.  It was nothing, she continued, compared with the depth
>     of what they now share, thirty-something years later.  It's just as
>     well that they didn't know how much better it could get, for had
>     they known, they might have considered what they had to be too
>     little to chance the future on.
>     The analogy may be a bit melodramatic, but several years ago, I
>     _thought_ I understood regular expressions.
>     [...]
>     I soon learned just how much I didn't know.

Resume Michael's text:

I guess a marraige license is like a pilot's licence.  When I got
mine, the FAA instructor handed me "my licence to learn".

Damian, thanks for stamping my Perl license with that RE endorsement
last week.  As you can see from my previous posting, I'm learning.
Like Jeffrey's Mom, I didn't have any idea how much I'd love this
language when I picked it up 7 years ago.

Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRunningWolf at att.net

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