Automatically generate regular expressions with Txt2re

A programmer who hates coming up with regular expressions has produced a visual tool for automatically generating them. You paste in a block of text, identify the parts of it you'd like your regexp to catch, and it produces an (admittedly inelegant but absolutely functional) regexp ready for your use. The programmer explains, "It's free because I have been helped in my career so much by the programmers who generated free systems like linux, apache, php and mysql – this is the only free labour that I have ever given back to the community."

So what does txt2re do?
This system acts as a regular expression generator. Instead of trying to build the regular expression, you start off with the string that you want to search. You paste this into the site, click submit and the site finds recognisable patterns in your string. You then select the patterns that you are interested in and it writes a fully fledged program that extracts those patterns from that string. You then copy the program into your editor or IDE and play with it to integrate it into your program.

Thats appalling – where's the subtlety and art of crafting a beautiful regular expression in that?
There is none.


(via Kottke)