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September 16, 2010



Why not to use PHP support for Regular Expressions?


Nick Desbarats


I don't know a lot about regex's, but as I understand them, it would be difficult/impossible to write one that handles the examples in my post correctly, or cases like these:

"12.1 L per 100 k.m." should return "12.1" (and not "12.1100..").

"14 MP3 players" should return "14" (and not "143").

"On-site employees: 200" should return "200" (and not "-200").

"33,333" should return "33333", but "33,,333" should return "33".

"3,333.3" should return "3333.3", but "3.333,3" should return "3.333".

Is it possible to write a regex string that would handle cases like these?


Yes, it's possible.
For example this regex will much any optionally signed floating point number in the text:

Comma in the number (33,333) is a different case since you want to strip it out rather then just match it.


- works for all your examples.

You can remove ',' from the result as a second step.

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Why not to use PHP support for Regular Expressions?

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Thanks Sasha your regex worked really well :)

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