Crate fancy_regex

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An implementation of regexes, supporting a relatively rich set of features, including backreferences and lookaround.

It builds on top of the excellent regex crate. If you are not familiar with it, make sure you read its documentation and maybe you don’t even need fancy-regex.

If your regex or parts of it does not use any special features, the matching is delegated to the regex crate. That means it has linear runtime. But if you use “fancy” features such as backreferences or look-around, an engine with backtracking needs to be used. In that case, the regex can be slow and take exponential time to run because of what is called “catastrophic backtracking”. This depends on the regex and the input.

Usage

The API should feel very similar to the regex crate, and involves compiling a regex and then using it to find matches in text.

Example: Matching text

An example with backreferences to check if a text consists of two identical words:

use fancy_regex::Regex;

let re = Regex::new(r"^(\w+) (\1)$").unwrap();
let result = re.is_match("foo foo");

assert!(result.is_ok());
let did_match = result.unwrap();
assert!(did_match);

Note that like in the regex crate, the regex needs anchors like ^ and $ to match against the entire input text.

Example: Finding the position of matches

use fancy_regex::Regex;

let re = Regex::new(r"(\d)\1").unwrap();
let result = re.find("foo 22");

assert!(result.is_ok(), "execution was successful");
let match_option = result.unwrap();

assert!(match_option.is_some(), "found a match");
let m = match_option.unwrap();

assert_eq!(m.start(), 4);
assert_eq!(m.end(), 6);
assert_eq!(m.as_str(), "22");

Example: Capturing groups

use fancy_regex::Regex;

let re = Regex::new(r"(?<!AU)\$(\d+)").unwrap();
let result = re.captures("AU$10, $20");

let captures = result.expect("Error running regex").expect("No match found");
let group = captures.get(1).expect("No group");
assert_eq!(group.as_str(), "20");

Syntax

The regex syntax is based on the regex crate’s, with some additional supported syntax.

Escapes:

\h : hex digit ([0-9A-Fa-f])
\H : not hex digit ([^0-9A-Fa-f])
\e : escape control character (\x1B)

Backreferences:

\1 : match the exact string that the first capture group matched
\2 : backref to the second capture group, etc

Named capture groups:

(?<name>exp) : match exp, creating capture group named name
\k<name> : match the exact string that the capture group named name matched
(?P<name>exp) : same as (?<name>exp) for compatibility with Python, etc.
(?P=name) : same as \k<name> for compatibility with Python, etc.

Look-around assertions for matching without changing the current position:

(?=exp) : look-ahead, succeeds if exp matches to the right of the current position
(?!exp) : negative look-ahead, succeeds if exp doesn’t match to the right
(?<=exp) : look-behind, succeeds if exp matches to the left of the current position
(?<!exp) : negative look-behind, succeeds if exp doesn’t match to the left

Atomic groups using (?>exp) to prevent backtracking within exp, e.g.:

let re = Regex::new(r"^a(?>bc|b)c$").unwrap();
assert!(re.is_match("abcc").unwrap());
// Doesn't match because `|b` is never tried because of the atomic group
assert!(!re.is_match("abc").unwrap());

Structs

An iterator that yields all non-overlapping capture groups matching a particular regular expression.
An iterator over capture names in a Regex. The iterator returns the name of each group, or None if the group has no name. Because capture group 0 cannot have a name, the first item returned is always None.
A set of capture groups found for a regex.
A set of options for expanding a template string using the contents of capture groups.
A single match of a regex or group in an input text
An iterator over all non-overlapping matches for a particular string.
NoExpand indicates literal string replacement.
A compiled regular expression.
A builder for a Regex to allow configuring options.
By-reference adaptor for a Replacer
Iterator for captured groups in order in which they appear in the regex.

Enums

An error for the result of compiling or running a regex.
Regular expression AST. This is public for now but may change.
Type of look-around assertion as used for a look-around expression.

Traits

Replacer describes types that can be used to replace matches in a string.

Functions

Escapes special characters in text with ‘\’. Returns a string which, when interpreted as a regex, matches exactly text.

Type Definitions

Result type for this crate with specific error enum.