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- Regular expressions are a central element of UNIX utilities like egrep and programming languages such as Perl. But whether you''re a UNIX user or not, you can benefit from a better understanding of regular expressions since they work with applications ranging from validating data-entry fields to manipulating information in multimegabyte text files. Mastering Regular Expressions quickly covers the basics of regular-expression syntax, then delves into the mechanics of expression-processing, common pitfalls, performance issues, and implementation-specific differences. Written in an engaging style and sprinkled with solutions to complex real-world problems, Mastering Regular Expressions offers a wealth information that you can put to immediate use.