Regular Expressions Are So Useful

Years ago, when I was stuck on Windows back in the 1990s, I’d read about how useful regular expressions were, but being stuck with DOS under Windows, they weren’t really available. I didn’t have fast internet back then, instead I was stuck with fairly unreliable dial-up. I ordered some diskettes of various Linux distributions, and I think it may have had a couple of BSDs. For various reasons, I never got around to checking it out.

Flash forward to now, when I’ve been using FreeBSD almost exclusively for fifteen plus years after a very brief stint with Linux. Now I have all the regex tools available, but I don’t use them nearly often enough to remember the syntax and all that. It’s a catch-22. I get rusty from not using it, so it prevents me from practicing unless I really need to.

When I finally do need it and use it, I find it such a useful tool to have, but I just need to get started with it. I find that as I get older, I don’t learn new things quite as easily. I was always the type of person who would learn and remember stuff after hearing or seeing it once, but regex just hasn’t been that way for me ever.

I really should practice it to have the details in my memory. I would be left with a great time-saving tool in the tool box. Maybe then I would retain it instead of forgetting ninety percent of what I learned about it the next day. Thankfully, I do remember the very basics of it. Possibly someday it will click altogether for me.