Jerod Santo

Stop writing Regular Expressions. Express them with Verbal Expressions.

GitHub user jehna has fashioned a runaway hit with his unique way of constructing difficult regular expressions.

VerbalExpressions turns the often-obscure-and-tricky-to-type regular expression operators into descriptive, chainable functions. The result of this is quite astounding. Here’s the example URL tester from the README:

var tester = VerEx()
            .then( "http" )
            .maybe( "s" )
            .then( "://" )
            .maybe( "www." )
            .anythingBut( " " )

This style may be off-putting to old-school regex pros, but even they would have to admit that it’s quite approachable and easy to reason about.

The main project is a JavaScript library, but in the world of open source the more success you have, the more ports you get.

VerbalExpressions has been ported to so many other languages that a GitHub organization was created just to host them all. I think this idea struck a real nerve.


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