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Grokking GREP

This is work in progress. Have a play - have fun. Latest update of the GREPGrokker was on 26-Aug-2008. Please send feedback to [email protected]

As of yet there are just a few 'tips' - I intend to write many tens or maybe even over a hundred, as time permits. Stay tuned and come back to check!

If its been a while since you visited, please force a page refresh in your web browser to make sure you're looking at the latest and greatest.

Please read the info shown further down on this web page, below the GREPGrokker area

I noticed that there's an increasing interest in GREP coming from 'right-brained' people - (I am working from the assumption that most users of Adobe products would be more right-brained, visually oriented.

GREP is a strongly left-brained tool, so I think this is one of those 'tough' areas for a right-brained, visually oriented person to delve into.

The main idea of the Flash application below is to give you immediate feedback on what happens as you change the GREP expression or the text you're GREP-ping, and also give you a gradual, step-by-step intro into GREP, where each time you look at the next tip, you get the time to play around, and try to understand what it's all about. I've only put in a very small amount of 'tips' - the idea is that eventually this could span most of the basic GREP techniques, and ease you into them in a visual way.

So, have a look and let me know what you think (good, bad, indifferent, duh?, like it, makes my head hurt, would like to see this or that)

What is new?

Currently you're looking at version 3.0.2 of the GREPGrokker - internally it uses its own GREP engine, written from scratch in pure ActionScript.

If by any chance you're interested in licensing source code for a powerful GREP engine written in ActionScript - send an e-mail to [email protected].

The previous versions of GREPGrokker relied on the built-in GREP engine provided by the Flash runtime, but this engine had some limitations which made it impossible to closely emulate the InDesign GREP dialect.

Hence, I developed a brand-new GREP engine which has a 'pluggable' architecture: the same core engine can emulate various dialects of GREP. I have not added many dialects yet - it's all work in progress, but the engine has finally become sufficiently powerful to emulate nearly all features of the InDesign GREP engine.

You can pick various emulations in the GREP engine popup. Additionally there is an ActionScript GREP entry which uses the built-in ActionScript GREP engine; all others are provided by my brand new custom GREP engine.

There's also some minor interface changes compared to previous versions of the GREPGrokker - by default it shows the replacement results, and to see the 'subexpressions' you need to click on the proper tab. There's some things that don't work quite correctly in that area - will be fixed later.

As this is all brand-new code, so we really rely on feedback from anybody who is using this GREPGrokker to tell us of any misbehavior - so if you notice anything that does not work right, please send feedback to [email protected]

Known issues: I still need to add code to handle (?x) and (?#comment)

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