Regular Expressions in Smalltalk?

Avi Bryant avi at
Sun Jun 20 17:02:08 UTC 2004

On Jun 20, 2004, at 8:23 AM, Ned Konz wrote:

> There are also some all-Smalltalk regex packages available; I haven't 
> tried
> them or compared them against the plugin-based one (which is quite 
> fast and
> complete, and comes with a number of tests).

I did some benchmarking a while ago of the port of Vassili's regex 
package against the plugin, and wrote this to the list:

It did amazingly well - although it takes about 20x as long to compile 
a pattern, when actually matching the plugin only gave about a 3x speed 
boost.  Given that either way we're talking tens of thousands of 
matches per second for most input, I'm not sure a plugin is really 

One advantage of using an all-Smalltalk package is that your code is 
more portable; it would be a real hassle to get a PCRE plugin going on 
VW or Dolphin, but Vassili's matcher already runs on them.  This may 
not be a concern for everyone, but it is for me.


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