links

The Links Programming Language
IN THIS PACKAGE
Module Links_core . Notfound . Str
include module type of struct include Str end

Regular expressions

type regexp = Str.regexp

The type of compiled regular expressions.

val regexp : string -> regexp

Compile a regular expression. The following constructs are recognized:

  • . Matches any character except newline.
  • * (postfix) Matches the preceding expression zero, one or several times
  • + (postfix) Matches the preceding expression one or several times
  • ? (postfix) Matches the preceding expression once or not at all
  • [..] Character set. Ranges are denoted with -, as in [a-z]. An initial ^, as in [^0-9], complements the set. To include a ] character in a set, make it the first character of the set. To include a - character in a set, make it the first or the last character of the set.
  • ^ Matches at beginning of line: either at the beginning of the matched string, or just after a '\n' character.
  • $ Matches at end of line: either at the end of the matched string, or just before a '\n' character.
  • \| (infix) Alternative between two expressions.
  • \(..\) Grouping and naming of the enclosed expression.
  • \1 The text matched by the first \(...\) expression (\2 for the second expression, and so on up to \9).
  • \b Matches word boundaries.
  • \ Quotes special characters. The special characters are $^\.*+?[].

In regular expressions you will often use backslash characters; it's easier to use a quoted string literal {|...|} to avoid having to escape backslashes.

For example, the following expression:

let r = Str.regexp {|hello \([A-Za-z]+\)|} in
Str.replace_first r {|\1|} "hello world" 

returns the string "world".

If you want a regular expression that matches a literal backslash character, you need to double it: Str.regexp {|\\|}.

You can use regular string literals "..." too, however you will have to escape backslashes. The example above can be rewritten with a regular string literal as:

let r = Str.regexp "hello \\([A-Za-z]+\\)" in
Str.replace_first r "\\1" "hello world" 

And the regular expression for matching a backslash becomes a quadruple backslash: Str.regexp "\\\\".

val regexp_case_fold : string -> regexp

Same as regexp, but the compiled expression will match text in a case-insensitive way: uppercase and lowercase letters will be considered equivalent.

val quote : string -> string

Str.quote s returns a regexp string that matches exactly s and nothing else.

val regexp_string : string -> regexp

Str.regexp_string s returns a regular expression that matches exactly s and nothing else.

val regexp_string_case_fold : string -> regexp

Str.regexp_string_case_fold is similar to Str.regexp_string, but the regexp matches in a case-insensitive way.

String matching and searching

val string_match : regexp -> string -> int -> bool

string_match r s start tests whether a substring of s that starts at position start matches the regular expression r. The first character of a string has position 0, as usual.

val string_partial_match : regexp -> string -> int -> bool

Similar to Str.string_match, but also returns true if the argument string is a prefix of a string that matches. This includes the case of a true complete match.

val matched_string : string -> string

matched_string s returns the substring of s that was matched by the last call to one of the following matching or searching functions:

provided that none of the following functions was called in between:

Note: in the case of global_substitute and substitute_first, a call to matched_string is only valid within the subst argument, not after global_substitute or substitute_first returns.

The user must make sure that the parameter s is the same string that was passed to the matching or searching function.

val match_beginning : unit -> int

match_beginning() returns the position of the first character of the substring that was matched by the last call to a matching or searching function (see Str.matched_string for details).

val match_end : unit -> int

match_end() returns the position of the character following the last character of the substring that was matched by the last call to a matching or searching function (see Str.matched_string for details).

Replacement

val global_replace : regexp -> string -> string -> string

global_replace regexp templ s returns a string identical to s, except that all substrings of s that match regexp have been replaced by templ. The replacement template templ can contain \1, \2, etc; these sequences will be replaced by the text matched by the corresponding group in the regular expression. \0 stands for the text matched by the whole regular expression.

val replace_first : regexp -> string -> string -> string

Same as Str.global_replace, except that only the first substring matching the regular expression is replaced.

val global_substitute : regexp -> ( string -> string ) -> string -> string

global_substitute regexp subst s returns a string identical to s, except that all substrings of s that match regexp have been replaced by the result of function subst. The function subst is called once for each matching substring, and receives s (the whole text) as argument.

val substitute_first : regexp -> ( string -> string ) -> string -> string

Same as Str.global_substitute, except that only the first substring matching the regular expression is replaced.

val replace_matched : string -> string -> string

replace_matched repl s returns the replacement text repl in which \1, \2, etc. have been replaced by the text matched by the corresponding groups in the regular expression that was matched by the last call to a matching or searching function (see Str.matched_string for details). s must be the same string that was passed to the matching or searching function.

Splitting

val split : regexp -> string -> string list

split r s splits s into substrings, taking as delimiters the substrings that match r, and returns the list of substrings. For instance, split (regexp "[ \t]+") s splits s into blank-separated words. An occurrence of the delimiter at the beginning or at the end of the string is ignored.

val bounded_split : regexp -> string -> int -> string list

Same as Str.split, but splits into at most n substrings, where n is the extra integer parameter.

val split_delim : regexp -> string -> string list

Same as Str.split but occurrences of the delimiter at the beginning and at the end of the string are recognized and returned as empty strings in the result. For instance, split_delim (regexp " ") " abc " returns [""; "abc"; ""], while split with the same arguments returns ["abc"].

val bounded_split_delim : regexp -> string -> int -> string list

Same as Str.bounded_split, but occurrences of the delimiter at the beginning and at the end of the string are recognized and returned as empty strings in the result.

type split_result = Str.split_result =
| Text of string
| Delim of string
val full_split : regexp -> string -> split_result list

Same as Str.split_delim, but returns the delimiters as well as the substrings contained between delimiters. The former are tagged Delim in the result list; the latter are tagged Text. For instance, full_split (regexp "[{}]") "{ab}" returns [Delim "{"; Text "ab"; Delim "}"].

val bounded_full_split : regexp -> string -> int -> split_result list

Same as Str.bounded_split_delim, but returns the delimiters as well as the substrings contained between delimiters. The former are tagged Delim in the result list; the latter are tagged Text.

Extracting substrings

val string_before : string -> int -> string

string_before s n returns the substring of all characters of s that precede position n (excluding the character at position n).

val string_after : string -> int -> string

string_after s n returns the substring of all characters of s that follow position n (including the character at position n).

val first_chars : string -> int -> string

first_chars s n returns the first n characters of s. This is the same function as Str.string_before.

val last_chars : string -> int -> string

last_chars s n returns the last n characters of s.

val search_forward : regexp -> string -> int -> int
val search_backward : regexp -> string -> int -> int
val matched_group : int -> string -> string
val group_beginning : int -> int
val group_end : int -> int