The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions

Well, I’m not quite done with my promised revision of the Bastards Book of Ruby. Or of Photography…but I’ve decided, oh what the hell, I should write something about regular expressions.

Actually, there is some method to this madness. As part of the process of updating the Ruby book, I realized I needed to spin off some of the larger, non-Ruby related topics. So, at some point, there will be mini-books about HTML and SQL. Regular expressions, as I keep telling people who want to deal with data, are incredibly important, even if you think you never want to learn programming. Hopefully this mini-book will make a strong case for learning regexes.

The second motive is I’ve been looking for a html/text-to-pdf workflow. So this is my experiment with Leanpub, which promises to turn a set of Markdown files into PDF/mobi/etc, while handling the selling process. I don’t expect to sell any copies of the BBoRegexes, but I hope to get a lot of insight about the mechanics behind Leanpub and if it presents a viable way for me to publish my other projects.

Check out the Leanpub homepage for my tentatively tiled book, The Bastards Book of Regular Expressions. Or, you could just read the mega-chapter on regexes in my Ruby book.

I'm a programmer journalist, currently teaching computational journalism at Stanford University. I'm trying to do my new blogging at