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PHP str_replace regex (simple wildcard)

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I want to delete all occurrences of the following in a large string:

<a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/21/2011');  return false;" >

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WITH having a wildcard for the date (which is well-formed (machine-generated))

thus (if * is wildcard)  

<a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('*');  return false;" >

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Question by:willsherwood
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Accepted Solution

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Terry Woods earned 500 total points
ID: 36570275
$string = preg_replace("@<a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick=\"updateArrivalDate('[^']*');  return false;\" >@","",$string);
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Expert Comment

by:Terry Woods
ID: 36570295
The preg_replace function uses Perl compatible regular expressions, which allows you to use the wildcard as required.
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Author Closing Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 36570340
great, thanks!!
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 36570557
Follow-up help requested.
The PHP preg call worked perfectly up to a point, which i cannot figure out "what's different"  past that point- maybe a fresh set of eyes :).

ORIGINAL STRING CONTENT
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/19/2011');  return false;" >19</a></td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/20/2011');  return false;" >20</a></td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/21/2011');  return false;" >21</a></td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/22/2011');  return false;" >22</a></td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/23/2011');  return false;" >23</a></td>

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RESULT AFTER PROCESSING THRU preg_replace

<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' >19</td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' >20</td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/21/2011');  return false;" >21</td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/22/2011');  return false;" >22</td>
<td class='mini-cal-day ' align='center' ><a href='#' class='calendarInquiryDate'  onclick="updateArrivalDate('09/23/2011');  return false;" >23</td>

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Thus the (calendar dates)  19 and 20  <a href>  tags were removed
but 21 and thereafter (many more weeks not shown here too)

(I have a sep simple str_replace call to get rid of </a> (that was easy)  )

any suggestions?   it's very close to completely working.

thanks!
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 36570562
p.s. the "original" html is machine-generated (not by me), and maybe it has some hidden characters in it?  that is causing a mismatch.

but ALL the rest of the calendar weeks from that point on (9/21/2011)   have the same result (tag not deleted)
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Terry Woods
ID: 36570571
Could we relax the pattern so it just looks for an a tag containing:
class='calendarInquiryDate'
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Expert Comment

by:Terry Woods
ID: 36570597
eg this is a lot more flexible:

$string = preg_replace("@<a[^>]*class\s*=\s*'calendarInquiryDate'[^>]*>@s","",$string);
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 36570603
yes any relaxed pattern should work - there are no other tags in the string
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 36570646
perfect, all set.
again, thanks!
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