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regular expression validation

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-09
I'm using the followin regular expression validator.  

ValidationExpression="^([a-zA-Z].*|[0-9].*)\.(((p|P)(d|D)(f|F))|((d|D)(o|O)(c|C))|((p|P)(d|D)(f|F))|((d|D)(o|O)(c|C)(x|X))|((t|T)(i|I)(f|F))|((t|T)(i|I)(f|F)(f|F))|((w|W)(p|P)(s|S))|((w|W)(p|P)(d|D))|((r|R)(t|T)(f|F)))$"

I don't understand the "=^([a-zA-Z].*|[0-9].*)\."
Can someone please help me translate this?

Thank you!
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Question by:ocdc
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LVL 35

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by:Terry Woods
Terry Woods earned 1500 total points
ID: 37803752
^([a-zA-Z].*|[0-9].*)\.
means:
^  match the start of the string (or line, in multiline mode)
( start a capturing group
[a-zA-Z] match any one alphabetic character
.* match any number of any characters except newline
| logical OR applying within the capturing group
[0-9] match one digit
.* match any number of any characters except newline
) end the capturing group
\. match a . character

To summarise:

It looks like you're matching filenames. That part of the pattern will match and capture the entire filename (and path, if there) up to the extension as long as it starts with a letter or number, except it won't include the . character in the captured group.
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LVL 35

Accepted Solution

by:
Terry Woods earned 1500 total points
ID: 37803777
Examples:

For the string:
C:\foo\rhubarb\myfile.pdf
The part of the pattern you're asking about would capture:
C:\foo\rhubarb\myfile
but would match
C:\foo\rhubarb\myfile.

For the string:
123/456/rhubarb/myfile.pdf
The part of the pattern you're asking about would capture:
123/456/rhubarb/myfile
but would match
123/456/rhubarb/myfile.

For the string:
_somedir/rhubarb/myfile.pdf
The pattern would fail to match, as it doesn't start with a number or letter.
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