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How should I format a regex for a positive lookbehind in ColdFusion?

Posted on 2014-03-21
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Last Modified: 2014-03-21
I have a string that contains a path, like "this/is/a/path/to/the/root/subfolder". I'm attempting to get everything after "root" (in this case "/subfolder".)

According to the documentation at regular-expressions.info, (?<=s)t should match the first "t" in "streets". I used that to make this:

<cfset regex = "(?<=root).*">
#REFind(regex, myString)#

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This gives me the error "Reason: Sequence (?<...) not recognized."

I've Googled up a storm and tried escaping characters, changing the parentheses... but the most common error that throws is "?+* follows nothing in expression" with the occasional "Malformed regular expression" "?<="".

I'm at a loss. Can you help? Thanks!
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Question by:SiobhanElara
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Expert Comment

by:Gurpreet Singh Randhawa
ID: 39945889
try using like this


<cfset filepath = "this/is/a/path/to/the/root/subfolder">

<cfset fileName = ListLast(filePath, "/")>
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Assisted Solution

by:käµfm³d 👽
käµfm³d   👽 earned 250 total points
ID: 39945941
CF out of the box doesn't support lookbehind. You can, however, use the regex engine of the underlying Java, which does support lookbehind. I am not a CF developer, though, so I can only point you to other resources. This article describes the process:

http://cfmlblog.adamcameron.me/2013/03/regular-expressions-in-coldfusion-part.html
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Accepted Solution

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_agx_ earned 250 total points
ID: 39945988
I'm not great with regex's, so I'll leave it to the regex gurus :) but you could also use array/list functions. If you want to go that route, the code below would do it.  Unfortunately CF lacks an GetSubArray type function so you have to roll your own.

<cfset str = "this/is/a/path/to/the/root/subfolder">
<!--- find position of "root" element in list --->
<cfset pos = listFindNoCase(str, "root", "/")>
<cfset result = "" />

<!--- if there's something after the "root" element, extract it --->
<cfif pos and pos lt listLen(str, "/")>
	<!--- convert to array and extract portion after "root" --->
	<cfset data = listToArray(str, "/", true).subList(pos, listLen(str, "/"))>
	<!--- convert it back to a string --->
	<cfset result = "/"& arrayToList(data, "/")>
</cfif>

<cfoutput>#result#</cfoutput>

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Author Closing Comment

by:SiobhanElara
ID: 39946173
Thank you kaufmed and _agx_! I didn't know that about CF and the lookbehind.

(myselfrandhawa, I might also have something like this/is/a/path/to/the/root/subfolder/and/another, so I can't use ListLast. But thank you for the suggestion!)
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