If you've ever looked at the CFML related articles on Wikipedia, you can't fail
to have noticed that, especially when compared to other programming articles,
they're not very good.
When somebody puts "coldfusion" or "cfml" into Google, they will almost
certainly see the respective Wikipedia pages amongst the top three results, but
when they follow those links they're unlikely to get a very good impression!
Not only could both these pages themselves benefit significantly from being
cleaned up and improved, but there are only a few frameworks and tools that even
have pages, and most of what does exist are very unencyclopaedic stubs. And this
doesn't even consider the generic programming pages that often don't even mention CFML.
Take a look at the CFML category page
- does that category contain everything you would expect an encyclopaedia to
cover about CFML? Check the pages for the frameworks you are familiar with - do
they go into the level of detail you would expect, and tell you everything you'd
want to know if you were entirely new to CFML?
If you agree that the CFML presence on Wikipedia can and should be improved,
and it's up to the CFML community to do it, then
read on to find out how you can help fix it.
The cfRegex project is two things. Firstly, it is a complete regex implementation
for CFML, providing more functionality, flexibility, features and power than the
existing CFML RE functions. Secondly, it is a drive to encourage people to
properly learn and make use of regex.
Regex is a very flexible language for matching patterns within text, and it has
the power to greatly simplify certain programming tasks. However, it can also be
intimidating to people not experienced with it.
This problem can be compounded by the relatively limited support for regex in
CFML, which often means code is written that is more complex than should be
cfRegex helps to address both these problems. It provides a number of functions
and features that help to reduce the amount of code which programmers have to
write, whilst also helping to make their code clearer and easier to understand.
In addition, the project provides documentation, not just for its own features,
but also for regex itself, helping people to understand exactly what their
expressions are matching, and how to get the most out of regex.
Whilst cfRegex is still at a relatively early stage, it is currently usable, and
if you're a fan of regex it is certainly worth checking out.
It currently runs on CF 9.0.1, OpenBD 2.0, Railo 3.2 and later.
(Support for CF8 and others will be considered if enough people need it.)
The documentation should tell you everything you need to know about using it,
but if not then get it touch and say what's missing so it can be fixed!
If you get stuck, there's a mailing list where you can receive answers to any
problems or questions you have.
Java RegEx Utilities, or jre-utils, is a CFC which provides a convenient way to access Java's regular expression functionality.
Whilst ColdFusion, Railo, and openBD are all built on Java, and CFML does have regular expression functions, they do not actually use the Java regular expression engine, which supports many useful regex constructs.
The purpose of jre-utils is to provide this extra power to CFML developers in a familiar and easy to use way.
I will shortly be releasing v0.7 of jre-utils, which adds a number of new functions, as well as making things more consistent, so I decided I would give this quick preview of what it contains.
I have just released Java RegEx Utilities on RIAForge, which is a CFC enabling easy access to Java Regular Expression functionality, adding to what is available in the standard CFML functions.
Currently there are two main functions.
jre.get(Text,RegEx) returns the matches to the regular expression as an array.
jre.replace(Text,RegEx,Replacement) is similar to REReplace, but the Replacement argument can be a function pointer, allowing you to process the results of a regex match with a function
You can find more usage details on the jre-utils wiki, which I plan to update with some examples of when each of these functions can be useful.
I have tested jre-utils against Railo 2 and CFMX 7, but it should also work with ColdFusion 8 and the Java version of BlueDragon - if anyone can test/confirm this please let me know.
Download Java RegEx Utilities from RIAForge.