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Cover image for Code Smell 41 - Regular Expression Abusers

Code Smell 41 - Regular Expression Abusers

Maxi Contieri
Learn something new every day. - I am a senior software engineer working in industry, teaching and writing on software design, SOLID principles, DDD and TDD.
・1 min read

RegEx are a wonderful tool, we should to use them carefully and not to look smart.

Problems

  • Readability

  • Maintainability

  • Testability

  • Intention Revealing

Solutions

  1. Use regular expression just for string validation.

  2. If you need to manipulate objects, don't make them strings.

Sample Code

Wrong

Right

Detection

Regular expressions are a valid tool.
There's not much automated way of checking for possible abusers. A whitelist might be of help.

Tags

  • Primitive Obsession

  • Abusers

Conclusion

Regular expressions are a great tool for string validation. We must use them in a declarative way and just for strings.

Names are very important to understand pattern meanings.

If we need to manipulate objects or hierarchies, we should do it in an object way.

Unless we have a conclusive benchmark of impressive performance improvement.

Relations

More info

What is in a name

Credits

Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash


A Perl program is correct if it gets the job done before your boss fires you.

Larry Wall

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