.net,regex , Capturing group recursively inside non-capturing group?


Capturing group recursively inside non-capturing group?

Question:

Tag: .net,regex

So I've got the following input: 1,6-10,10000,2,10-11

And the following regex: ^\d+(?:,(\d+|\d+-\d+))*$ in the .NET Regex

I want to match each of the groups between the commas but I also want the capturing groups to end up like the following:

Group 1: 1
Group 2: 6-10
Group 3: 10000
Group 4: 2
Group 5: 10-11

I've tried using any combination of non-capturing groups and additional capturing groups that I could think of but I can't quite arrive at a solution. What am I missing?


Answer:

The .net regex implementation gives the possibility to store the substrings of a repeated capture group. So with this pattern that describes the whole string:

\A(?:(\d+(?:-\d+)?)(?:,|\z))+\z

(where \A and \z stand for the start and the end of the string) you obtain all the values in capture group 1 with only one match: demo

This way ensures that the whole string is in the correct format from the beginning to the end.

code example:

string input = "1,6-10,10000,2,10-11";
string pattern = @"\A(?:(\d+(?:-\d+)?)(?:,|\z))+\z";
Match match = Regex.Match(input, pattern);
if (match.Success) {
    Console.WriteLine("Matched text: {0}", match.Value);
    for (int ctr = 1; ctr < match.Groups.Count; ctr++) {
        Console.WriteLine(" Group {0}:  {1}", ctr, match.Groups[ctr].Value);
        int captureCtr = 0;
        foreach (Capture capture in match.Groups[ctr].Captures) {
             Console.WriteLine("   Capture {0}: {1}", captureCtr, capture.Value);
             captureCtr++; 
        }
    }
}

An other way consists to use a global research (several successive matchs) and to ensure that all the results are contiguous. To do that you need to build a pattern with the \G anchor that matches the start of the string of the position after the previous match: demo

\G(\d+(?:-\d+)?)(?:(,)|\z)

To ensure that the end of the string has been reached, all you need is to check if the second capture group is empty for the last match.

code example:

string input = "1,6-10,10000,2,10-11";

string pattern = @"\G(\d+(?:-\d+)?)(?:(,)|\z)";

MatchCollection results = Regex.Matches(input, pattern);

if (results.Count == 0) {
    Console.WriteLine("No results");
} else if ( results[results.Count - 1].Groups[2].Length > 0 ) {
    Console.WriteLine("Bad format");
} else {
    foreach (Match match in results) {
        Console.WriteLine(match.Groups[1]);
    }
}

Obviously, if you already know that your string is well formatted, these two approaches are useless, and a simple split on comma suffices to obtain the result.


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