Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zero-witdth negative lookahead group: example

Suppose you have to split a comma separated string in java where meaningful parts are separated by continious spaces, say from 2 to infinity. But the problem is that sometimes a meaningfull part (like a person name) contains 2 spaces. You want to exclude such cases and retain the name's parts together. Example:


In this example it is easy to solve the problem with zero-width negative lookahead group (?!\\w), because age is always supposed to be numeric. So the final code will be something like this:

String s = current_string.split("\\s{2}(?!\\w)");

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