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Bill Kelly wrote:
> 
> From: "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" <znmeb / cesmail.net>
>>
>> Which reminds me ... I keep meaning to ask ... how *did* regular
>> expressions morph from an undergraduate computer science concept into a
>> "language" that *every* working programmer is expected to be able to
>> read and write in his or her sleep? Let's debate *that*! ;)
> 
> grep, sed, awk, . . . perl, ruby, . . .
> ?
> 
> :)
> 
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Bill
> 
> 
> 
> 

Yes ... that part of it I know ... UNIX as a way for researchers to get
lots of work done with text files, "grep" standing for "Generalized
Regular Expression Processor", etc. The part I don't know is how it went
from Kleene, an obscure computational structure equivalent to finite
state machines, an exercise in undergraduate automata theory textbooks,
etc., to a practical tool like "grep", and I don't know why it "caught on".
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