syntax and regexp and bears, oh my!


I don’t know how many times I’ve crossed regular expressions thinking: “gee willikers, I oughta learn something about those sometime soon yessireebob good sir yuppy duppy diddilumdeedee… meh…”. It’s not that i think they aren’t useful, I’ve always wanted some magical means of matching patterns to serve my agenda. Its just that Its yet another language, and i doubt how much more syntax i can squeeze into my head before I explode.

Currently as it stands, these are the language sets i know:

  • Java
  • Javascript
  • Groovy (extended java)
  • SQL (DB2, MYSQL)
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • XML
  • JSON
  • HTTP/1.1
  • Shell / Bash
  • C (little bit)
  • C++ (little bit)
  • Objective C (little bit)

And I’m not counting here all the micro languages and DSL’s (Domain specific languages) that I have picked up from experience. Am i trying to boast here? not really, I’m just pointing out that after a while things are getting hard to keep track of. each one of these are spinning plates on top of a pole and when I’m not using one of them, I slowly forget. And i know that they can just escape from memory, because I used to know C and C++ very well, however I’ve since forgotten them from the earlier days of university.

But I’m not giving up yet, Regex.

Memory is an interesting thing. So is our brains. When we learn something, we’re creating pathways in our mind that are permanent fixtures, just not well travelled ones. I know enough about physiology to understand how memories form and how much room is really left in my head… Well it’s not a matter of how much room there is, because the brain literally makes new things when we learn.

There is such things as memories that don’t go away. Why? because the neural pathways are so strong that it is crossed over by mere default when we think upon the subject. And why do some memories stay? because the learning is attached to strong emotions and more importantly, revelation. When we understand something or feel like we’ve stumbled or conquered some learning hill, we remember those victories, and we remember what brought us there. That’s why many people feel like they learn much more in the field than in the books. It’s because the victories we experience there come with real consequences and reward. This reward attaches itself to the things we battled on the way and those memories stay with us.

I have to admit, The spinning plate allegory doesn’t quite fit this picture, As everytime you spin the plate, you increase the time it stays spinning, and with constant care, the plate stays in motion with little to no effort at all.

So Regex, Maybe I just need to climb that hill and use your magic to commit you to memory.


About naredjagle

Christian Computer Scientist Casual Gamer Competitive Creative ... ... Coldplay?
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