regular expression

How to search for multiple regex patterns in many files with `ffx`

I recently created a command I named ffx that lets you search your filesystem for files that contain multiple strings or regular expressions. This post describes and demonstrates its capabilities. (There’s a little video down below if you want to see how it works before reading about it.)

A Scala “file find” utility

I wanted some specific features in a “find” utility, and when I couldn’t figure out how to get them with combinations of find, awk, and other Unix commands, I wrote what I wanted in Scala. Those features are (a) showing matching filenames, (b) showing the line that matches my search pattern, and underlining the pattern in the output, (c) showing the line numbers of the matches, and (d) showing an optional number of lines from the file before and after each match.

My Scala Sed project: More features, returning strings

Table of Contents1 - Basic use2 - Using a Map3 - Match expressions4 - Sed limitations5 - My Sed project6 - Bonus: Factories and HOFs

My Scala Sed project is still a work in progress, but I made some progress on a new version this week. My initial need this week was to have Sed return a String rather than printing directly to STDOUT. This change gave me more ability to post-process a file. After that I realized it would really be useful if the custom function I pass to Sed had two more pieces of information available to it:

  • The line number of the string Sed passed to it
  • A Map of key/value pairs the helper function could use while processing the file

Note: In this article “Sed” refers to my project, and “sed” refers to the Unix command-line utility.

Back to top

Basic use

In a “basic use” scenario, this is how I use the new version of Sed in a Scala shell script to change the “layout:” lines in 55 Markdown files whose names are in the files-to-process.txt file:

A little Scala `sed` class

A few times during the past year I got tired of trying to remember the Unix/Linux sed syntax while wanting to make edits to many files, so this weekend I wrote a little sed-like Scala class.

Scala: How to extract parts of a String that match regex patterns

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 1.9, “Extracting Parts of a String that Match Patterns.”


You want to extract one or more parts of a Scala String that match the regular-expression patterns you specify.


Define the regular-expression (regex) patterns you want to extract, placing parentheses around them so you can extract them as “regular-expression groups.” First, define the desired pattern:

How to use multiple regex patterns with replaceAll (Java String class)

Table of Contents1 - 1) A simple string2 - 2) Replace multiple patterns in that string3 - 3) More explanation4 - Multiple search patterns5 - Summary

Java FAQ: How can I use multiple regular expression patterns with the replaceAll method in the Java String class?

Here’s a little example that shows how to replace many regular expression (regex) patterns with one replacement string in Scala and Java. I’ll show all of this code in Scala’s interactive interpreter environment, but in this case Scala is very similar to Java, so the initial solution can easily be converted to Java.