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Re: [bug-gawk] How to escape a string into its regex form

From: Eric Pruitt
Subject: Re: [bug-gawk] How to escape a string into its regex form
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 21:19:43 -0700
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170113 (1.7.2)

On Sat, Sep 07, 2019 at 10:39:28PM -0500, Peng Yu wrote:
> For example, for a string "abc.xyz", the escaped string will be
> "abc\.xyz". What is the correct way to perform such an escape for any
> arbitrary string? Thanks.

I use "[...]" for everything other than "\" because I ran into some
portability issues with various AWK implementations when I tried to use
"\" to escape characters in regular expressions. Here's the function I

    # Escape a string so that it will be interpreted as a literal value
    # when used in a regular expression.
    # Arguments:
    # - string: String to escape.
    # Returns: An escaped string.
    function regex_quote(string)
        # Brackets are used for escaping most symbols to avoid problems
        # caused by differences in how "\" escapes are handled depending on
        # the context and AWK interpreter.
        gsub(/\\/, "\\\\", string)
        gsub(/[\135\133$^*()+{}|.?]/, "[&]", string)

        return string


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