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Pattern matching using "regular expressions" can help automate a number of text-processing operations like search and replace, input validation, text conversion, and filters. What otherwise requires significant amounts of code can be done in just a few lines with regular expressions because of the powerful underlying regular expressions processing engine. Some programming languages such as Perl and operating systems utilities such as grep have supported regular expressions for a number of years. But before J2SE 1.4, Java (J2SDK) didn't support it and one had to use external packages like Jakarta Regexp, IBM's commercial package ( Thankfully that changed with the introduction of the java.util.regex package. The package provides standard implementations for specifying and handling regular expressions. This article will show you how you can quickly use i... (more)