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Old 08-14-2007, 02:28 PM   #1
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Yet more sed, this time with regex!

Ok, so I've started down a lonesome road where I'm trying to learn the language of the locals, but it's really difficult. The biggest difficulty I'm finding is the pace at which the tutorials I've found move, anyway, onto my questions.

I'm learning how to replace text using sed. I've been practicing on both practice files (so I don't completely dork a system) and real files (once I see how the stuff works on the practice files). It's going pretty good, but now I'm venturing into new territory, regex.

I can't find a howto over at on regex, and so far the most helpful thing was the LQ Wiki entry for it. But, as with most of what I've found, it jumps quickly into the lingo that I don't quite follow, yet...

This time it's with Bugzilla. I'm setting up a new Bugzilla setup, and I don't much care for some of the wording. They have a really "neat" way of using text replacement for terms you don't like, and the default includes replacing words like "bug" with whatever you want, in my case I chose "problem". This is all setup already, and all I had to do was go into the variables file and change the word bug to problem, save and close, and BAM! all instances of bug are replaced with problem. Pretty neat! The way they do this is using a sequence like so:
[% terms.bug %] And then anywhere "bug" would normally be my new word (problem) shows up.

Ok, so now I have some words that aren't in that file, so I've setup a variable in the file for Product. Yet none of the pages have the special sequence [% terms.Product %] in them for that term. So I thought I could use sed and regex to weed out and change my needs easily.

All of that for this:

How can I do this? (I'd also love a crawling tutorial that crawls with me through learning this if anyone has one).

So far, I did this:
find . -type f -true | xargs -n1 sed -i 's/product/[% terms.product %]/g'
And it worked fairly good. It made a couple of errors that I had to manually fix, like placing that inside another variable [% some-other_variable [% terms.product %] modifier %] I'd have to go in and hard code my replacment (location is my replacement in the variable file).

So, any ideas on how I can avoid replacing the terms inside an existing variable?

If any of that doesn't make sense, please respond and I'll see if I can clarify a bit.



Later on that hour:
It just occurred to me that I don't have to use Bugzilla's variable replacement to replace my text, I can just do it with sed and not have to worry about changing it again...

I'm still interested in a response to my above problem even though I won't be using it in this situation.


Last edited by MasterC; 08-14-2007 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Amazing realization
Old 08-14-2007, 03:15 PM   #2
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It seems you want to replace " product " with " [% terms.product %] ". This will eliminate the instance you mentioned as well as things like "production". To do this, put the spaces in the regex expression:

xargs -n1 sed -i 's/ product / [% term.product %] /g'

I'm not sure, you may need to escape the spaces.
Old 08-16-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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Thank you for the very fast response! Indeed, I do want to eliminate changing things like that, but I also want to eliminate changing [% product %] since this is already a defined variable. I think that there isn't really an "easy" way to do it. I need to set too many possibilities, such as "anywhere in this may exist a [% whatever %] variable, IF product is inside that variable, don't change it.

That and there are other types of documents in the template directory such as java scripts that have product.something as one of their variables.

I've slowly and dreadfully just been going into each file with vim, running a search for roduct (to get both P and p, suffix s or without) and changing it manually where applicable. I'm about 1/4 done, but I'm only spending about 20 minutes a day (or just whenever I get the urge) to work on it, so overall it's not that much work, just seems... I guess kind of "weak" to have to do it this way. And once I started I realized there are other words that I am going to need to change, so I'm still thinking of other ways to do this, and I think there might be a good combo of a regex string and a bit of IF/OR/AND statements in a small script.

If anyone has any further thoughts or ideas on how I might go about this, feel free to respond.


Old 08-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #4
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Perl regular expressions might do the trick:
ada@barnabas:~> echo 'whatever [% whatever %] whatever and whatever [% another whatever here %]' |
> perl -pe 's/whatever(?![^[]*?%\])/lala/g'
lala [% whatever %] lala and lala [% another whatever here %]
This matches "whatever" only if it's not followed by a "%]" that is not preceded by "[". Eerie, isn't it?
Old 08-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
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Excellent, thanks I'll give it a whirl!



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