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Splitting a quoted string.

P: n/a
I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.

eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'

and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']

I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.

There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.

Thanks

Richard

May 16 '07 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
Paul Melis wrote:
Hi,

mosscliffe wrote:
>I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.

eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'

and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']

I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.

There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.


Here a not-so-simple-function using regular expressions. It repeatedly
matched two regexps, one that matches any sequence of characters except
a space and one that matches a double-quoted string. If there are two
matches the one occurring first in the string is taken and the matching
part of the string cut off. This is repeated until the whole string is
matched. If there are two matches at the same point in the string the
longer of the two matches is taken. (This can't be done with a single
regexp using the A|B operator, as it uses lazy evaluation. If A matches
then it is returned even if B would match a longer string).
Here a slightly improved version which is a bit more compact and which
removes the quotes on the matched output quoted string.

import re

def split_string(s):

pat1 = re.compile('[^" ]+')
pat2 = re.compile('"([^"]*)"')

parts = []

m1 = pat1.search(s)
m2 = pat2.search(s)
while m1 or m2:

if m1 and m2:
if m1.start(0) < m2.start(0):
match = 1
elif m2.start(0) < m1.start(0):
match = 2
else:
if len(m1.group(0)) len(m2.group(0)):
match = 1
else:
match = 2
elif m1:
match = 1
else:
match = 2

if match == 1:
part = m1.group(0)
s = s[m1.end(0):]
else:
part = m2.group(1)
s = s[m2.end(0):]

parts.append(part)

m1 = pat1.search(s)
m2 = pat2.search(s)

return parts

print split_string('bob john "johnny cash" 234 june')
print split_string('"abc""abc"')
May 16 '07 #2

P: n/a
Hi,

mosscliffe wrote:
I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.

eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'

and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']

I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.

There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.
Here a not-so-simple-function using regular expressions. It repeatedly
matched two regexps, one that matches any sequence of characters except
a space and one that matches a double-quoted string. If there are two
matches the one occurring first in the string is taken and the matching
part of the string cut off. This is repeated until the whole string is
matched. If there are two matches at the same point in the string the
longer of the two matches is taken. (This can't be done with a single
regexp using the A|B operator, as it uses lazy evaluation. If A matches
then it is returned even if B would match a longer string).

import re

def split_string(s):

pat1 = re.compile('[^ ]+')
pat2 = re.compile('"[^"]*"')

parts = []

m1 = pat1.search(s)
m2 = pat2.search(s)
while m1 or m2:

if m1 and m2:
# Both match, take match occurring earliest in the string
p1 = m1.group(0)
p2 = m2.group(0)
if m1.start(0) < m2.start(0):
part = p1
s = s[m1.end(0):]
elif m2.start(0) < m1.start(0):
part = p2
s = s[m2.end(0):]
else:
# Both match at the same string position, take longest match
if len(p1) len(p2):
part = p1
s = s[m1.end(0):]
else:
part = p2
s = s[m2.end(0):]
elif m1:
part = m1.group(0)
s = s[m1.end(0):]
else:
part = m2.group(0)
s = s[m2.end(0):]

parts.append(part)

m1 = pat1.search(s)
m2 = pat2.search(s)

return parts
>>s = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'
split_string(s)
['bob', 'john', '"johnny cash"', '234', 'june']
>>>

Paul
May 16 '07 #3

P: n/a
mosscliffe <mc********@googlemail.comwrote:
I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.

eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'

and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']

I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.

There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.
You probably need to specify the problem more completely. e.g. Can the
quoted parts of the strings contain quote marks? If so how what are the
rules for escaping them. Do two spaces between a word mean an empty field
or still a single string delimiter.

Once you've worked that out you can either use re.split with a suitable
regular expression, or use the csv module specifying your desired dialect:
>>class mosscliffe(csv.Dialect):
delimiter = ' '
quotechar = '"'
doublequote = False
skipinitialspace = False
lineterminator = '\r\n'
quoting = csv.QUOTE_MINIMAL

>>csv.register_dialect("mosscliffe", mosscliffe)
string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'
for row in csv.reader([string], dialect="mosscliffe"):
print row
['bob', 'john', 'johnny cash', '234', 'june']

May 16 '07 #4

P: n/a
Thank you very much for all for your replies.

I am now much wiser to using regex and CSV.

As I am quite a newbie, I have had my 'class' education improved as
well.

Many thanks again

Richard

On May 16, 12:48 pm, Duncan Booth <duncan.bo...@invalid.invalid>
wrote:
mosscliffe <mcl.off...@googlemail.comwrote:
I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.
eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'
and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']
I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.
There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.

You probably need to specify the problem more completely. e.g. Can the
quoted parts of the strings contain quote marks? If so how what are the
rules for escaping them. Do two spaces between a word mean an empty field
or still a single string delimiter.

Once you've worked that out you can either use re.split with a suitable
regular expression, or use the csv module specifying your desired dialect:
>class mosscliffe(csv.Dialect):

delimiter = ' '
quotechar = '"'
doublequote = False
skipinitialspace = False
lineterminator = '\r\n'
quoting = csv.QUOTE_MINIMAL
>csv.register_dialect("mosscliffe", mosscliffe)
string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'
for row in csv.reader([string], dialect="mosscliffe"):

print row

['bob', 'john', 'johnny cash', '234', 'june']

May 16 '07 #5

P: n/a
On May 16, 12:42 pm, mosscliffe <mcl.off...@googlemail.comwrote:
I am looking for a simple split function to create a list of entries
from a string which contains quoted elements. Like in 'google'
search.

eg string = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'

and I want to have a list of ['bob', 'john, 'johnny cash', '234',
'june']

I wondered about using the csv routines, but I thought I would ask the
experts first.

There maybe a simple function, but as yet I have not found it.
See 'split' from 'shlex' module:
>>s = 'bob john "johnny cash" 234 june'
import shlex
shlex.split(s)
['bob', 'john', 'johnny cash', '234', 'june']
>>>

May 16 '07 #6

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