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How to Parse a string with Embedded Double Quotes

I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination, and I
want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello world"
have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect the double
quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the techniques I
already have.

TIA

Charles
Nov 21 '05 #1
16 5893
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer because
it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you. Therefore it
should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

....
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination, and
I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello world"
have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect the double
quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the techniques
I already have.

TIA

Charles

Nov 21 '05 #2
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer because
it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you. Therefore it
should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

....
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination, and
I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello world"
have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect the double
quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the techniques
I already have.

TIA

Charles

Nov 21 '05 #3
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am back to
processing each part of the string character by character so that I match
double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do not
know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer because
it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you. Therefore it
should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination, and
I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the techniques
I already have.

TIA

Charles


Nov 21 '05 #4
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am back to
processing each part of the string character by character so that I match
double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do not
know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer because
it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you. Therefore it
should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination, and
I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the techniques
I already have.

TIA

Charles


Nov 21 '05 #5

Try

(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))

Then do a Replace on each Match object with

$2$4

This will return either your double qouted string with out the qoutes or the
word token without the whitespace characters depending on which match the
Match object holds.

You just have to love Regular Expressions.

--Robby


"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:OP******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP11.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am back
to processing each part of the string character by character so that I
match double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do not
know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer
because it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you.
Therefore it should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination,
and I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello world"
have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect the
double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the string
character by character, but I am hoping that there is a straight-forward
technique for doing it, without looping, and using some of the
techniques I already have.

TIA

Charles



Nov 21 '05 #6
Hi Robby

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure that I understand the regular expression
(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))
I tried the following, but of course it gives a syntax error because of the
embedded double quotes:

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+)) ")

So I tried escaping the double quotes, like this

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*""([\s\w]*)"")|(\s*(\w+) )")

but this cleared my string out to a couple of spaces when I did a replace.

Any chance of a small snippet to get me on the right track, using the Match
object?

Thanks very much.

Charles
"Robby" <ed****@not.my. email.com> wrote in message
news:eC******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...
Try

(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))

Then do a Replace on each Match object with

$2$4

This will return either your double qouted string with out the qoutes or
the word token without the whitespace characters depending on which match
the Match object holds.

You just have to love Regular Expressions.

--Robby


"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:OP******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP11.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am back
to processing each part of the string character by character so that I
match double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do not
know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer
because it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you.
Therefore it should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
I have a string similar to the following:

" MyString 40 "Hello world" all "

It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination,
and I want to produce an array with the following elements

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = "Hello world"
arr(3) = "all"

Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to

"MyString 40 "Hello world" all"

and with Split I can get

arr(0) = "MyString"
arr(1) = 40
arr(2) = ""Hello"
arr(3) = "world""
arr(4) = "all"

As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.

Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the
string character by character, but I am hoping that there is a
straight-forward technique for doing it, without looping, and using
some of the techniques I already have.

TIA

Charles



Nov 21 '05 #7

Create a console application

############### ##########

Imports System.Text.Reg ularExpressions

Module MainModule

Sub Main()

Dim rePost As New Regex("(\s*""([\s\w]*)"")|(\s*(\w+) )")
Dim testString As String = "MyString 40 ""Hello world""
all "
Dim allMatches As MatchCollection = rePost.Matches( testString)

Dim matchPiece As Match
Dim I As Integer

For I = 0 To allMatches.Coun t - 1
matchPiece = allMatches(I)
Console.WriteLi ne("Piece {0} -> '{1}'", I,
matchPiece.Resu lt("$2$4"))
Next I

End Sub

End Module

############### #####

--Robby

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:eI******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP11.phx.gbl...
Hi Robby

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure that I understand the regular
expression
(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))


I tried the following, but of course it gives a syntax error because of
the embedded double quotes:

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+)) ")

So I tried escaping the double quotes, like this

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*""([\s\w]*)"")|(\s*(\w+) )")

but this cleared my string out to a couple of spaces when I did a replace.

Any chance of a small snippet to get me on the right track, using the
Match object?

Thanks very much.

Charles
"Robby" <ed****@not.my. email.com> wrote in message
news:eC******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...

Try

(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))

Then do a Replace on each Match object with

$2$4

This will return either your double qouted string with out the qoutes or
the word token without the whitespace characters depending on which match
the Match object holds.

You just have to love Regular Expressions.

--Robby


"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:OP******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP11.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am
back to processing each part of the string character by character so
that I match double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to
avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do
not know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer
because it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you.
Therefore it should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
>I have a string similar to the following:
>
> " MyString 40 "Hello world" all "
>
> It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination,
> and I want to produce an array with the following elements
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = "Hello world"
> arr(3) = "all"
>
> Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to
>
> "MyString 40 "Hello world" all"
>
> and with Split I can get
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = ""Hello"
> arr(3) = "world""
> arr(4) = "all"
>
> As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
> world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
> the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.
>
> Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the
> string character by character, but I am hoping that there is a
> straight-forward technique for doing it, without looping, and using
> some of the techniques I already have.
>
> TIA
>
> Charles
>
>



Nov 21 '05 #8
Hi Robby - me again

I have it now; I just needed to apply a few of those grey cells I have
knocking about.

Cheers.

Charles
"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:eI******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP11.phx.gbl...
Hi Robby

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure that I understand the regular
expression
(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))


I tried the following, but of course it gives a syntax error because of
the embedded double quotes:

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+)) ")

So I tried escaping the double quotes, like this

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*""([\s\w]*)"")|(\s*(\w+) )")

but this cleared my string out to a couple of spaces when I did a replace.

Any chance of a small snippet to get me on the right track, using the
Match object?

Thanks very much.

Charles
"Robby" <ed****@not.my. email.com> wrote in message
news:eC******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...

Try

(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))

Then do a Replace on each Match object with

$2$4

This will return either your double qouted string with out the qoutes or
the word token without the whitespace characters depending on which match
the Match object holds.

You just have to love Regular Expressions.

--Robby


"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:OP******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP11.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am
back to processing each part of the string character by character so
that I match double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to
avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do
not know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer
because it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you.
Therefore it should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
>I have a string similar to the following:
>
> " MyString 40 "Hello world" all "
>
> It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination,
> and I want to produce an array with the following elements
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = "Hello world"
> arr(3) = "all"
>
> Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to
>
> "MyString 40 "Hello world" all"
>
> and with Split I can get
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = ""Hello"
> arr(3) = "world""
> arr(4) = "all"
>
> As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
> world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
> the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.
>
> Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the
> string character by character, but I am hoping that there is a
> straight-forward technique for doing it, without looping, and using
> some of the techniques I already have.
>
> TIA
>
> Charles
>
>



Nov 21 '05 #9
Charles,

Can you give us an idea at the end how much time it took to find the regex
and how much time the straight forward technique and than as well a test
what will be the less time consuming method.

To get a good idea about the discussions using Regex or Straight forward, I
looked at it, and I think Straight forward should take me probably less than
30 minutes, so for you probably less than 15.

:-)

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>
Hi Robby

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure that I understand the regular
expression
(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))


I tried the following, but of course it gives a syntax error because of
the embedded double quotes:

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+)) ")

So I tried escaping the double quotes, like this

Dim reg As Regex = New Regex("(\s*""([\s\w]*)"")|(\s*(\w+) )")

but this cleared my string out to a couple of spaces when I did a replace.

Any chance of a small snippet to get me on the right track, using the
Match object?

Thanks very much.

Charles
"Robby" <ed****@not.my. email.com> wrote in message
news:eC******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP10.phx.gbl...

Try

(\s*"([\s\w]*)")|(\s*(\w+ ))

Then do a Replace on each Match object with

$2$4

This will return either your double qouted string with out the qoutes or
the word token without the whitespace characters depending on which match
the Match object holds.

You just have to love Regular Expressions.

--Robby


"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com> wrote in message
news:OP******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP11.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Cor

You read my mind ;-)

I had thought of using something like #, as it will never occur in my
string. But then I started to look at how I would know which spaces to
replace with #, and which to leave. Of course, to the human eye it is
obvious that I only replace the spaces between " and ", but now I am
back to processing each part of the string character by character so
that I match double quotes correctly, and this is what I was trying to
avoid.

Perhaps there is a regex expression that will match double quotes, or a
method that parses a string taking these into account, but sadly I do
not know it yet.

But please, keep the suggestions flowing.

Charles
"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:OX******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Charles,

I was looking at the problem, I was thinking will I give my answer
because it is so difficult to describe. Than I saw that it was you.
Therefore it should not be a problem.

In this kind of situations I replace the spaces I will not use for an
absolute unused character.

Do the split

And replace the unused character again back for a space

I assume that this is for you more than enough explanation.

And now you read this you say, I knew that as well.

:-)))

Cor

"Charles Law" <bl***@nowhere. com>

...
>I have a string similar to the following:
>
> " MyString 40 "Hello world" all "
>
> It contains white space that may be spaces or tabs, or a combination,
> and I want to produce an array with the following elements
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = "Hello world"
> arr(3) = "all"
>
> Using trim and a regular expression ("\s+"), I can reduce my string to
>
> "MyString 40 "Hello world" all"
>
> and with Split I can get
>
> arr(0) = "MyString"
> arr(1) = 40
> arr(2) = ""Hello"
> arr(3) = "world""
> arr(4) = "all"
>
> As you can see, it is not quite what I need. The spaces in "Hello
> world" have been reduced to a single space, and Split does not respect
> the double quotes, and splits "Hello world" over two elements.
>
> Does anyone have an idea how I could do this? I could process the
> string character by character, but I am hoping that there is a
> straight-forward technique for doing it, without looping, and using
> some of the techniques I already have.
>
> TIA
>
> Charles
>
>



Nov 21 '05 #10

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