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Eloquent Ruby by Russ Olsen

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Chapter 5. Find the Right String with Regular Expressions

I’d like to pose a problem for you: Imagine that you have some text stored in a string, and somewhere in that text hides a time, something like 09:24 AM. You need to write a program that will locate the time. How do you do it? You might, using the methods we talked about in the last chapter, scan the string for a digit and then check to see whether it is followed by another digit and then see whether that is followed by a colon, then two more digits . . . well, you get the picture. Doing all this with the String methods is certainly possible. Tedious, but possible.

Sometimes a problem speaks to you. This time-finding problem is trying to tell you that you are using the wrong tool. The ...

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