Perl Language Regular Expressions Parsing a string with a regex


Generally, it's not a good idea to use a regular expression to parse a complex structure. But it can be done. For instance, you might want to load data into hive table and fields are separated by comma but complex types like array are separated by a "|". Files contain records with all fields separated by comma and complex type are inside square bracket. In that case, this bit of disposable Perl might be sufficient:

echo "1,2,[3,4,5],5,6,[7,8],[1,2,34],5" | \
    perl -ne \
        'while( /\[[^,\]]+\,.*\]/ ){
            if( /\[([^\]\|]+)\]/){
                $text = $1;
                $text_to_replace = $text;
                $text =~ s/\,/\|/g;
        } print'

You'll want to spot check the output: