Forum: Ruby Substituting Variables

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72ee7b478a235f646c3495f03ebbe676?d=identicon&s=25 Andrew Stewart (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:10
(Received via mailing list)
Hello,

I am running into difficulties trying to use a variable in a
substitution.  Here's an example:

var = 'October'
'30 May 2007'.sub( /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/, '\1 #{var} \3' )

Here I would like to get '30 October 2007'.  The back-references,
i.e. \1 and \3, only work within single quotation marks.  But the
interpolation only works within double quotation marks.  What to do?

Here's an example in IRB:

 >> var = 'October'
 >> re = /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/

 >> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1 #{var} \3')
=> "30 \#{var} 2007"

 >> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, "\1 #{var} \3")
=> "\001 October \003"

 >> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, "#{$1} #{var} #{$3}")
=> "30 October 2007"

Actually that last one does what I want -- but according to the
Pickaxe[1] $1 and friends aren't supposed to work and in fact it
doesn't work in my Ruby class.  So I think IRB is flattering to deceive.

[1] String.gsub: "If a string is used as the replacement, special
variables from the match (such as $& and $1) cannot be substituted
into it, as substitution into the string occurs before the pattern
match starts.  However, the sequences \1, \2, and so on may be used
to interpolated successive groups in the match."

I have found a workaround but I'm hoping there's a better way:

 >> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1' + " #{var} " + '\3')
=> "30 October 2007"

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks and regards,
Andy Stewart
1fba4539b6cafe2e60a2916fa184fc2f?d=identicon&s=25 unknown (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:15
(Received via mailing list)
Hi --

On Thu, 31 May 2007, Andrew Stewart wrote:

> works within double quotation marks.  What to do?
Try:

   "\\1 #{var} \\3"


David
7e593ac63e5f25649b701dc25f69d1b7?d=identicon&s=25 Luis Parravicini (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:17
(Received via mailing list)
On 5/30/07, Andrew Stewart <boss@airbladesoftware.com> wrote:
> I am running into difficulties trying to use a variable in a
> substitution.  Here's an example:
>
> var = 'October'
> '30 May 2007'.sub( /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/, '\1 #{var} \3' )
>
> Here I would like to get '30 October 2007'.  The back-references,
> i.e. \1 and \3, only work within single quotation marks.  But the
> interpolation only works within double quotation marks.  What to do?

Use double slashes.

irb(main):001:0> var = 'October'
irb(main):002:0> '30 May 2007'.sub( /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/, "\\1 #{var}
\\3" )
=> "30 October 2007"
F2313e49e08d49666e4d9df251fe2ec0?d=identicon&s=25 unknown (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:18
(Received via mailing list)
Hello Andrew,

Use double quotes and escape slashes.
'30 May 2007'.sub( /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/, "\\1 #{var} \\3" )

Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 8:09:29 PM, you wrote:

AS> Hello,

AS> I am running into difficulties trying to use a variable in a
AS> substitution.  Here's an example:

AS> var = 'October'
AS> '30 May 2007'.sub( /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/, '\1 #{var} \3' )

AS> Here I would like to get '30 October 2007'.  The back-references,
AS> i.e. \1 and \3, only work within single quotation marks.  But the
AS> interpolation only works within double quotation marks.  What to do?

AS> Here's an example in IRB:

 >>> var = 'October'
 >>> re = /(\d+)\s(\w+)\s(\d+)/

 >>> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1 #{var} \3')
=>> "30 \#{var} 2007"

 >>> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, "\1 #{var} \3")
=>> "\001 October \003"

 >>> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, "#{$1} #{var} #{$3}")
=>> "30 October 2007"

AS> Actually that last one does what I want -- but according to the
AS> Pickaxe[1] $1 and friends aren't supposed to work and in fact it
AS> doesn't work in my Ruby class.  So I think IRB is flattering to
deceive.

AS> [1] String.gsub: "If a string is used as the replacement, special
AS> variables from the match (such as $& and $1) cannot be substituted
AS> into it, as substitution into the string occurs before the pattern
AS> match starts.  However, the sequences \1, \2, and so on may be used
AS> to interpolated successive groups in the match."

AS> I have found a workaround but I'm hoping there's a better way:

 >>> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1' + " #{var} " + '\3')
=>> "30 October 2007"

AS> Any insight would be much appreciated.

AS> Thanks and regards,
AS> Andy Stewart
05e48e632fdd0b2c25d27042f52c11d5?d=identicon&s=25 Alex LeDonne (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:29
(Received via mailing list)
On 5/30/07, Andrew Stewart <boss@airbladesoftware.com> wrote:
> interpolation only works within double quotation marks.  What to do?
> => "\001 October \003"
> into it, as substitution into the string occurs before the pattern
> Thanks and regards,
> Andy Stewart

Same workaround, but easier to read (to me, anyway):
'30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1 ' << var << ' \3')
Since you're assembling a string, there's no need to interpolate.

And, if you're not using the middle capture group, do away with it. I
also captured the spaces in the flanking groups.

re2 = /(\d+\s)\w+(\s\d+)/
'30 May 2007'.sub(re2, '\1' << var << '\2')

In 1.9, Oniguruma will give us zero-width lookahead and lookbehind.

-A
72ee7b478a235f646c3495f03ebbe676?d=identicon&s=25 Andrew Stewart (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:32
(Received via mailing list)
Hi David, Luis and Kane,

> Try:
>
>   "\\1 #{var} \\3"

That works swimmingly.  Such fast replies too.  Thank you very much!

Regards,
Andy Stewart
E0d864d9677f3c1482a20152b7cac0e2?d=identicon&s=25 Robert Klemme (Guest)
on 2007-05-30 17:41
(Received via mailing list)
On 30.05.2007 17:28, Alex LeDonne wrote:
>> i.e. \1 and \3, only work within single quotation marks.  But the
>>  >> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, "\1 #{var} \3")
>> variables from the match (such as $& and $1) cannot be substituted
>>
>> Thanks and regards,
>> Andy Stewart
>
> Same workaround, but easier to read (to me, anyway):
> '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1 ' << var << ' \3')
> Since you're assembling a string, there's no need to interpolate.

Um, what?  Assembling strings is exactly what string interpolation is
used for (what else would it be?).  Granted, there are multiple ways to
do it but your statement seems to be a bit off the mark.

> And, if you're not using the middle capture group, do away with it. I
> also captured the spaces in the flanking groups.
>
> re2 = /(\d+\s)\w+(\s\d+)/
> '30 May 2007'.sub(re2, '\1' << var << '\2')

Good point.

Kind regards

  robert
05e48e632fdd0b2c25d27042f52c11d5?d=identicon&s=25 Alex LeDonne (Guest)
on 2007-05-31 00:27
(Received via mailing list)
On 5/30/07, Robert Klemme <shortcutter@googlemail.com> wrote:
> On 30.05.2007 17:28, Alex LeDonne wrote:
> > Same workaround, but easier to read (to me, anyway):
> > '30 May 2007'.sub(re, '\1 ' << var << ' \3')
> > Since you're assembling a string, there's no need to interpolate.
>
> Um, what?  Assembling strings is exactly what string interpolation is
> used for (what else would it be?).  Granted, there are multiple ways to
> do it but your statement seems to be a bit off the mark.

Sorry for my imprecision, and thank you. I meant to say that if you're
_concatenating_, then there's no need to interpolate. The
double-quote, double-backslash solution presented by others uses
interpolation instead of concatenation.

In hindsight, I suppose the backslash construction is also a form of
interpolation, so my comment didn't make much sense after all. Ah,
well. At least the modified regex worked. :)

-Alex
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