Dynamic regex debugging in a web page: Regex Powertoy

Regex Powertoy is a fun little tool I've put together for playing with regular expressions in a web browser. I just showed it to a small group here at Bar Camp. It requires the latest Java ("5.0"/"1.5") applet support, and as yet has only been tested in Firefox.

Features include:

  • immediate highlighting of matches as pattern and input text are editted
  • drill-down into capturing group details
  • optional animation of matching progress -- heavy backtracking becomes obvious
  • "matchmark" bookmarks to prepopulate pattern/input text
Many more bells and whistles are possible. There have been similar tools as downloadable apps before, but nothing quite as interactive inside a web page, as far as I know.

I'm releasing the source code at Sourceforge under the GPL. (It's not pretty code -- quick hacks and whatever experiments survived to do the job.)

Comments, ideas, and contributed features welcome.

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