REGEX and Livecode

Peter Haworth pete at
Wed Jan 2 14:39:12 EST 2013

Thanks Peter.  I'm a Mac guy so not familiar with the Linux terminology,
although I probably have the utilities you mentioned since OSX is Linux at
its core.
lcSQL Software <>

On Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 12:20 AM, Peter Alcibiades <
palcibiades-first at> wrote:

> Its a Linux thing.  Linux is packaged up out of a huge number of components
> into actual systems known as 'distributions'.  There are probably around
> 10-15 major distributions, and around 350 in total.  A great many
> distributions are remixes of major ones for some specific purpose.  Ubuntu
> is a distribution which originally was a Debian remix.  Other major ones
> would be Fedora, Suse, Debian, Slackware. carries a
> complete listing.
> The way a package gets into a distribution is that it has 'maintainers'.
>  So
> they will take the source code and produce a Debian or Ubuntu package which
> the core team then accepts for a given release.
> When they do that, it goes into the repositories, which are online archives
> of all the packages.  I don't know about Ubuntu, but Debian probably has
> some 20-30,000 packages in its repositories.
> When you install a package, its not normally a case of get a file and
> install it.  You use a package manager, of which there are four or five
> variants.  The usual one for Debian and Ubuntu is Synaptic, but there are
> others.  Think of them as clients.
> One way to categorize distributions is by how packages are managed.  So you
> have the 'apt' ones, of which Debian and Ubuntu are examples.  'rpm'
> derives
> from Red Hat and Suse and Fedora use it.  If it helps, think of this a bit
> like email.  Synaptic would be an email client, and there are others.  The
> underlying system would be a bit like pop3 or some other mail service
> prototcol.
> You find the package in your package manager and tell it to do the
> installation.  The package manager then finds all the stuff that it needs
> (so called 'dependencies') and installs them too, and it normally takes
> care
> of putting in menu entries and so on.
> You can also manually install packages - in the case of Debian and Ubuntu
> these will be so called '.deb' packages.  And you can get the source code
> and compile and install it.  If you do this, you have to take care of
> dependencies yourself, which can be tedious, and this is why package
> managers were developed.
> So that's what a repository is.  The reason regex is a bit different in the
> Linux world, which would include Macs, these being derived from Unix, is
> that they are built into the command line utilties.  That's the essence of
> Linux at a sophisticated user level.  Of course, you can, and many people
> do, use it just like Windows or OSX, in which case its just a vehicle to
> your applications and files via a graphical interface, and you don't even
> have to realise that there are many different possible desktop
> environments,
> login managers and so on.
> The real point of Linux however in terms of features is the shell, and the
> thing about this is that regex is like the air in the shell.  Its all
> around
> and being used all the time, and is accessible from anywhere.  Any Linux
> editor will support them.  Geany is what I use, but Kate is another.  This
> is why I suggested awk to Richmond.  Awk and Sed are old fashioned text
> manipulation utilties which are built into all Linux distributions - and
> txt2regex and regexxer are going to be in almost all the major
> repositories.
> If you need to hack around with text, the easiest and quickest way is to
> use
> the tools that have evolved to do it.  They've evolved over 30+years in the
> hands of very bright and impatient people who just wanted to get certain
> jobs done as simply and quickly as possible, so they are really
> sophisticated and powerful.
> Nothing wrong with LiveCode, it does text excellently, but it depends what
> you are doing and whether you want to just use a command on a file, or
> actually write a program.  The commands and the way they can be made to
> interact are just very quick, powerful and flexible ways of doing stuff
> with
> text, and after the initial learning curve, they are almost instant.
> A bit longer than I had meant.  If you want to try a distribution, get the
> xfce version of PCLinuxOS to start.  But Debian is where you will end up.
> --
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