Prompt Engineering: ChatGPT Prompts for Regular Expressions

Regex (Regular Expression) is a pattern-matching syntax used in various programming languages and tools for searching and manipulating strings.

Regex Prompt in ChatGPT

Regular Expressions can be used in various contexts, including:

  1. Text processing and manipulation
  2. Data validation and pattern matching
  3. Search and replace operations in text editors and IDEs
  4. Web scraping and data extraction
  5. Input validation in programming

Regex is supported in many programming languages, including Python, Perl, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby.

I have lived with regex since my Perl days. There are a lot of rules surrounding them and programmers pride themselves on writing hard-to-read code using regex. If you remember all of the rules, you can figure out what a regex means, but I have been using ChatGPT to explain them to me when I see them.

What does ‘$string =~ /(\w+)\s(\w+)/’ do in Perl?

Just ask ChatGPT.

The expression $string =~ /(\w+)\s(\w+)/ in Perl is a regular expression pattern match operation. It tries to match the pattern (\w+)\s(\w+) within the string $string. If the pattern matches, the matched substrings are stored in special variables $1, $2, etc.

The pattern (\w+)\s(\w+) consists of two sub-patterns (\w+) separated by a white space \s. Each sub-pattern matches one or more word characters \w and the plus sign + indicates to match one or more of the preceding expressions.

For example, if the string $string is "The quick brown fox", the match will be successful and $1 will contain the matched string "The", and $2 will contain "quick".

ChatGPT on What does ‘$string =~ /(\w+)\s(\w+)/’ do in Perl?

Effective Prompt Engineering for Regular Expressions and ChatGPT

Using a chatbot like ChatGPT effectively is all about writing good prompts. Context really helps the chatbot understand the prompt and how to return accurate results.

  • Start prompt with the programing language
  • Add Regex to the prompt
  • Ask for example code
  • Include a short description of the regex and specific rules (ignore case, match all occurrences, etc.)
  • Ask for an explanation or not
  • Ask for sample output or not
Example Regular Expression Prompt for ChatGPT

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.