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RegEx Madness

Today at work we needed to find a regular expression to extract the name of a backup job from an SNMP trap. The trap looks as follows:

“[beginning garbage]job name[more garbage]”

The job name can consist of several words containing alphanumeric characters, separated by either a space, an underscore or a dash. Here’s the crucial part of the final solution I came up with:

((?:\w+[- ]?)\w)

When you use this in a longer regex that also filters out the beginning garbage, this works like a charm even for strange job names as “foo-bar_baz qux_ madness”.

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