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Wildcard string compare (globbing)

, 15 Feb 2005
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Matches a string against a wildcard string such as "*.*" or "bl?h.*" etc. This is good for file globbing or to match hostmasks.

Usage:

This is a fast, lightweight, and simple pattern matching function.

if (wildcmp("bl?h.*", "blah.jpg")) {
  //we have a match!
} else {
  //no match =(
}

Function:

int wildcmp(const char *wild, const char *string) {
  // Written by Jack Handy - <A href="mailto:jakkhandy@hotmail.com">jakkhandy@hotmail.com</A>
  const char *cp = NULL, *mp = NULL;

  while ((*string) && (*wild != '*')) {
    if ((*wild != *string) && (*wild != '?')) {
      return 0;
    }
    wild++;
    string++;
  }

  while (*string) {
    if (*wild == '*') {
      if (!*++wild) {
        return 1;
      }
      mp = wild;
      cp = string+1;
    } else if ((*wild == *string) || (*wild == '?')) {
      wild++;
      string++;
    } else {
      wild = mp;
      string = cp++;
    }
  }

  while (*wild == '*') {
    wild++;
  }
  return !*wild;
}

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Jack Handy
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralImproved matching with end-of-text Pin
Anders Heie, 11-May-09 16:20
memberAnders Heie11-May-09 16:20 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
roadrunner314, 12-Aug-09 4:35
memberroadrunner31412-Aug-09 4:35 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
sdiazdiaz, 20-Jun-13 2:50
membersdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 2:50 
QuestionPathMatchSpec instead? Pin
kintz, 25-Mar-09 9:55
memberkintz25-Mar-09 9:55 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec instead? Pin
MandatoryDefault, 31-Aug-09 11:39
memberMandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 11:39 
I recommend against PathMatchSpec(). I used that function in my own code and it just bit me. Its wildcard behavior is broken for all but the simplest cases. For example, these two commands incorrectly return false:

::PathMatchSpec("C:\\Windows", "C:\\Windows.*");

::PathMatchSpec("C:\\Windows", "C:\\Windows.");
Questionwchar_t version? Pin
rmorales87, 29-Nov-08 21:16
memberrmorales8729-Nov-08 21:16 
AnswerRe: wchar_t version? Pin
razvar, 31-Mar-11 22:49
memberrazvar31-Mar-11 22:49 
Generalwildcmp in XBLite Pin
CodeGibbon, 27-Nov-08 14:56
memberCodeGibbon27-Nov-08 14:56 
GeneralWildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang, 10-Nov-08 23:15
memberhaiquang10-Nov-08 23:15 
GeneralRe: Wildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang, 3-Aug-09 23:22
memberhaiquang3-Aug-09 23:22 
GeneralC# Direct Port Pin
hempels, 23-Sep-08 16:10
memberhempels23-Sep-08 16:10 
General...and yet another C# port [modified] Pin
DVF, 27-Aug-10 17:59
memberDVF27-Aug-10 17:59 
GeneralRe: ...and yet another C# port Pin
VUnreal, 21-Sep-10 12:22
memberVUnreal21-Sep-10 12:22 
General[Message Removed] Pin
stonber, 18-Sep-08 15:22
memberstonber18-Sep-08 15:22 
GeneralUsing in Artistic Style Pin
jimp02, 3-Apr-08 5:43
memberjimp023-Apr-08 5:43 
GeneralGeez... Pin
larryfr, 5-Mar-08 10:39
memberlarryfr5-Mar-08 10:39 
QuestionConvert to a replace? Pin
williaps, 20-Mar-07 9:31
memberwilliaps20-Mar-07 9:31 
GeneralC# RexExp version Pin
spinsane, 4-Nov-06 7:30
memberspinsane4-Nov-06 7:30 
GeneralKudos Pin
quantumred, 14-Oct-06 5:37
memberquantumred14-Oct-06 5:37 
GeneralRe: Kudos Pin
milkplus, 24-Feb-10 12:19
membermilkplus24-Feb-10 12:19 
Generalwildcmp(&quot;*&amp;lt;*&amp;gt;&quot;, &quot;&amp;lt;field1&amp;gt;&amp;lt;field2&amp;gt;&quot;) not working [modified] Pin
Daniel B., 6-Sep-06 14:14
memberDaniel B.6-Sep-06 14:14 
GeneralRe: wildcmp(&quot;*&amp;lt;*&amp;gt;&quot;, &quot;&amp;lt;field1&amp;gt;&amp;lt;field2&amp;gt;&quot;) not working Pin
radboudp, 16-Feb-07 1:35
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 1:35 
Generalreturn value type Pin
wdx04, 8-Jan-06 16:49
memberwdx048-Jan-06 16:49 
General*? case match Pin
talimu, 4-Nov-05 0:42
membertalimu4-Nov-05 0:42 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm, 15-Sep-06 3:18
memberkuhnm15-Sep-06 3:18 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm, 18-Sep-06 5:48
memberkuhnm18-Sep-06 5:48 
GeneralGets my 5 Pin
Franc Morales, 18-Oct-05 18:05
memberFranc Morales18-Oct-05 18:05 
Generalmp and cp Pin
twopieman, 15-Mar-05 12:59
membertwopieman15-Mar-05 12:59 
GeneralRe: mp and cp Pin
radboudp, 16-Feb-07 2:14
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 2:14 
GeneralOK, but ... Pin
Sam Levy, 16-Feb-05 5:48
memberSam Levy16-Feb-05 5:48 
QuestionWhy make 3 loop ? Pin
DarkYoda Mickael, 2-Feb-05 23:22
memberDarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 23:22 
AnswerRe: Why make 3 loop ? Pin
Jack Handy, 13-Feb-05 11:02
memberJack Handy13-Feb-05 11:02 
GeneralC# version Pin
Sancy, 26-Oct-04 7:23
memberSancy26-Oct-04 7:23 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Psyk66, 21-Dec-04 4:39
sussPsyk6621-Dec-04 4:39 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Ionut FIlip, 22-Feb-05 7:15
memberIonut FIlip22-Feb-05 7:15 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
robagar, 3-Apr-06 17:58
memberrobagar3-Apr-06 17:58 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Sancy, 5-Jun-06 17:01
memberSancy5-Jun-06 17:01 
GeneralConvert to java base on C# version [modified, better look :~ ] Pin
quangtin3, 21-Mar-08 22:13
memberquangtin321-Mar-08 22:13 
GeneralRe: C# version - an error! Pin
Mark T., 4-Jul-08 15:37
memberMark T.4-Jul-08 15:37 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
williamhix, 17-Oct-08 23:28
memberwilliamhix17-Oct-08 23:28 
GeneralMany thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
David Patrick, 29-Sep-04 9:41
memberDavid Patrick29-Sep-04 9:41 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Jack Handy, 6-Oct-04 9:13
memberJack Handy6-Oct-04 9:13 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Vic Mackey, 16-Oct-04 20:33
memberVic Mackey16-Oct-04 20:33 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Voja Intermajstor, 25-Nov-04 0:26
memberVoja Intermajstor25-Nov-04 0:26 
GeneralNice code... Pin
voja21, 25-Aug-04 3:30
membervoja2125-Aug-04 3:30 
GeneralSlight efficiency improvement Pin
Bill Buklis, 9-Jul-04 7:53
memberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 7:53 
GeneralRe: Slight efficiency improvement Pin
Bill Buklis, 9-Jul-04 8:19
memberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 8:19 
QuestionPathMatchSpec (shlwapi.h)? Pin
peterchen, 28-Jun-04 7:56
memberpeterchen28-Jun-04 7:56 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec (shlwapi.h)? Pin
Jack Handy, 13-Feb-05 10:56
memberJack Handy13-Feb-05 10:56 
GeneralDoesnt seem to work well.. Pin
Bikram Singh, 13-May-04 2:56
sussBikram Singh13-May-04 2:56 

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