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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

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About the Author

Jack Handy
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionMy vote of 5+ PinmemberSanmayce29-Nov-13 7:47 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberFranc Morales29-May-13 15:47 
Questionhelp required for wilcard matching * and # PinmemberSaimaAsif23-Feb-12 23:56 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPlamen Petrov13-Dec-11 21:37 
SuggestionModification with '#' as wildcard joker for digits [modified] PinmemberThomas Haase25-Sep-11 23:16 
QuestionLicence Question Pinmemberrandommark23-Nov-10 0:33 
AnswerAnother C# version, with a twist Pinmembertomlev29-Jun-10 14:50 
GeneralObscurity PinmemberChuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 18:18 
AnswerMy C# contribution - recursive, of course! PinmemberRenniePet26-Mar-10 5:21 
GeneralRe: My C# contribution - recursive, of course! PinmemberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 1:58 
GeneralDepends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... PinmemberRenniePet29-Mar-10 7:45 
GeneralSorry - revised numbers PinmemberRenniePet29-Mar-10 8:35 
GeneralRe: Depends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... PinmemberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 8:37 
GeneralYet another version - 25% faster, I think [modified] PinmemberRenniePet1-Apr-10 8:24 
GeneralRe: Yet another version - 25% faster, I think Pinmemberaleks1k21-Sep-11 2:47 
QuestionI used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pinmembermoh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 1:55 
AnswerRe: I used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? PinmemberRenniePet1-Apr-10 11:27 
Questionany updates ? Pinmemberalhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 5:12 
GeneralImproved matching with end-of-text PinmemberAnders Heie11-May-09 15:20 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pinmemberroadrunner31412-Aug-09 3:35 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pinmembersdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 1:50 
QuestionPathMatchSpec instead? Pinmemberkintz25-Mar-09 8:55 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec instead? PinmemberMandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 10:39 
Questionwchar_t version? Pinmemberrmorales8729-Nov-08 20:16 
AnswerRe: wchar_t version? Pinmemberrazvar31-Mar-11 21:49 
Generalwildcmp in XBLite PinmemberCodeGibbon27-Nov-08 13:56 
GeneralWildcard string compare in C# Pinmemberhaiquang10-Nov-08 22:15 
GeneralRe: Wildcard string compare in C# Pinmemberhaiquang3-Aug-09 22:22 
GeneralC# Direct Port Pinmemberhempels23-Sep-08 15:10 
Well, as direct as I could come up with anyway. Makes use of unsafe to enable pointer arithmetic. Unfortunately, because fixed is required to prevent the GC from moving the pointers, I had to change it to use increment indexers instead of directly manipulating the pointers. Alternatively, you could use stackalloc to instantiate two native char[]'s and copy the values, but that seems contrary to this function's low-memory footprint, high performance goals.
 
Has been tested against every test case presented in the comments section as well as some additional cases I threw in.
 
public unsafe static bool GlobCompare( string glob, string path )
{
      fixed ( char* pGlob = glob, pPath = path )
      {
            int pGlobInc = 0;
            int pPathInc = 0;
 
            int mp = 0;
            int cp = 0;
 
            while ( ( *( pPath + pPathInc ) != 0 ) && ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) != '*' ) )
            {
                  if ( ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) != *( pPath + pPathInc ) ) && ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) != '?' ) )
                  {
                        return false;
                  }
                  pGlobInc++;
                  pPathInc++;
            }
 
            while ( *( pPath + pPathInc ) != 0 )
            {
                  if ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) == '*' )
                  {
                        if ( 0 == *( pGlob + ++pGlobInc ) )
                        {
                              return true;
                        }
                        mp = pGlobInc;
                        cp = pPathInc + 1;
                  }
                  else if ( ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) == *( pPath + pPathInc ) ) || ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) == '?' ) )
                  {
                        pGlobInc++;
                        pPathInc++;
                  }
                  else
                  {
                        pGlobInc = mp;
                        pPathInc = cp++;
                  }
            }
 
            while ( *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) == '*' )
            {
                  pGlobInc++;
            }
            return ( 0 == *( pGlob + pGlobInc ) );
      }
}
General...and yet another C# port [modified] PinmemberDVF27-Aug-10 16:59 
GeneralRe: ...and yet another C# port PinmemberVUnreal21-Sep-10 11:22 
General[Message Removed] Pinmemberstonber18-Sep-08 14:22 
GeneralUsing in Artistic Style Pinmemberjimp023-Apr-08 4:43 
GeneralGeez... Pinmemberlarryfr5-Mar-08 9:39 
QuestionConvert to a replace? Pinmemberwilliaps20-Mar-07 8:31 
GeneralC# RexExp version Pinmemberspinsane4-Nov-06 6:30 
GeneralKudos Pinmemberquantumred14-Oct-06 4:37 
GeneralRe: Kudos Pinmembermilkplus24-Feb-10 11:19 
Generalwildcmp(&quot;*&amp;lt;*&amp;gt;&quot;, &quot;&amp;lt;field1&amp;gt;&amp;lt;field2&amp;gt;&quot;) not working [modified] PinmemberDaniel B.6-Sep-06 13:14 
GeneralRe: wildcmp(&quot;*&amp;lt;*&amp;gt;&quot;, &quot;&amp;lt;field1&amp;gt;&amp;lt;field2&amp;gt;&quot;) not working Pinmemberradboudp16-Feb-07 0:35 
Generalreturn value type Pinmemberwdx048-Jan-06 15:49 
General*? case match Pinmembertalimu3-Nov-05 23:42 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pinmemberkuhnm15-Sep-06 2:18 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pinmemberkuhnm18-Sep-06 4:48 
GeneralGets my 5 PinmemberFranc Morales18-Oct-05 17:05 
Generalmp and cp Pinmembertwopieman15-Mar-05 11:59 
GeneralRe: mp and cp Pinmemberradboudp16-Feb-07 1:14 
GeneralOK, but ... PinmemberSam Levy16-Feb-05 4:48 
QuestionWhy make 3 loop ? PinmemberDarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 22:22 
AnswerRe: Why make 3 loop ? PinmemberJack Handy13-Feb-05 10:02 

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