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Wildcard string compare (globbing)

, 15 Feb 2005 818.6K 94
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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

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Comments and Discussions

 
Generaldelphi port Pin
vovach77723-Dec-14 3:38
membervovach77723-Dec-14 3:38 
QuestionMy vote of 5+ Pin
Sanmayce29-Nov-13 7:47
memberSanmayce29-Nov-13 7:47 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Franc Morales29-May-13 15:47
memberFranc Morales29-May-13 15:47 
Questionhelp required for wilcard matching * and # Pin
SaimaAsif23-Feb-12 23:56
memberSaimaAsif23-Feb-12 23:56 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Plamen Petrov13-Dec-11 21:37
memberPlamen Petrov13-Dec-11 21:37 
SuggestionModification with '#' as wildcard joker for digits Pin
Thomas Haase25-Sep-11 23:16
memberThomas Haase25-Sep-11 23:16 
QuestionLicence Question Pin
randommark23-Nov-10 0:33
memberrandommark23-Nov-10 0:33 
AnswerAnother C# version, with a twist Pin
tomlev29-Jun-10 14:50
membertomlev29-Jun-10 14:50 
GeneralObscurity Pin
Chuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 18:18
memberChuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 18:18 
AnswerMy C# contribution - recursive, of course! Pin
RenniePet26-Mar-10 5:21
memberRenniePet26-Mar-10 5:21 
This strikes me as an obvious place to use recursion. So here goes...

public class MString
{
   /// <summary>
   /// Function to compare two strings, where strA may contain wildcard characters '*' and
   /// '?'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcard_character
   /// </summary>
   /// <param name="strA">string which may contain wildcards, may be empty, must not be null</param>
   /// <param name="strB">string to compare to, no wildcard processing, may be empty, must not be null</param>
   /// <param name="ignoreCase">true = ignore upper/lower case, false = don't ignore case</param>
   /// <returns>true = match, false = non-match</returns>
   public static bool CompareWWc(string strA, string strB, bool ignoreCase)
   {
      if (ignoreCase)
         return CompareWWc(strA.ToLower(), strB.ToLower());
      else
         return CompareWWc(strA, strB);
   }
 

   /// <summary>
   /// Recursive function to compare two strings, where strA may contain wildcard characters
   /// '*' and '?'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcard_character
   /// </summary>
   /// <param name="strA">string which may contain wildcards, may be empty, must not be null</param>
   /// <param name="strB">string to compare to, no wildcard processing, may be empty, must not be null</param>
   /// <returns>true = match, false = non-match</returns>
   public static bool CompareWWc(string strA, string strB)
   {
      // Top of loop to scan across strA (and strB)
      for (int i = 0; i < strA.Length; i++)
      {
         // Special processing when we hit a '*' in strA
         if (strA[i] == '*')
         {
            // If the '*' is at the end of strA then result = true irrespective of strB
            if (i == strA.Length - 1)
               return true;
 
            // Do recursive calls to try to find a match somewhere to the right in strB
            strA = strA.Substring(i + 1);  // The part of strA beyond the '*'
            for (int j = i; j < strB.Length; j++)
               if (CompareWWc(strA, strB.Substring(j)))
                  return true;
            return false;
         }
 
         // Normal processing for non-'*' characters in strA
         if (i >= strB.Length || (strA[i] != strB[i] && strA[i] != '?'))
            return false;
      }
 
      // We've reached the end of strA and the last character is not '*'
      return strA.Length == strB.Length;
   }
 
}

And here's a little test sequence:

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("", ""))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("something", "something"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("something", "zomething"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("something", "some"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("something", "something else"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("s?m?th???", "something"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("s?m?th???", "somethin"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("*", ""))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("*", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("non*", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("*nonsense", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("non*nse", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("non*nse", "nonsenze"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("non*n?e", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 

   if (!MString.CompareWWc("n*on*nse", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("n*n*nse", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (MString.CompareWWc("*non*nse", "nonsenze"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
 
   if (!MString.CompareWWc("n*n*n?e", "nonsense"))
      Console.WriteLine("Something wrong!");
}

By the way, the name CompareWWc means Compare With Wildcards.
GeneralRe: My C# contribution - recursive, of course! Pin
Erwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 1:58
memberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 1:58 
GeneralDepends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... Pin
RenniePet29-Mar-10 7:45
memberRenniePet29-Mar-10 7:45 
GeneralSorry - revised numbers Pin
RenniePet29-Mar-10 8:35
memberRenniePet29-Mar-10 8:35 
GeneralRe: Depends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... Pin
Erwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 8:37
memberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 8:37 
GeneralYet another version - 25% faster, I think [modified] Pin
RenniePet1-Apr-10 8:24
memberRenniePet1-Apr-10 8:24 
GeneralRe: Yet another version - 25% faster, I think Pin
aleks1k21-Sep-11 2:47
memberaleks1k21-Sep-11 2:47 
QuestionI used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pin
moh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 1:55
membermoh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 1:55 
AnswerRe: I used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pin
RenniePet1-Apr-10 11:27
memberRenniePet1-Apr-10 11:27 
Questionany updates ? Pin
alhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 5:12
memberalhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 5:12 
GeneralImproved matching with end-of-text Pin
Anders Heie11-May-09 15:20
memberAnders Heie11-May-09 15:20 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
roadrunner31412-Aug-09 3:35
memberroadrunner31412-Aug-09 3:35 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
sdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 1:50
membersdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 1:50 
QuestionPathMatchSpec instead? Pin
kintz25-Mar-09 8:55
memberkintz25-Mar-09 8:55 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec instead? Pin
MandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 10:39
memberMandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 10:39 
Questionwchar_t version? Pin
rmorales8729-Nov-08 20:16
memberrmorales8729-Nov-08 20:16 
AnswerRe: wchar_t version? Pin
razvar31-Mar-11 21:49
memberrazvar31-Mar-11 21:49 
Generalwildcmp in XBLite Pin
CodeGibbon27-Nov-08 13:56
memberCodeGibbon27-Nov-08 13:56 
GeneralWildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang10-Nov-08 22:15
memberhaiquang10-Nov-08 22:15 
GeneralRe: Wildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang3-Aug-09 22:22
memberhaiquang3-Aug-09 22:22 
GeneralC# Direct Port Pin
hempels23-Sep-08 15:10
memberhempels23-Sep-08 15:10 
General...and yet another C# port [modified] Pin
DVF27-Aug-10 16:59
memberDVF27-Aug-10 16:59 
GeneralRe: ...and yet another C# port Pin
VUnreal21-Sep-10 11:22
memberVUnreal21-Sep-10 11:22 
GeneralMessage Removed Pin
stonber18-Sep-08 14:22
memberstonber18-Sep-08 14:22 
GeneralUsing in Artistic Style Pin
jimp023-Apr-08 4:43
memberjimp023-Apr-08 4:43 
GeneralGeez... Pin
larryfr5-Mar-08 9:39
memberlarryfr5-Mar-08 9:39 
QuestionConvert to a replace? Pin
williaps20-Mar-07 8:31
memberwilliaps20-Mar-07 8:31 
GeneralC# RexExp version Pin
spinsane4-Nov-06 6:30
memberspinsane4-Nov-06 6:30 
GeneralKudos Pin
quantumred14-Oct-06 4:37
memberquantumred14-Oct-06 4:37 
GeneralRe: Kudos Pin
milkplus24-Feb-10 11:19
membermilkplus24-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] Pin
Daniel B.6-Sep-06 13:14
memberDaniel 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 Pin
radboudp16-Feb-07 0:35
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 0:35 
Generalreturn value type Pin
wdx048-Jan-06 15:49
memberwdx048-Jan-06 15:49 
General*? case match Pin
talimu3-Nov-05 23:42
membertalimu3-Nov-05 23:42 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm15-Sep-06 2:18
memberkuhnm15-Sep-06 2:18 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm18-Sep-06 4:48
memberkuhnm18-Sep-06 4:48 
GeneralGets my 5 Pin
Franc Morales18-Oct-05 17:05
memberFranc Morales18-Oct-05 17:05 
Generalmp and cp Pin
twopieman15-Mar-05 11:59
membertwopieman15-Mar-05 11:59 
GeneralRe: mp and cp Pin
radboudp16-Feb-07 1:14
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 1:14 
GeneralOK, but ... Pin
Sam Levy16-Feb-05 4:48
memberSam Levy16-Feb-05 4:48 
QuestionWhy make 3 loop ? Pin
DarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 22:22
memberDarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 22:22 

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