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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.

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About the Author

Jack Handy
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberFranc Morales29-May-13 16:47 
Questionhelp required for wilcard matching * and # PinmemberSaimaAsif24-Feb-12 0:56 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPlamen Petrov13-Dec-11 22:37 
SuggestionModification with '#' as wildcard joker for digits [modified] PinmemberThomas Haase26-Sep-11 0:16 
QuestionLicence Question Pinmemberrandommark23-Nov-10 1:33 
AnswerAnother C# version, with a twist Pinmembertomlev29-Jun-10 15:50 
GeneralObscurity PinmemberChuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 19:18 
AnswerMy C# contribution - recursive, of course! PinmemberRenniePet26-Mar-10 6:21 
GeneralRe: My C# contribution - recursive, of course! PinmemberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 2:58 
GeneralDepends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... PinmemberRenniePet29-Mar-10 8:45 
GeneralSorry - revised numbers PinmemberRenniePet29-Mar-10 9:35 
GeneralRe: Depends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... PinmemberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 9:37 
GeneralYet another version - 25% faster, I think [modified] PinmemberRenniePet1-Apr-10 9:24 
GeneralRe: Yet another version - 25% faster, I think Pinmemberaleks1k21-Sep-11 3:47 
QuestionI used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pinmembermoh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 2:55 
AnswerRe: I used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? PinmemberRenniePet1-Apr-10 12:27 
Questionany updates ? Pinmemberalhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 6:12 
GeneralImproved matching with end-of-text PinmemberAnders Heie11-May-09 16:20 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pinmemberroadrunner31412-Aug-09 4:35 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pinmembersdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 2:50 
QuestionPathMatchSpec instead? Pinmemberkintz25-Mar-09 9:55 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec instead? PinmemberMandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 11:39 
Questionwchar_t version? Pinmemberrmorales8729-Nov-08 21:16 
AnswerRe: wchar_t version? Pinmemberrazvar31-Mar-11 22:49 
Generalwildcmp in XBLite PinmemberCodeGibbon27-Nov-08 14:56 
GeneralWildcard string compare in C# Pinmemberhaiquang10-Nov-08 23:15 
GeneralRe: Wildcard string compare in C# Pinmemberhaiquang3-Aug-09 23:22 
GeneralC# Direct Port Pinmemberhempels23-Sep-08 16:10 
General...and yet another C# port [modified] PinmemberDVF27-Aug-10 17:59 
GeneralRe: ...and yet another C# port PinmemberVUnreal21-Sep-10 12:22 
General[Message Removed] Pinmemberstonber18-Sep-08 15:22 
GeneralUsing in Artistic Style Pinmemberjimp023-Apr-08 5:43 
GeneralGeez... Pinmemberlarryfr5-Mar-08 10:39 
QuestionConvert to a replace? Pinmemberwilliaps20-Mar-07 9:31 
GeneralC# RexExp version Pinmemberspinsane4-Nov-06 7:30 
Here's RegExp version (may be easily ported to C++).
Pros: More readable, Relies on proven RegExp
Cons: Maybe slower?, If eval string contains RegExp keywords then it might result in unexpected result
 

public static bool Match(string eval, string pattern, bool caseSensitive)
{
bool match = false;
 
// Make input parameters lower-case if case is not an issue
if (!caseSensitive)
{
eval = eval.ToLower();
pattern = pattern.ToLower();
}
 
// Escape regexp special character in pattern
pattern = pattern.Replace(".", @"\.");
 
// Replace valid wildcards with regexp equivalents
pattern = pattern.Replace('?', '.').Replace("*", ".*");
 
// Add boundaries to pattern
pattern = @"\A" + pattern + @"\z";
 
// Search for a match
try
{
match = Regex.IsMatch(eval, pattern);
}
catch /* (ArgumentException ex) */
{
// Syntax error in the regular expression
}
 
// Return result
return match;
}

GeneralKudos Pinmemberquantumred14-Oct-06 5:37 
GeneralRe: Kudos Pinmembermilkplus24-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] PinmemberDaniel 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 Pinmemberradboudp16-Feb-07 1:35 
Generalreturn value type Pinmemberwdx048-Jan-06 16:49 
General*? case match Pinmembertalimu4-Nov-05 0:42 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pinmemberkuhnm15-Sep-06 3:18 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pinmemberkuhnm18-Sep-06 5:48 
GeneralGets my 5 PinmemberFranc Morales18-Oct-05 18:05 
Generalmp and cp Pinmembertwopieman15-Mar-05 12:59 
GeneralRe: mp and cp Pinmemberradboudp16-Feb-07 2:14 
GeneralOK, but ... PinmemberSam Levy16-Feb-05 5:48 
QuestionWhy make 3 loop ? PinmemberDarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 23:22 
AnswerRe: Why make 3 loop ? PinmemberJack Handy13-Feb-05 11:02 
GeneralC# version PinmemberSancy26-Oct-04 7:23 

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