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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

 
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 
some cases don't work properly:
 
wildstring = "a*bc"
matchstring = "abbc"
should be true, but it returns false
 
wildstring = "a*b"
matchstring = "a"
should be false, but it returns true
 
wildstring = "a*?b"
matchstring = "axb"
should be true, but it returns false
 
wildstring = "a**b"
matchstring = "axb"
should be true, but it returns false (ok, the two ** aren't useful, but they should work)
 
I solved the last 3 bugs, but the first one is a bit tricky...
bool StrWildCmp(char* wildstring, char *matchstring){
   char stopstring[1];
   *stopstring = '\0';
 
   while(*matchstring != '\0')
   {
      if (*wildstring == '*') 
      {
         do
         {         
            wildstring++;            
         } while (*wildstring == '*');  // if a dork entered two or more * in a row 
                                        // ignore them and go ahead
         
         if (*wildstring == '\0')   // if * was the last char, the strings are equal
         {
            return TRUE;
         }
         else
         {
            *stopstring = *wildstring; // the next char to check after the *
         }
      }
 
      if(*stopstring != '\0')
      {
         if((*stopstring == *matchstring) || (*stopstring == '?') ) 
         {
            wildstring++;
            *stopstring = '\0';
         }
         matchstring++;
      }
      else
         if((*wildstring == *matchstring) || (*wildstring == '?'))
         {
            wildstring++;
            matchstring++;
         }
         else
         {
            return FALSE;
         }
 
      if( (*matchstring == '\0') && (*wildstring != '\0') )
      {
         // matchstring seems to be too short. Check if wildstring has any more chars except '*'
         while (*wildstring == '*') // ignore following '*'
            wildstring++;
         
         if (*wildstring == '\0') // if wildstring endet after '*', strings are equal
            return TRUE;
         else
            return FALSE;
      }
}

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 

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