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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

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Comments and Discussions

 
Generaldelphi port Pin
vovach77723-Dec-14 4:38
membervovach77723-Dec-14 4:38 
QuestionMy vote of 5+ Pin
Sanmayce29-Nov-13 8:47
memberSanmayce29-Nov-13 8:47 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Franc Morales29-May-13 16:47
memberFranc Morales29-May-13 16:47 
Questionhelp required for wilcard matching * and # Pin
SaimaAsif24-Feb-12 0:56
memberSaimaAsif24-Feb-12 0:56 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Plamen Petrov13-Dec-11 22:37
memberPlamen Petrov13-Dec-11 22:37 
SuggestionModification with '#' as wildcard joker for digits Pin
Thomas Haase26-Sep-11 0:16
memberThomas Haase26-Sep-11 0:16 
QuestionLicence Question Pin
randommark23-Nov-10 1:33
memberrandommark23-Nov-10 1:33 
AnswerAnother C# version, with a twist Pin
tomlev29-Jun-10 15:50
membertomlev29-Jun-10 15:50 
GeneralObscurity Pin
Chuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 19:18
memberChuck O'Toole25-Apr-10 19:18 
AnswerMy C# contribution - recursive, of course! Pin
RenniePet26-Mar-10 6:21
memberRenniePet26-Mar-10 6:21 
GeneralRe: My C# contribution - recursive, of course! Pin
Erwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 2:58
memberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 2:58 
GeneralDepends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... Pin
RenniePet29-Mar-10 8:45
memberRenniePet29-Mar-10 8:45 
GeneralSorry - revised numbers Pin
RenniePet29-Mar-10 9:35
memberRenniePet29-Mar-10 9:35 
GeneralRe: Depends on whether you need to optimize the last few nanoseconds out of it... Pin
Erwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 9:37
memberErwin de GRoot29-Mar-10 9:37 
GeneralYet another version - 25% faster, I think [modified] Pin
RenniePet1-Apr-10 9:24
memberRenniePet1-Apr-10 9:24 
GeneralRe: Yet another version - 25% faster, I think Pin
aleks1k21-Sep-11 3:47
memberaleks1k21-Sep-11 3:47 
QuestionI used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pin
moh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 2:55
membermoh.hijjawi20-Oct-09 2:55 
AnswerRe: I used this function but I how I can catch variables from the * ??? Pin
RenniePet1-Apr-10 12:27
memberRenniePet1-Apr-10 12:27 
Questionany updates ? Pin
alhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 6:12
memberalhambra-eidos2-Jul-09 6:12 
GeneralImproved matching with end-of-text Pin
Anders Heie11-May-09 16:20
memberAnders Heie11-May-09 16:20 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
roadrunner31412-Aug-09 4:35
memberroadrunner31412-Aug-09 4:35 
GeneralRe: Improved matching with end-of-text: some cases don't work properly! Pin
sdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 2:50
membersdiazdiaz20-Jun-13 2:50 
QuestionPathMatchSpec instead? Pin
kintz25-Mar-09 9:55
memberkintz25-Mar-09 9:55 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec instead? Pin
MandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 11:39
memberMandatoryDefault31-Aug-09 11:39 
Questionwchar_t version? Pin
rmorales8729-Nov-08 21:16
memberrmorales8729-Nov-08 21:16 
AnswerRe: wchar_t version? Pin
razvar31-Mar-11 22:49
memberrazvar31-Mar-11 22:49 
Generalwildcmp in XBLite Pin
CodeGibbon27-Nov-08 14:56
memberCodeGibbon27-Nov-08 14:56 
GeneralWildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang10-Nov-08 23:15
memberhaiquang10-Nov-08 23:15 
GeneralRe: Wildcard string compare in C# Pin
haiquang3-Aug-09 23:22
memberhaiquang3-Aug-09 23:22 
GeneralC# Direct Port Pin
hempels23-Sep-08 16:10
memberhempels23-Sep-08 16:10 
General...and yet another C# port [modified] Pin
DVF27-Aug-10 17:59
memberDVF27-Aug-10 17:59 
GeneralRe: ...and yet another C# port Pin
VUnreal21-Sep-10 12:22
memberVUnreal21-Sep-10 12:22 
GeneralMessage Removed Pin
stonber18-Sep-08 15:22
memberstonber18-Sep-08 15:22 
GeneralUsing in Artistic Style Pin
jimp023-Apr-08 5:43
memberjimp023-Apr-08 5:43 
GeneralGeez... Pin
larryfr5-Mar-08 10:39
memberlarryfr5-Mar-08 10:39 
QuestionConvert to a replace? Pin
williaps20-Mar-07 9:31
memberwilliaps20-Mar-07 9:31 
GeneralC# RexExp version Pin
spinsane4-Nov-06 7:30
memberspinsane4-Nov-06 7:30 
GeneralKudos Pin
quantumred14-Oct-06 5:37
memberquantumred14-Oct-06 5:37 
GeneralRe: Kudos Pin
milkplus24-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
radboudp16-Feb-07 1:35
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 1:35 
Generalreturn value type Pin
wdx048-Jan-06 16:49
memberwdx048-Jan-06 16:49 
General*? case match Pin
talimu4-Nov-05 0:42
membertalimu4-Nov-05 0:42 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm15-Sep-06 3:18
memberkuhnm15-Sep-06 3:18 
GeneralRe: *? case match Pin
kuhnm18-Sep-06 5:48
memberkuhnm18-Sep-06 5:48 
GeneralGets my 5 Pin
Franc Morales18-Oct-05 18:05
memberFranc Morales18-Oct-05 18:05 
Generalmp and cp Pin
twopieman15-Mar-05 12:59
membertwopieman15-Mar-05 12:59 
GeneralRe: mp and cp Pin
radboudp16-Feb-07 2:14
memberradboudp16-Feb-07 2:14 
GeneralOK, but ... Pin
Sam Levy16-Feb-05 5:48
memberSam Levy16-Feb-05 5:48 
QuestionWhy make 3 loop ? Pin
DarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 23:22
memberDarkYoda Mickael2-Feb-05 23:22 
AnswerRe: Why make 3 loop ? Pin
Jack Handy13-Feb-05 11:02
memberJack Handy13-Feb-05 11:02 
GeneralC# version Pin
Sancy26-Oct-04 7:23
memberSancy26-Oct-04 7:23 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Psyk6621-Dec-04 4:39
sussPsyk6621-Dec-04 4:39 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Ionut FIlip22-Feb-05 7:15
memberIonut FIlip22-Feb-05 7:15 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
robagar3-Apr-06 17:58
memberrobagar3-Apr-06 17:58 
GeneralRe: C# version Pin
Sancy5-Jun-06 17:01
memberSancy5-Jun-06 17:01 
GeneralConvert to java base on C# version [modified, better look :~ ] Pin
quangtin321-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
williamhix17-Oct-08 23:28
memberwilliamhix17-Oct-08 23:28 
GeneralMany thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
David Patrick29-Sep-04 9:41
memberDavid Patrick29-Sep-04 9:41 

most C compare functions return zero when the values are equal, but this function returns non-zero.

Personally, I find the non-zero to be more intuitive .. but after years of forcing myself to check for zero I find it a bit counter-intuitive.

I think I'll just rename the function when I add it to my library Smile | :)

But that certainly wont stop me from using this wonderful routine.

Many sincere thanks ...


GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Jack Handy6-Oct-04 9:13
memberJack Handy6-Oct-04 9:13 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Vic Mackey16-Oct-04 20:33
memberVic Mackey16-Oct-04 20:33 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. Pin
Voja Intermajstor25-Nov-04 0:26
memberVoja Intermajstor25-Nov-04 0:26 
GeneralNice code... Pin
voja2125-Aug-04 3:30
membervoja2125-Aug-04 3:30 
GeneralSlight efficiency improvement Pin
Bill Buklis9-Jul-04 7:53
memberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 7:53 
GeneralRe: Slight efficiency improvement Pin
Bill Buklis9-Jul-04 8:19
memberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 8:19 
QuestionPathMatchSpec (shlwapi.h)? Pin
peterchen28-Jun-04 7:56
memberpeterchen28-Jun-04 7:56 
AnswerRe: PathMatchSpec (shlwapi.h)? Pin
Jack Handy13-Feb-05 10:56
memberJack Handy13-Feb-05 10:56 
GeneralDoesnt seem to work well.. Pin
Bikram Singh13-May-04 2:56
sussBikram Singh13-May-04 2:56 
GeneralRe: Doesnt seem to work well.. Pin
Jack Handy21-Jun-04 10:13
memberJack Handy21-Jun-04 10:13 
GeneralCase Insensitive wildcmp Pin
Techiex16-Mar-04 10:36
memberTechiex16-Mar-04 10:36 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
Neville Franks16-Mar-04 10:52
memberNeville Franks16-Mar-04 10:52 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
Techiex23-Mar-04 10:33
memberTechiex23-Mar-04 10:33 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
DavidCrow23-Feb-05 3:24
memberDavidCrow23-Feb-05 3:24 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
Vic Mackey23-Feb-05 9:00
memberVic Mackey23-Feb-05 9:00 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
DavidCrow23-Feb-05 9:22
memberDavidCrow23-Feb-05 9:22 
GeneralRe: Case Insensitive wildcmp Pin
f_randy12-Jun-06 19:13
memberf_randy12-Jun-06 19:13 
GeneralExcellent code! Pin
Hans Dietrich16-Jul-03 20:40
memberHans Dietrich16-Jul-03 20:40 
Generalchecking for null Pin
Jack Handy13-Mar-03 21:38
memberJack Handy13-Mar-03 21:38 
GeneralRe: checking for null Pin
Anonymous15-Mar-03 21:10
sussAnonymous15-Mar-03 21:10 
GeneralRe: checking for null Pin
Jack Handy18-Mar-03 14:25
memberJack Handy18-Mar-03 14:25 
Generalgreat code, but ... Pin
Anonymous12-Mar-03 4:17
sussAnonymous12-Mar-03 4:17 
GeneralRe: great code, but ... Pin
Jack Handy13-Mar-03 21:34
memberJack Handy13-Mar-03 21:34 
GeneralRe: great code, but ... Pin
Anonymous15-Mar-03 21:08
sussAnonymous15-Mar-03 21:08 
GeneralRe: great code, but ... Pin
Jack Handy18-Mar-03 14:25
memberJack Handy18-Mar-03 14:25 
GeneralRe: great code, but ... Pin
Anonymous20-Mar-03 0:13
sussAnonymous20-Mar-03 0:13 
GeneralNice Pin
Chris Richardson16-Jan-03 11:58
memberChris Richardson16-Jan-03 11:58 
GeneralRe: Nice Pin
Jack Handy20-Jan-03 12:56
memberJack Handy20-Jan-03 12:56 
GeneralCool Code Pin
Anonymous6-Dec-02 12:09
sussAnonymous6-Dec-02 12:09 
GeneralRe: Cool Code Pin
hector santos1-Mar-03 2:53
memberhector santos1-Mar-03 2:53 
GeneralRe: Cool Code Pin
Kent C. Dorner2-Mar-03 6:32
sussKent C. Dorner2-Mar-03 6:32 
GeneralRe: Cool Code Pin
gebrudergrimm28-Dec-03 11:18
membergebrudergrimm28-Dec-03 11:18 
GeneralRe: Cool Code Pin
BrcKcc15-Jun-04 9:18
memberBrcKcc15-Jun-04 9:18 
GeneralYes man - you a really cool developer Pin
Stanislav Panasik23-Oct-02 20:06
memberStanislav Panasik23-Oct-02 20:06 
GeneralRe: Yes man - you a really cool developer Pin
Anonymous28-Mar-04 14:43
sussAnonymous28-Mar-04 14:43 
GeneralPseudo Code... Pin
blahblah18-Apr-02 11:45
memberblahblah18-Apr-02 11:45 
GeneralRe: Pseudo Code... PinPopular
Targys8-Jan-03 3:43
memberTargys8-Jan-03 3:43 
Generaltoo complicated Pin
The C++ Guru21-Mar-02 22:31
memberThe C++ Guru21-Mar-02 22:31 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Big Spender22-Mar-02 1:23
memberBig Spender22-Mar-02 1:23 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
The C++ Guru22-Mar-02 1:34
memberThe C++ Guru22-Mar-02 1:34 

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