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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

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 
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 
In case you are matching something like the following:
 
"*.abc" to "ab.de.abc"
 
In the second loop it looks for the first character after the asterisk that is the same in the string. At first it matches "*" against "ab". mp = ".abc" during this. Now wild = ".abc" and string = ".de.abc". Obvious no match. On the next loop the first characters do match (both '.') and wild becomes "abc" and string "de.abc". The next loop there is no match and it falls to the else. Here it resets wild to the last mp (mask pattern??) and string to the last cp (character pattern) WITHOUT THE FIRST CHARACTER. (It actually advances cp one position.)
 
Why does it do this. After matching the * against part of the string and encountering a possible poisiton where to match the remainder of the pattern, it continued comparing characters from both to each other. This fialed. Since right before the position of mp there was a *, it is still allowed to add characters to the part that is matched against that. Basically, it goes back to that position but decides that the character that occurs in both strings is not the next character in the pattern but part of the '*' wildcard.
 
In the end it has matched '*' with 'ab.de'.
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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