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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

About the Author

Jack Handy
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
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 
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 
GeneralC# version PinmemberSancy26-Oct-04 6:23 
GeneralRe: C# version PinsussPsyk6621-Dec-04 3:39 
GeneralRe: C# version PinmemberIonut FIlip22-Feb-05 6:15 
GeneralRe: C# version Pinmemberrobagar3-Apr-06 16:58 
GeneralRe: C# version PinmemberSancy5-Jun-06 16:01 
GeneralConvert to java base on C# version [modified, better look :~ ] Pinmemberquangtin321-Mar-08 21:13 
GeneralRe: C# version - an error! PinmemberMark T.4-Jul-08 14:37 
Be aware that there is a bug in this C# version.
I am still working on figuring it out fully, but:
 
in this code segment
int cp=0;
int mp=0;
while (i < s.Length)
{
  if (j < pattern.Length && pattern[j] == '*')
  {
    if ((j++)>=pattern.Length)
      return true;
 
Going into the final "if" line shown here, the maximum value that j may have is (pattern.length-1), due to the first "if" test. Then we see (j++) compared. But, the value of (j++) is the value of "j" BEFORE being incremented and thus is a maximum of (pattern.length-1) and is therefore NEVER >= pattern.length. Only after the if test is completed is j actually incremented.
So the following return is never taken.
 
Perhaps it can be fixed by changing j++ to ++j... but I can't tell that until I complete the analysis.
 
On a slightly different topic, I will state my opinion as a professional programmer. This demonstrates the extremely importance of EXTENSIVE COMMENTS in code explaining NOT what the code does, but "what the code is supposed to do" in each section. If such comments were in place, this would be an easy maintenance fix. Without them, I am having to analyze what the code DOES and, from that, try to discern what the programmer INTENDED the code to do. And, I have to consider all the possible wildcard permutations just like the original programmer did. I essentially have to reinvent the wheel... because the user manual is missing.
 
Everyone, especially Gurus, should put extensive comments in their code on "what it is intended to do". The only downside is lack of job security, because now someone other than you can fix the code. If you have that low of opinion of your worth to your employer, and are also lacking all compassion for others, then don't comment your code.
GeneralRe: C# version Pinmemberwilliamhix17-Oct-08 22:28 
GeneralMany thanks, with 1 small gripe .. PinmemberDavid Patrick29-Sep-04 8:41 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. PinmemberJack Handy6-Oct-04 8:13 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. PinmemberVic Mackey16-Oct-04 19:33 
GeneralRe: Many thanks, with 1 small gripe .. PinmemberVoja Intermajstor24-Nov-04 23:26 
GeneralNice code... Pinmembervoja2125-Aug-04 2:30 
GeneralSlight efficiency improvement PinmemberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 6:53 
GeneralRe: Slight efficiency improvement PinmemberBill Buklis9-Jul-04 7:19 
QuestionPathMatchSpec (shlwapi.h)? Pinmemberpeterchen28-Jun-04 6:56 

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