Visual debugging of regular expressions – Fabian Beck

Regular expressions are cool, but they are hard to read. It is hard to see what characters are real characters (a..z) and the structure is also hard to decrypt. Current solutions include color coding and visualization as a state machine like diagram. Fabian’s new idea RegViz is to overlay the state machine on a regular expression.

To evaluate this idea, Fabian asked 10 developers for feedback. They found the idea intuitive, clear, helpful and useful, but some also note that the colors might be distracting or clutter. As possible applications, Fabian thinks of integration into an IDE or using the tool for educational purposes.

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Cool, RegViz is available here!