Roy Osherove just posted an article about his Introducing LINQ to Regex project.
LINQ stands for Language INtegrated Query, a way of baking query support into .NET programming languages. Microsoft has been promising a unified way to query all kinds of data for years now. Along the way they came out with a score of new libraries that were going to be the solution. They’d work for all kinds of data that happened to look very much like a relational database. But now with LINQ they’ve finally delivered something that works well not only with relational data but also with hierarchical data such as XML. With LINQ to Regex, you can query unstructured text with LINQ as well.
There are two big advantages to LINQ. First, you can query different kinds of data sources with similar code. Second, “language integrated” means that your programming language knows about your query language, making strong typing and better tool support possible. (By contrast, if you have a SQL statement inside VB, for example, VB knows nothing about SQL. The SQL command is just a string as far as VB is concerned. If the SQL is malformed, you won’t know until runtime. But with LINQ, malformed queries generate compile errors.)
Update: See Scott Hanselman’s discussion of LINQ to Regex.
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