When it comes to dealing with text data, regular expressions are the bread and butter of data processing, as well as programming, most of the time. Hardly a day or two passes before you use grep or a similar tool. Until recently, I thought the field of regular expressions and related tools were very useful, boring, and didn’t present any innovations. It turns out that I was wrong!
ICGrep uses a new, parallel bitstream technology, developed Dr. Robert D. Cameron at Simon Fraser University. It claims to be super fast for many text search and processing tasks. ICGrep is available for download from http://www.icgrep.com/downloads.htm as a binary executable for OS X / MacOS. Its source code is also available if you want to build it for your operating system.
ripgrep is developed mainly by Andrew Gallant and other open source contributors, and its source code is available at https://github.com/BurntSushi/ripgrep. It is developed in Rust programming language, and claims to be very fast, Unicode-ready, as well as smart; ready to replace the Silver Searcher (ag), and “ack“.
Let’s see how they compare to the venerable regular expression utilities that we all know and love. Read the rest of this entry »