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18.2 Strategies for Parsing Text in Python

In the grand scheme of things, there are a variety of ways to handle text processing in Python:

  • Built-in string objects

  • String module (and method) utilities

  • Regular expression matching

  • Parser-generator integrations

  • Hand-coded parsers

  • Running Python code with eval and exec built-ins

For simpler tasks, Python's built-in string object is often all we really need. Python strings can be indexed, concatenated, sliced, and processed both with built-in functions and with the string module. Our emphasis in this chapter, though, is on higher-level tools and techniques for analyzing textual information. Let's briefly explore each of the other approaches above with representative examples.

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