[jboss-dev] Regular expression for key value pairs

David M. Lloyd david.lloyd at redhat.com
Fri Sep 4 12:21:50 EDT 2009

Splitting via regex is usually not a very good way to tokenize.  If you 
want to do a regex-based tokenizer, you'd probably create a pattern which 
matches, in alternation, all the different possible tokens as separate 
capture groups (written in such a way that any non-matching text causes the 
overall pattern match to fail).  Then your code can use Matcher.find() in a 
loop, and whichever matcher.group() is populated, that's the matched token.

Of course that's a bit of a pain as well. :-)

Doing this via split doesn't work well because the "" strings can contain 
commas, as well as various escape sequences, among other issues.


On 09/04/2009 11:09 AM, Vladimir Blagojevic wrote:
> Hi,
> What would be a regular expression for Java annotation key value pairs? 
> I want to compile this regex in Pattern class and then call method split 
> to get the the key value pairs. For example,
> @RequestForEnhancement(
>      id       = 2868724,
>      synopsis = "Enable time-travel",
>      engineer = "Mr. Peabody",
>      date     = "4/1/3007"
> )
> Much appreciated,
> Vladimir
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