Edit stream text or a text file on the command line using wildcards and Simple Expressions with the Swiss File Knife for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

sfk ... +xed /from/to/ [/from2/to2/]

a stream text editor using SFK Simple Expressions.

- takes text stream input from a previous command,
  or a binary stream from sfk extract.
- joins all lines into one large block that can be
  changed in complete.
- splits output again into lines for further use,
  or passes output as binary to another +xed.
- may also read and write a single file.

xed/xex is designed to post process small to medium sized
data streams or files. it is not suitable to edit large files
beyond 100 MB, as the whole content must fit into memory
multiple times. use "sfk xreplace" to process large files.

wildcards and SFK expressions
   SFK Expressions are simple patterns containing literal text,
   wildcards * and ? and character classes in square brackets [].
   basically, the syntax provides extended wilcards but no
   further logic and is not related to regular expressions.

   search patterns are surrounded by a separator character which
   can be anything not contained in the search text, like / or _

   within a pattern /fromtext/totext/ the fromtext may contain:

     *                       - 0 to 4000 characters in the same
                               text line or paragraph, i.e. all
                               bytes not being CR, LF or NULL.
                               4000 is just a default maximum
                               that can be changed by:
     [0.100000 chars]        - 0 to 100000 characters in the same
                               text line or paragraph, i.e. the
                               same as * but with a larger range.
     ?                       - one character.
     ?????                   - same as [5.5 chars] or [5 chars]
     [bytes]                 - 0 to 4000 bytes (with CR,LF,NULL)
                               i.e. it collects stream text
                               across lines, even in binary data
     **                      - the same as [bytes].
     [0.100 bytes]           - 0 to 100 bytes
     [.100000 bytes]         - up to 100000 bytes
     [1.* bytes]             - 1 to default maximum bytes
     [2 chars]               - exactly 2 chars
     [30 bytes]              - exactly 30 bytes
     [byte of aeiou]         - one vocal (a OR A OR e OR ...),
                               case insensitive by default.
                               "aeiou" is a character list.
     [byte of \\\x2f]        - a backslash \ or forw. slash /
     [bytes of \r\n \t]      - whitespace incl. line ends
     [bytes of (\r\n \t)]    - the same, () are optional
     [bytes not \r\n\0]      - up to 4000 bytes as long as no
                               CR, LF or NULL byte appears
     [chars]                 - the same as [bytes not \r\n\0],
                               i.e. collect text in a line
     [char not ( \t)]        - same as [byte not ( \r\n\0\t)],
                               everything not blanks and tabs
     [char not )( \t]        - not brackets, blanks and tabs,
                               same as not (\(\) \t)
     [chars of a-z0-9]       - means a-zA-Z0-9 as search is
                               case insensitive by default
     [chars of \x61-\x7A]    - search a-z but not A-Z, or use
                               option -case for case search
     [eol]                   - end of line by characters:
                               CRLF or LF or CR

     [white]     = chars of (\t )     - 0 or more whitespaces
     [xwhite]    = bytes of (\t \r\n) - same but across lines
     [1 white]   = byte  of (\t )     - 1 whitespace
     [digit]     = byte  of (0-9)     - 1 digit
     [digits]    = bytes of (0-9)     - 0 or more digits
     [hexdigit]  = byte  of (0-9a-f)  - 1 hexadecimal digit
     [hexdigits]  = bytes of (0-9a-f) - 0 or more hex digits

     special keywords that do not count as tokens:
     [skip]   - at the start of a pattern: skip such text
                completely, do not count it as a search hit.
     [keep]   - search also the following text but keep it
                in the input data, without consuming it.
     [ortext] - foo[ortext]bar searches word foo or bar.
                [ortext] is allowed only between literals.

     anchors that have no length of their own:
     [start]  - start of file
     [end]    - end of file
     [lstart] - line start, i.e. start or CRLF or CR or LF
     [lend]   - logical line end, i.e. eol or end of file.
                to replace line ends use [eol] instead.

     how to search or replace special characters:
     -  to search or replace text containing the literal characters
        * ? \ [ ] then these must be escaped like \* \? \\ \[ \]
     -  ( ) are escaped only within character lists, like \( \)
     -  to search or replace the forward slash '/' type \x2f or use
        another char around from/to text, e.g. _fromtext_totext_
     -  parameters with blanks and non trivial characters need double
        quotes "", see also "about Shell Command Characters" below.

     expansion priorities: (highest first)
     if two search parts are side by side, and the same input
     character matches both, then these priorities apply:

       5:  start, end, lstart, lend
       4:  literal text, eol
       3:  whitelist classes: byte of, bytes of
       2:  blacklist classes: chars not, bytes not
       1:  plain wildcards: ?, *, **, byte, bytes, chars

     this means in "/[bytes]foo/" the [bytes] will stop to collect
     characters as soon as "foo" is found, as "foo" is a literal.
     on same or higher priority the right side stops the left side.

     avoid overlapping character groups. for example, [chars][white]
     cannot work, as space and tab are part of chars. to fix this
     extend chars by relevant exclusions: [chars not ( \t)][white]

   the totext may contain:

     [part 1]            use first text part of the fromtext.
                         e.g. the fromtext /*foo[.100 chars]bar*/
                         contains parts :   1 2         3    4 5
     [part1]             the same (blank is optional).
     [parts 1,2,3]       use parts 1, 2 and 3.
     [parts 1-10]        use parts 1 to 10.
     [strip(part1,\0)]   use part 1 but remove zero bytes.
                         only zero bytes "\0" can be removed.
     [file.name]         full input filename with path
     [file.relname]      input filename without path
     [file.path]         input file's path
     [file.base]         relname without last .extension
     [file.ext]          input filename extension
     [all]               use all parts from fromtext.

     [setvar name]...[endvar]   set variable "name" with data
                                between setvar and endvar.
     [getvar name]              fill in data from variable "name"

     although anchors like lstart, lend count as a separate part
     they need NOT be specified in the totext. this means that
     /[lstart]foo[lend]/bar/ just changes the word "foo".

supported slash patterns
   \t    = TAB
   \r    = CR
   \n    = LF
   \x00  = one byte with code 00 hexadecimal
   \0    = short form for \x00
   \q    = a double quote "
   \\    = the backslash character \ itself
   \[    = the bracket open character [
   \]    = the bracket close character ]
   \*    = the literal star character *
   \?    = the literal question mark  ?
   \-    = to use literal "-" in a command
   Within multi line -bylist files:
   \     = slash+blank is changed to a single blank
   Only within "char of" or "byte not" lists:
   \(    = to use literal character "("
   \)    = to use literal character ")"

SFK expression options
   -showpart(s)  print /from/ part numbers, range statistics
                 and expansion priority points per part.
                 done automatically if a required /to/ text
                 is not given with a command.
   -showbest     if a /from/ pattern finds nothing, use this to
                 see how many parts would match so far, and with
                 up to how many bytes per part. anchors like [lstart]
                 may show a non zero length when matching (CR)LF.
   -showlist     with -bylist, show the internal joined list if
                 commands are spread across multiple lines.
   -showall      show all of the above.
   -xmaxlen=n    set default maximum length for chars or bytes commands,
                 e.g. -xmaxlen=10000 means /foo*bar/ matches with up to
                 10000 characters between foo and bar. the default max
                 length without this option is 4000 characters.

performance notes
 - always use a string literal, or single byte or char, at the start
   of your search expressions, like in /foo*bar/ starting with 'f'.
   Do not use a wildcard like * at the start like in /*foobar/
   when searching huge input data, as your search will slow down by
   factor 256. Use /[lstart]*foobar/ instead.
 - the system may cache output file(s), writing to disk in background
   after sfk has finished. subsequent batch commands may execute slower.

   -case        compare case sensitive, default is nocase.
                for further options see: sfk help nocase
   -bylist x    read /from/to/ patterns from a file x,
                supporting multiple lines per pattern.
                for details type: sfk rep -full
   -bylinelist x  read /from/to/ or just /from/ patterns
                from a file with one pattern per line.
                best for searching many phrases with
                simple or no output reformatting.
   -i           process text stream from standard input
   -tolines     force output as text lines. use this
                if you get unexpected hex data.
   -nomark      do not highlight changes in output
   -nocol       no colors at all to allow more memory
   -write       if input filename is given, rewrite file
                with the changed data.
   -tofile f    write output to file f. do not use +tofile
                chaining as it splits data into text lines.
   -rawterm     on output to terminal do not strip codes
                below 32. Null bytes are always stripped.
   -dump[raw]   create hex dump [raw = w/o eol highlight]
   -crlf, -lf   for file headers and default totext: force
                crlf or lf line endings instead of default
   -justrc      print no output, just set return code.
   -firsthit    use only first matching result.

chaining I/O support
   extract ... +xed   supports binary data transfer.
   xed ... +xed       supports binary data transfer.
   In all other cases like xed ... +filter data is passed
   as text lines without zero bytes and up to 4000 chars
   per line. Binary transfer needs four times free memory
   available then the actual number of bytes passed.

unexpected hex data with xed chaining
   if you use xed and get an unexpected hex output
   like 746573746... it means a following command
   cannot handle stream data. use option -tolines then.

unexpected line breaks with +tofile
   happen if lines are longer then 4096 chars.
      use -tofile instead.
   happen if data contains carriage return chars.
      add "/\r//" to remove them.

see also
   sfk swap     change single line character order

web access support
   extracting the head section from a web page can be done like:
   sfk xex "_<head>**</head>_"
   sfk xex http://.100/ "_<head>**</head>_"
   sfk web .100 +xex "_<head>**</head>_"

archive file reading
   xed may directly read archive file entries like
   src.zip\\sub1.bz2\\sub2.tar.gz. for details and
   limitations type "sfk help xe".

beware of Shell Command Characters.
   to find or replace text patterns containing spaces or special
   characters like <>|!&?* you must add quotes "" around parameters
   or the shell environment will destroy your command. for example,
   pattern /foo bar/other/ must be written like "/foo bar/other/"
   within a .bat or .cmd file the percent % must be escaped like %%
   even within quotes: sfk echo -spat "percent %% is a percent \x25"

unexpected repeat replace behaviour
   depending on the input data and search/replace expressions,
   it can happen that running the same replace multiple times
   on the same stream produces further hits that didn't exist
   in the first run. read the sfk replace extended help text
   by "sfk replace -full" for details.

quoted multi line parameters are supported in scripts
   using full trim. type "sfk script" for details.

return codes for batch files
   0 = no matches, 1 = matches found, >1 = major error occurred.
   see also "sfk help opt" on how to influence error processing.

about example numbers with [brackets]
   if you see [1] type "sfk cmd 1" for whole command in one line.

web reference

more in the SFK Book
   the SFK Book contains a 60 page tutorial, including
   detailed xed examples with input, script and output.
   type "sfk book" for details.

   Note: also see "sfk xex" for further examples.
   sfk xed in.txt "/foo*bar/goo/" -tofile out.txt
      read from file in.txt, replace "foo" and "bar" with
      up to 4000 characters inbetween, in the same line,
      by the word "goo". write output to a file out.txt.
   sfk xed in.txt "/foo*bar/goo/" -write
      same as above, but replace within file in.txt
   sfk xed in.html "/<!--**-->//" -tofile out.html
      remove all remark blocks starting with "<!--" and
      ending with "-->", across any number of lines,
      with up to 4000 bytes, from the HTML code.
   sfk xex in.zip\\sub1.tar.bz2\\sub2.tar.gz\\Trace.hpp "/class*/"
      XE: extract phrases starting with "class" from a
          .tar.gz within a .tar.bz2 within a .zip file.
   sfk xed in.txt /foo12/foo34/ /foo34/foo12/ -tofile out.txt
      swaps foo12 and foo34. with xed, replaced text is not
      replaced again by further patterns in the same command.
   sfk xed in.dat -dump
    "/\x66\x6f\x6f[0.100 bytes]\x62\x61\x72/---/"
      replace binary data starting with bytes 0x66, 0x6f, 0x6f,
      ending with 0x62, 0x61, 0x72 and up to 100 bytes inbetween
      by "---" and show a hex dump of the output data. [5]
      add -tofile out.dat to write the output data to a file.
   sfk xed in.csv "/*\t*\t*Genway Rd*/[parts 1,2,5,6,7,2,3]/"
      a tab separated CSV file with name, road, city like
        Bemond Furn. Ltd    147 Elney Rd      Hertford NY 83058
        Candale Design Ltd  Seattle KS 51028  868 Genway Rd
        Betree Furn. Ltd    311 Napton Rd     Portland NC 97702
      contains wrong records with "Genway Rd" in the 3rd column.
      fix only these records by swapping column 2 and 3.
      part 2 is just a tab character, used twice in output.
   sfk xed in.txt "/\r//" +xed "_[lstart]\* [bytes]
    [keep]\n\* [ortext]\n\n_<li>[part3]</li>_"
      change a plain text enumeration like    [6]  
         * first item is
           a double line text
         * second
         * third

      followed by an empty line to HTML code like
         <li>first item is
             a double line text</li>
      things to consider:
      - each enum paragraph ends at another line
        starting with * or at an empty line \n\n
      - windows text files use \r\n line endings,
        so to allow a convenient \n\n search for
        empty lines use /\r// first. this must be
        done as a separate +xed, otherwise the edited
        line ends are skipped in further searches.
      - we cannot search the line ends by [eol]
        as [ortext] requires pure literals like \n.
      - the [keep] tells to search until \n* but
        not to consume this, i.e. further searches
        can re-find and replace it as [lstart]*
   sfk version -own +filter -stabform "$col5" +setvar ver
    +then xed info.xml "=<program_version>**</program_version>
    =[part1][getvar ver][part3]="
      get the version number from sfk, store it in an sfk
      variable "var" and fill this into info.xml by changing
      the text within the program_version tag. because both /
      and _ chars are used in the xml data we use another
      delimiter character "=".   [8]  
   sfk xed in.txt "/[eol]/, /" +xed "/[60 chars]*, /[all]\n/"
      if in.txt contains only one short word per line
      reformat this as a comma separated text using
      at least 60 characters per line.
   sfk xed in.txt "/*[eol]/\q[part1]\q, /"
    +xed "/[60 chars]*, /[all]\n/"
      same as above, but surrounding words by quotes.
   sfk xex foo.h +setvar a +then xed bar.c
    "/[lstart]#include \qfoo.h\q*[eol]/[getvar a]/"
      replace a text line: #include "foo.h"
      within file bar.c by the file content of foo.h
   sfk echo aabbccdd +xed "/[2 chars][2 chars]
    [2 chars][2 chars]/[parts 4,3,2,1]/"
      produces ddccbbaa, i.e. it swaps 4 blocks of
      2 chars each. (little endian conversion)