Matchete: Paths through the Pattern Matching Jungle

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Abstract

Pattern matching is a programming language feature for selecting a handler based on the structure of data while binding names to sub-structures. By combining selection and binding, pattern matching facilitates many common tasks such as date normalization, red-black tree manipulation, conversion of XML documents, or decoding TCP/IP packets. Matchete is a language extension to Java that unifies different approaches to pattern matching: regular expressions, structured term patterns, XPath, and bit-level patterns. Matchete naturally allows nesting of these different patterns to form composite patterns. We present the Matchete syntax and describe a prototype implementation.