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how to use Java Pattern.matcher() freezes when matching line that contains ?

asked Sep 13, 2013 in Java Interview Questions by rajesh
edited Sep 12, 2013
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I came across a problem I find quite interesting. I'm doing some basic parsing of text files mostly by regex and it always freezes when matching this line
ftrect 0.7031 57.0313 9.8561 55.5313 "FREIGABE \nQ09_SV01"
No exception is thrown; the program just hangs. I'm posting the snippet of the program that recreates the situation; the commented one is possible standard situation, but the other one is the problematic. If you delete the \n it works, but these parsed files comes like this from "blackbox" system.
I surely can make a workaround, I only found it interesting that it actually freezes and hoped that someone could explain what is happening. I tried it on JDK6u22 and JDK7u21...
public static Pattern FTRECT_PATTERN = Pattern.compile(
public static void main(String[] args) {
//  Matcher m = FTRECT_PATTERN.matcher( "FOX_BACKGROUND: ftrect 46.1719 18.0556 54.8633 16.5556 \"Schicht\" " );
    Matcher m = FTRECT_PATTERN.matcher( "ftrect 0.7031 57.0313 9.8561 55.5313 \"FREIGABE \\nQ09_SV01\"" );
    System.out.println( m.matches() );
    for (int i = 0; i <= m.groupCount(); i++) {
        String string = i );
        System.out.println( string );
Well, I discovered that if I modify the regex to this (adding the \\\\ to the last group):
public static Pattern FTRECT_PATTERN = Pattern.compile(
I still don't know why no exception is thrown.


answered Sep 13, 2013 by rajesh
edited Sep 12, 2013