regex expressions for validating email addresses

Whilst doing my usual mindless surfing of the internet, I found this page webmonkey relating to the validation of email addresses. In short, this is what they had to say:


1. Dirt-simple approach
Here’s a regex that only requires a very basic xxxx@yyyy.zzz:
.+\@.+\..+

Upside: Dirt simple.
Downside: Even invalid email addresses like xxxx@yyyy.zzz, or even a@b.c, make it through.

2. Slightly more strict (but still simple) approach
Regular-Expressions.Info provides a basic email validation regex that tries to be a little smarter:
[A-Z0-9._%+-]+@[A-Z0-9.-]+\.[A-Z]{2,4}

Upside: Only allows email address-friendly characters, restricts domain extension to only two to four characters.
Downside: It still allows many invalid email addresses, and misses some longer domain extensions (.museum, for example).

3. Specify all the domain extensions approach
Reddit user teye points to his regex, which only allows domain extensions that actually exist:
([a-z0-9][-a-z0-9_\+\.]*[a-z0-9])@([a-z0-9][-a-z0-9\.]*[a-z0-9]\.(arpa|root|aero|biz|cat|com|coop|edu|gov|info|int|jobs|mil|mobi|museum|
name|net|org|pro|tel|travel|ac|ad|ae|af|ag|ai|al|am|an|ao|aq|ar|as|at|au|aw|
ax|az|ba|bb|bd|be|bf|bg|bh|bi|bj|bm|bn|bo|br|bs|bt|bv|bw|by|bz|ca|cc|cd|cf|cg
|ch|ci|ck|cl|cm|cn|co|cr|cu|cv|cx|cy|cz|de|dj|dk|dm|do|dz|ec|ee|eg|er|es|et|
eu|fi|fj|fk|fm|fo|fr|ga|gb|gd|ge|gf|gg|gh|gi|gl|gm|gn|gp|gq|gr|gs|gt|gu|gw|gy|
hk|hm|hn|hr|ht|hu|id|ie|il|im|in|io|iq|ir|is|it|je|jm|jo|jp|ke|kg|kh|ki|km|kn|kr|
kw|ky|kz|la|lb|lc|li|lk|lr|ls|lt|lu|lv|ly|ma|mc|md|mg|mh|mk|ml|mm|mn|mo|mp|
mq|mr|ms|mt|mu|mv|mw|mx|my|mz|na|nc|ne|nf|ng|ni|nl|no|np|nr|nu|nz|om|
pa|pe|pf|pg|ph|pk|pl|pm|pn|pr|ps|pt|pw|py|qa|re|ro|ru|rw|sa|sb|sc|sd|se|sg|
sh|si|sj|sk|sl|sm|sn|so|sr|st|su|sv|sy|sz|tc|td|tf|tg|th|tj|tk|tl|tm|tn|to|tp|tr|tt|
tv|tw|tz|ua|ug|uk|um|us|uy|uz|va|vc|ve|vg|vi|vn|vu|wf|ws|ye|yt|yu|za|zm|
zw)|([0-9]{1,3}\.{3}[0-9]{1,3}))

Upside: It doesn’t allow xxxx@yyyy.zzz!
Downside: Upkeep could be tough with this one. You’d have to update any time new domain extensions are announced. In fact, you already would need to add the .me extension.

4. Way complicated approach

A Perl module has a long regular expression based on the standard description of an email address. It’s so long (nearly 6,500 characters!) that I won’t include it here.

Upside: It’s complete.
Downside: It’s way complicated.


Well, they didn’t put it on their page, so I went and found it and put it here for posperity. It’s WAY COOL! :-P

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)+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:
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\t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\0
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+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\
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?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)?;\s*

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