I’m currently trying to implement the wildmat matching algorithm as described in RFC 2980 for my NNTP server, Wombat. Since I’m implementing the article database using Core Data, I’d like to use as much as the built in functionality as possible.

Wildmat isn’t regular expressions, but supports five allegedly different operations. It’s really just three (they count character sets as three):

  1. * –matches any character zero or more times.
  2. ? –matches any one, and only one, character.
  3. [] –character sets. This includes using ^ to specify negative character sets and using \ to escape special characters in the set.

I’ve actually figured out that Core Data supports the first two right out of the box. That’s right, if you use the LIKE operator to match strings, you can use * and ? in the string and Core Data will do the magic for you:

NSString* wildmat = @"foo*bar??";
NSPredicate* predicate = [NSPredicate predicateWithFormat:@"name LIKE %@", wildmat];

In the above example Core Data would match any of the follow names:


I’m trying to figure out if Core Data supports character sets in anyway. It’d be a lot easier, and more efficient, if I can get Core Data to do all the heavy lifting for me. I’m also looking for any mailing list or discussion group that covers Core Data. I checked Apple’s mailing lists, but I couldn’t find anything.