If I’m honest Agent Ransack was an accident. After reading an article by Brian Kernighan (co-father of C and Unix) in 1999 on regular expressions I decided to play around with my own regex engine. However, to really test it out I needed a framework to throw lots of data at it so I created a basic C++ application (initially called FileLocator) that would run through all the source files on my computer and match it against the regex engine. And it worked!
Feeling really pleased with myself I had a look on the Internet for other regex engines and realized that there were some MUCH better implementations. I found one by a guy named Henry Spencer and plugged that into my search framework. It not only worked, it was REALLY fast.