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Re: Perl 5's "non-greedy" matching can be TOO greedy!

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Tom Christiansen
December 15, 2000 12:39
Re: Perl 5's "non-greedy" matching can be TOO greedy!
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>I meant that I've never seen
>a concrete, realistic example where the current behavior is more beneficial
>to the programmer than my proposed behavior.  

Absense of evidence is hardly evidence of absence.

   `cat /vmunix` =~ /\w+/

I just love guaranteed worst-case behavior.  NOT.
It is good to short circuit.  Very good.

>(I imagine in most cases, it
>will be a moot point, since the match will usually be the same.)

Then why the bloody blazes are you arguing about this so vociferously?

>Strange argument.  Greedy matching was once considered fundamental to the
>design of regex, and the "leftmost" behavior is 100% consistent with greedy

Nope.  These are orthogonal, unrelated concpets.

>Yet Perl 5 added non-greedy modifiers, changing a fundamental
>aspect of every preceding regex system, and still called it a regex...

Whether a match should be minimal or maximal in no way changes
whether the language is to be deemed "regular" by the proper
definition of that term.  Back-references, which have been in Perl
since its inception, suffice to disqualify the language from that
category, but minimal and maximal alternation do not.  But this
doesn't matter.


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