On Fri, 15 Dec 2000 13:42:44 -0700, Kevin Walker wrote: >Deven seems to be advocating thinking about regular expressions >without worrying too much about the implementation, even at a fairly >abstract level. Here's a counter example: /aaaabbbbccccdddddbbbbcdddd/ Shouldn't a non-greedy matcher /b.*?d/, according to the OP's rules, match "bcd", the second matching string? That is shorter than the first match. Oh, you want the first match. Well: same thing. It is similar in nature to that question in comp.lang.perl.misc the other day: why doesn't greediness force /a|ab/ to preferably match "ab"? Because it doesn't. Try from left to right, first match wins. A dead simple rule. If Perl's greediness/nongreediness doesn't work for you, rely on something else, to get what you want. -- Bart.