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Re: bug in elisp... or in elisper???

From: ken
Subject: Re: bug in elisp... or in elisper???
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 11:21:43 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20101213)

On 03/22/2011 07:50 PM David Kastrup wrote:
> ken <address@hidden> writes:
>> Fellow elispers,
>> Something seems to be amiss in the search syntax here:
>>  (setq aname-re-str
>> "<a\\([\s-\\|\n]+?\\)name=\"\\(.*?\\)\"\\([\s-\\|\n]*?\\)>\\(\\(.\\|\n\\)*?\\)</a\\(\\(
>> \\|\t\\|\n\\)*?\\)>" )
>> ....
> Uh what?
> \\(.\\|\n\\)*?
> Matches _any_ character.

Yes.  Why not?  Users' texts can and do contain any sort of character,
multiple instances of them in fact... and, moreover, in any languages'
character sets they might want.  They're allowed to do this.

Perhaps you're perplexed because you're not noting the RE immediately
following: "</a".  IOW, elisp should keep reading chars until the first
instance of "</a".  Seems to me to be a perfectly rational request.  In
the small bit of testing I've done, it seems also to work just fine.

>> But it consistently contains the last character of of the 4th
>> match-string.
> That is because it _is_ the last matched character of the 4th
> match-string.
>> And these two matches are separated by the literal
>> character string, "</a"!!  What's up with this?
> Your ability to count \\( strings?  They are assigned match numbers from
> left to right, regardless of whether they are nested or not.

An inability to count would be the most derogatory interpretation.  But
the function I wrote (here elided) actually did the counting for me, so
that would not be a cogent interpretation.  A mere mortal, I wasn't born
knowing that REs could be nested (documentation I read in fact stated
they couldn't), of course then also not that in such cases both inner
and outer REs are counted separately by match-string.  So once again,
the more charitable interpretation is the more perspicacious... and vice

One is not superior merely because one
sees the world as odious.
                -- Chateaubriand (1768-1848)

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