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Re: How to grok a complicated regex?

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: How to grok a complicated regex?
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:45:10 +0100

On 2015-03-13, at 22:35, Marcin Borkowski <> wrote:

> Hi all,
> so I have this monstrosity [note: I know, there are much worse ones,
> too!]:
> "\\`\\(?:\\\\[([]\\|\\$+\\)?\\(.*?\\)\\(?:\\\\[])]\\|\\$+\\)?\\'"
> (it's in the org-latex--script-size function in ox-latex.el, if you're
> curious).
> I'm not asking “what does this match” – I can read it myself.  But it
> comes with a considerable effort.  Are you aware of any tools that might
> help to understand such regexen?

BTW, it turned out to be fairly simple after all, but I could see this
only after passing it through (insert ...) in a temporary buffer, so
that all the double backslashes stopped looking like a drunkard's
nightmare.  So even such a rudimentary "tool" (basically, temp buffer
and `insert') did help a lot.


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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