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If you can't do it right, don't do it at all

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Nov. 12th, 2012 | 10:42 pm

One thing I really hate? Programs (of any kind, although I'm mostly looking at text editors etc.) who implement regex search (and possibly replace), but fail to do so in a correct and/or complete manner.

For instance, suppose you want to strip out certain HTML tags from a document, say (just for the sake of the argument) <span style="...">. How would you do it if neither "<span style=".*?">" nor "<span style="[^"]">" nor any variation thereof are correctly interpreted by the editor's regex engine? Sheesh.

I'm not expecting Perl 5 match-time code evaluation or other such things, but non-greedy stars and negated character classes are pretty basic features.

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