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variable quantifiers?

by FryingFinn (Novice)
on Jan 06, 2014 at 21:37 UTC ( #1069583=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
FryingFinn has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Can one (or more to the point, I) use a variable as a quantifier value in a regex ? As illustrated in below...

#!/usr/bin/perl -w use constant minUC => 3; my $min = 3; my $test = "AAAAAA"; my @chars = (split //, $test); my $Rep = 0; foreach my $c ( @chars) { $Rep++ if ($test =~ /$c{3,}?/) ; # this works # $Rep++ if ($test =~ /$c{$min,}?/) ; # no work; # $Rep++ if ($test =~ /$c{minUC,}?/) ; #nor does using a named cons +tant }

Comment on variable quantifiers?
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Re: variable quantifiers?
by AnomalousMonk (Monsignor) on Jan 06, 2014 at 21:57 UTC
    >perl -wMstrict -le "my $c = 'A'; my $min = 3; ;; my $s = 'uuAvvAAwwAAAxxAAAAyy'; ;; printf qq{'$1' } while $s =~ m{ ([[:lower:]] (?:$c){$min,} [[:lower:] +]) }xmsg; " 'wAAAx' 'xAAAAy'

    Update: The quantified sub-pattern in  (?:$c){$min,} needs to be enclosed in a group (non-capturing or capturing) because otherwise  $c{$min,} looks to Perl too much like the interpolation of a scalar hash element from the  %c hash.

    Further Update: Interesting. I was unaware of the  \ (backslash) disambiguation pointed out below.

    Further Further Update: Or maybe not so interesting, since the regex doesn't actually seem to match anything:

    >perl -wMstrict -le "my $c = 'A'; my $min = 3; $_ = 'AAAAAA'; print 'match' if /($c\{$min,})/; print qq{'$1'}; " Use of uninitialized value $1 in concatenation (.) or string at -e lin +e 1. ''

    Yet Another Update: It is also possible to use a constant, but it's kinda messy. A Readonly scalar might do a better job for you.

    >perl -wMstrict -le "use constant MIN => 3; my $c = 'A'; ;; my $s = 'uuAvvAAwwAAAxxAAAAyy'; ;; printf qq{'$1' } while $s =~ m{ ([[:lower:]] (?:$c){${ \MIN },} [[:lower:]]) }xmsg; " 'wAAAx' 'xAAAAy'
      $ perl -e " use re 'debug'; $c='a'; $min=3; m/$c\{$min,}/; " Compiling REx "a\{3,}" Final program: 1: EXACT <a{3,}> (4) 4: END (0) anchored "a{3,}" at 0 (checking anchored isall) minlen 5 Freeing REx: "a\{3,}"
Re: variable quantifiers? (TIMTOWTDI)
by LanX (Canon) on Jan 07, 2014 at 01:23 UTC
    space separation under /x flag seems to do the job
    DB<113> $_="AAAA"; $c="A"; $min=3; /$c {$min}/x; $& => "AAA"
    UPDATE
    TIMTOWTDI
    DB<108> $c="A";$min=3 => 3 DB<109> "AAAAA" =~ m/${c}{$min}/; $& => "AAA"
Re: variable quantifiers?
by lidden (Deacon) on Jan 07, 2014 at 06:32 UTC
    There is always eval STRING if nothing else works.
      Not in this case... Try and see!
      The problem is the ambiguity of '$c{$min}' like AnomalousMonk already explained.

      eval also only operates on strings. So it won't allow to solve this variable interpretation problem differently, it'll only add more complexity.

      Cheers Rolf

      ( addicted to the Perl Programming Language)

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