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but I'm more interested in how to make expressions work faster

Then I'll try to give you a few general hints:

  • Learn about backtracking, and make sure you avoid it wherever possible
    • Anchor your regexes if possible
    • Try to avoid .*? and .*
    • Use backtracking-suppressing groups whenever possible
  • Try to use literal strings where possible. The regex engine is smart enough to anchor them automatically as an optimization (in certain cases)
  • Only capture (with (...)) when you actually need it

Regexp::Assemble promises (among other things) to bring the power of trie optimizations to earlier perls, maybe it's worth a try (and less hassle than updating your perl version).

In reply to Re^3: How do I optimize a regular expression? by moritz
in thread How do I optimize a regular expression? by kyle

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