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).
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