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How do I find matching/nesting anything?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:20 UTC ( #594=perlfaq nodetype: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

This isn't something that can be done in one regular expression, no matter how complicated. To find something between two single characters, a pattern like /x([^x]*)x/ will get the intervening bits in $1. For multiple ones, then something more like /alpha(.*?)omega/ would be needed. But none of these deals with nested patterns, nor can they. For that you'll have to write a parser.

If you are serious about writing a parser, there are a number of modules or oddities that will make your life a lot easier. There is the CPAN module Parse::RecDescent, the standard module Text::Balanced, the byacc program, and Mark-Jason Dominus's excellent py tool at http://www.plover.com/~mjd/perl/py/ .

One simple destructive, inside-out approach that you might try is to pull out the smallest nesting parts one at a time:

    while (s//BEGIN((?:(?!BEGIN)(?!END).)*)END/gs) {
        # do something with $1
    } 

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[shmem]: well finally.
[stevieb]: nice! I just finished a GPS "take me home" device last week, and did a bunch of software updates to it yesterday. I also created a pseudo chip with an Arduino to simulate an IC, where it responds to register read/writes over the I2C bus...
[stevieb]: ...from an I2C master. It's ugly and there are many changes I'm going to make, but I had not done anything like it before. It's designed for my RPi:: automated test platform; a system that does CI on *all* my RPi modules.
[shmem]: pseudo chip?
[stevieb]: well, what happens is the Arduino 'listens' for requests r/w, and does the appropriate thing when it's interrupted based on the 'register' address sent in. It's ugly as it was my first attempt, but I've got great new ideas I'm just sitting.
[stevieb]: ...down to implement now. Here's the sketch as it currently sits
[shmem]: well I use I2C and SPI and stuff, but creating a pseudo chip looks to me like lot of indirection and memory clutter... not?
[choroba]: Are you going to use the device soon? Related to your comment about "not having much time to do a lot of coding"...
[stevieb]: sure, but I'm just learning ;) I consider it practice to get a good understanding of what goes on *after* an I2C/SPI request is made
[shmem]: ah ok. Gonna read that. but now....

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