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Can I use Perl regular expressions to match balanced text?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:25 UTC ( #666=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at

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

Although Perl regular expressions are more powerful than ``mathematical'' regular expressions, because they feature conveniences like backreferences (\1 and its ilk), they still aren't powerful enough. You still need to use non-regexp techniques to parse balanced text, such as the text enclosed between matching parentheses or braces, for example.

An elaborate subroutine (for 7-bit ASCII only) to pull out balanced and possibly nested single chars, like ` and ', { and }, or ( and ) can be found in .

The C::Scan module from CPAN contains such subs for internal usage, but they are undocumented.

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