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Perl: the Markov chain saw

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Rather than getting bogged down with alternating between the start and end strings and then doing a repeat substitution, just capture the middle bit and tag a '?' on either end. This works with the sample string you provided:

$ perl -Mstrict -Mwarnings -E ' my $string = "---------xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx------yyyyyyyyyyyyyy-------- +"; $string =~ s/^-*(.*?)-*$/?$1?/; say $string; ' ?xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx------yyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Update: Actually, that may not be what you want at all!

I read:

  • "replace all characters ..." [plural] "... with another character" [singular]
  • "The output is: ?xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx------yyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" [wanted output]
  • "replace ever - ..." [plural] "... with an ?" [singular]

So, assuming I've completely misinterpreted your question, I'd recommend ++rjt's solution. However, if you still wanted something without alternations or repeating, you could use this:

$ perl -Mstrict -Mwarnings -E ' my $string = "---------xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx------yyyyyyyyyyyyyy-------- +"; $string =~ s/^(-*)(.*?)(-*)$/"?" x length($1) . $2 . "?" x length( +$3)/e; say $string; ' ?????????xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx------yyyyyyyyyyyyyy????????

-- Ken

In reply to Re: What is wrong here (Replacing Strin pieces) by kcott
in thread What is wrong here (Replacing Strin pieces) by Anonymous Monk

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