|laziness, impatience, and hubris
Being Forced to Fork with Nested Regular Expressionsby Ovid (Cardinal)
|on Jan 02, 2004 at 16:57 UTC
Ovid has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:
A few days ago I started to again work on implementing predicate logic in Perl. I know it can be done. I just need that epiphany that makes me slap my forehead. I stopped working on the latest implementation because it was awful, but I kept thinking about the problem. Basically, to get anything similar to Prolog in Perl, I need backtracking. The only thing in Perl which implements backtracking is a regular expression. I'm pretty sure the key lies there.
This morning, I thought I had the epiphany. What if, given a set of facts, I would like to know who owns gold?
That assigns "merlyn" and "kudra" to @who, but it's not really useful. What if I want the query to be something like "who owns something valuable?" I can do this:
The prints out:
That's great. Once I can autogenerate those regexes and clean up the output I can wrap this up in a pretty framework and do all of the predicate logic programming I want.
Uh, no I can't. Regular expressions are not reentrant, thus forcing me to fork off a new process for every regex "nested" inside of the main query (such as the "is_valuable" condition). This winds up being so ridiculously slow that it's probably not worth much more than a toy. I also suspect that a complicated query will suck memory like a Hoover. Any suggestions to get around this, or am I stuck?