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Thank you, haukex, for the information about the correct use of the branch reset, and sorry for making you guess my incorrect code. It was (and is) a bit of a moot point, since I've been given multiple perl solutions to my problem; however, for the record, my aforementioned failed attempt was to combine the ideas I had for what in my original post I described as the former and latter cases:

perl -0pe 's/(.*?\n*?([^ \n].*?)\n\n.*|.*?\n([^ \n].*?)\n\n.*)/$1/gs' +file.txt

This simply returned the whole file, and I thought it had something to do with the nested parentheses altering what $1 refers to. When I rewrite it correctly, as per haukex's helpful advice:

perl -0pe 's/(?|.*?\n*?([^ \n].*?)\n\n.*|.*?\n([^ \n].*?)\n\n.*)/$1/gs +' file.txt

it does return something, but that something is the desired output only in the case where the first line is non-indented. The reason, obviously, is that I was making a stupid mistake: the first alternative returns a match whether or not the first line of file.txt is indented, so that code is never going to return the output of:

perl -0pe 's/.*?\n([^ \n].*?)\n\n.*/$1/gs' file.txt

As I said, it's a moot point, but I thought this follow-up was worth mentioning in case someone who lands on this page learns from my stupid mistake.



In reply to Re^3: matching first paragraph satisfying condition by mnshptl32
in thread matching first paragraph satisfying condition by mnshptl32

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