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\s and non-breaking spaces

by Ratazong (Monsignor)
on Feb 29, 2012 at 13:03 UTC ( #956920=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Ratazong has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear Monks,

today I have played around a bit with HTML::Tree and its parts. And was surprised that the following expression was not working (as intended) on a string extracted from a webpage using as_trimmed_text().

$name =~ s/\sx\s\d+//; # remove trailing " x 3" (and similar)
After a lot of searching I found the culprit: the blanks were coded as 0xA0 (non-breaking spaces). And \s is not matching them. Is there a better way to handle those besides my rather ugly solution below?
$name =~ s/[\s\xA0]x[\s\xA0]\d+//;
Or another workaround?


Update: Thanks a lot rovf, Eliya and LanX: I added all of your solutions to my code for future reference - all work like a charm :-) Now that I installed v5.14, I will keep the solution with use feature "unicode_strings"; active - I like its elegance.

And thanks for the link to the interesting blog-post, shawnhcorey!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: \s and non-breaking spaces
by Eliya (Vicar) on Feb 29, 2012 at 13:15 UTC
Re: \s and non-breaking spaces
by rovf (Priest) on Feb 29, 2012 at 13:14 UTC
    If you apply several regexpes to your HTML text, you could first translate all nbsp to real spaces, i.e.

    $text =~ tr/\xA0/ /;

    Ronald Fischer <>
Re: \s and non-breaking spaces
by shawnhcorey (Friar) on Feb 29, 2012 at 14:57 UTC
Re: \s and non-breaking spaces
by LanX (Bishop) on Feb 29, 2012 at 13:18 UTC
    IMHO the simplest (and most generally useful) workaround is to put complex sub-patterns into variables and to use /x-option for readability:

    DB<101> $_=" x 3 " => " x 3 " DB<102> $s='[\s\xA0]' => "[\\s\\xA0]" DB<103> s/$s (x) $s/$1/x => 1 DB<104> $_ => "x3 "

    Cheers Rolf

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