in reply to Re^2: Regex question - capturing next char
in thread Regex question - capturing next char

I think you can do this with a single substitution regex (s/pattern/replacement/;), but it's going to need a lookahead assertion at the end. Also, this is only possible if you can write a regex segment that will consistently match the metadata. (Making it match metadata if there is any and not block matching if there isn't any is then trivial: precede the metadata-match portion in (?: and follow it up with )*.

Perhaps something along these lines...

s/(a(?:[<][^>]+[>])*)a((?:[<][^>]+[>])*(?:\s+|[;,.])+)/$1$2/;

That appears to work with the actual sample data you provided, but I don't know if it will work with your real data.

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Re^2: Regex question - capturing next char
by QM (Parson) on Oct 10, 2014 at 13:43 UTC
    And for the degenerative case: [<][^>]+[>] does not allow for an empty <> field. Perhaps [<][^>]*[>] is better?

    -QM
    --
    Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of