in reply to Reverse engineering regular expressions

Perhaps what you really want is something on the order of YAPE::Regex::Explain.

The regular expression: (?-imsx:(.*)test(.*)) matches as follows: NODE EXPLANATION ---------------------------------------------------------------------- (?-imsx: group, but do not capture (case-sensitive) (with ^ and $ matching normally) (with . not matching \n) (matching whitespace and # normally): ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ( group and capture to \1: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- .* any character except \n (0 or more times (matching the most amount possible)) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ) end of \1 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- test 'test' ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ( group and capture to \2: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- .* any character except \n (0 or more times (matching the most amount possible)) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ) end of \2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ) end of grouping ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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