in reply to Death to Dot Star!
I bet your friend still hasn't learnt regexes. I think It's often the case when they (friends) mention they'd like to learn regexes, it realy means that they'd like a magic wand to wave over them so they become regex wizards.
btw the greedy behavior of dot star is well known, so if it's taken into consideration there's usually no problem. dot star is best used in conjunction with unique delimiters on either/both sides of it.