in reply to "Minimal" matching isn't....
in thread The "anchor" misnomer in regexes
I think part of the problem is the term "minimal" which gets used. "Greedy" is a good term for what * does normally--grab as much as possible and only give it up if you really have to. But the opposite behavior, the one for *? isn't minimal, it's lazy. Take as little as you possibly can, and move on. If you're backtracked into, then take another character. It's not optimizing for the smallest match, just for the first one it can find given its laziness.