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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 27, @08:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-didn't-know-that-... dept.

https://buttondown.email/hillelwayne/archive/why-do-regexes-use-and-as-line-anchors/

Last week I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole: why do regular expressions use $ and ^ as line anchors?1

This talk brings up that they first appeared in Ken Thompson's port of the QED text editor. In his manual he writes: b) "^" is a regular expression which matches character at the beginning of a line.

c) "$" is a regular expression which matches character before the character (usually at the end of a line)

QED was the precursor to ed, which was instrumental in popularizing regexes, so a lot of its design choices stuck.

Okay, but then why did Ken Thompson choose those characters?


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Friday March 29, @07:39AM (1 child)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday March 29, @07:39AM (#1350819) Journal

    A common idea is a mobile version of the site. m.soylentnews.org

    That's the absolute worst thing to do. If I follow a link, it should work equally well if I follow it on a desktop or on a laptop.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday March 29, @07:41AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday March 29, @07:41AM (#1350820) Journal

    Err, mistyped, and only noticed after submit: I of course meant desktop or phone.

    And in addition I now have to wait with posting this correction due to the unreasonable long wait time enforced by the Rehash software.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.