[erlang-questions] Re: Adoption of perl/javascript-style regexp syntax

Ulf Wiger ulf.wiger@REDACTED
Wed Jun 3 00:48:30 CEST 2009

Richard O'Keefe wrote:
> -1
> This is simply the wrong way to deal with complex regular expressions.
> Introducing elaborate mechanisms to hide from the compiler what's
> going on, in order to parse things at run time that could have been
> done earlier?
> What's needed is a DOMAIN-SPECIFIC EMBEDDED LANGUAGE for regular
> expressions, and all we need for that is lists, strings, constants,
> and function calls.  By golly, we've GOT them!

While you've amply made your point that there are very
good alternatives to regexps (which is something at least
erlang old-timers have no problem accepting, since we've
never had a really performant regexp library until quite

But... elaborate mechanisms to hide from the compiler?

Regexps are not the only strings where escaping can be
an issue. I think most of us have on occasion come across
a problem where the string syntax in erlang creates
unwanted noise, but not at the pain level where it would
be warranted to start inventing a preprocessor step
(which I find much more elaborate than accepting an alternative
way of entering strings - something that many language
environments already provide.)

Ulf W
Ulf Wiger
CTO, Erlang Training & Consulting Ltd

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