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Use of compile flags in regular expressions.

Steven W. Orr
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I have a problem that I'm solving using a regex. (Yeah, I know, now I have two
problems...) >

Anyways, the regex is about a couple of pages long and it works just peachy.
There's just one thing I'd like to do to make it more elegant.

I need to compile the regex with MULTILINE and DOTALL. But there are a few
sections where I wish it was *not* compiled with DOTALL. For those cases, I
use (something like)


instead of


I see that I can use the (?MS) construct but I also see that it applies
globally and not to the subgroup that I'm using it in.

* Is there a way to make it apply locally to a subgroup?
* If not, is there another way?
* Also, is this an incredible stroke of genius that I came up with this idea
of applying flags to a subgroup, or have others thought of this too and found
out that it's not really a good idea?


Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like a banana. Stranger things have .0.
happened but none stranger than this. Does your driver's license say Organ ..0
Donor?Black holes are where God divided by zero. Listen to me! We are all- 000
individuals! What if this weren't a hypothetical question?
steveo at
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