Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue May 22 13:27:16 CEST 2007

Armin Ronacher writes:

> rst is simpler than latex:
>
> LaTeX:
>
> \item[\code{*?}, \code{+?}, \code{??}] The \character{*},
> \character{+}, and \character{?} qualifiers are all \dfn{greedy}; they
> match as much text as possible.  Sometimes this behaviour isn't
> desired; if the RE \regexp{<.*>} is matched against
> \code{'<H1>title</H1>'}, it will match the entire string, and not just
> \code{'<H1>'}.  Adding \character{?} after the qualifier makes it
> perform the match in \dfn{non-greedy} or \dfn{minimal} fashion; as
> \emph{few} characters as possible will be matched.  Using \regexp{.*?}
> in the previous expression will match only \code{'<H1>'}.
>
> Here the same in rst:
>
> *?, +?, ??
>    The '\*', '+', and '?' qualifiers are all :dfn:greedy;
>    they match as much text as possible.  Sometimes this behaviour isn't
>    desired; if the RE :regexp:<.\*> is matched against
>    '<H1>title</H1>', it will match the entire string, and not just
>    '<H1>'.  Adding '?' after the qualifier makes it perform the
>    match in :dfn:non-greedy or :dfn:minimal fashion; as *few*
>    characters as possible will be matched.  Using :regexp:.\*? in the
>    previous expression will match only '<H1>'.

IMO that pair of examples shows clearly that, in this application,
reST is not an improvement over LaTeX in terms of readability/
writability of source.  It's probably not worse, although I can't help
muttering "EIBTI".  In particular I find the "'...'" construct
horribly unreadable because it makes it hard to find the Python syntax
in all the reST.

I don't think that's an argument against switching to reST, though.
Georg's site speaks for itself.  Kudos!