suggestion for module re

Skip Montanaro skip at
Mon Oct 22 16:02:49 CEST 2001

    Jose> My first goal is to get all the *named* fields of a regex, for all
    Jose> of the matches in a source string.  The re.RegexObject.findall
    Jose> method is "almost" good, but it returns a tuple of matched
    Jose> *groups*, leading to a dumb pharentesis-counting task and to code
    Jose> hard to maintain.  

I suspect that in most situations you will want all the interesting groups
to be named or none of the interesting groups to be named.  If you want
named groups, use the "(?:...)" construct to create "throwaway" groups.  See
the re syntax docs for more info:

Your example would thus become:

    rx = re.compile(r'(?:(?P<a>a|A)(?P<b>b|B))')

(though why you needed the outer parens in the first place is not clear).

Skip Montanaro (skip at

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