how to get all repeated group with regular expression

Steve Holden steve at
Fri Nov 21 17:31:00 CET 2008

Please keep this on the list.

scsoce wrote:
> Steve Holden wrote:
>> scsoce wrote:
>>> say, when I try to search and match every char  from variable length
>>> string, such as string '123456',  i tried re.findall( r'(\d)*, '12346' )
>> I think you will find you missed a quote out there. Always better to
>> copy and paste ...
>>> , but only get '6' and Python doc indeed say: "If a group is contained
>>> in a part of the pattern that matched multiple times, the last match is
>>> returned."
>> So use
>>     r'(\d*)'
>> instead and then the group includes all the digits you match.
>>> cause the regx engine cannot remember all the past history then ?  is it
>>> nature to all regx engine or only to Python ?
>> Different regex engines have different capabilities, so I can't speak to
>> them all. If you wanted *all* the matches of *all* groups, how would you
>> have them returned? As a list? That would make the case where there was
>> only one match  much tricker to handle. And what would you do with
>>   r'((\w)*\d)*)'
>> Also, what about named groups? I can see enough potential implementation
>> issues that I can perfectly understand why Python works the way it does,
>> so I'd be interested to know why it doesn't makes sense to you, and what
>> you would prefer it to do.
>> regards
>>  Steve
> maybe my expression was not clear. I  want to capture every matched part
> in a repeated pattern, not only the last,  say, for string '123456',  I
> want to back reference any one char, not only the '6'. and i know the
> example is very simple, so we can got the whole string using regx and
> get every char using other python statements, but if the pattern in
> group is complex?
> and I test in VIM, it can do the 'back reference':
> ==you text in vim:
> 123456
> == pattern:
> :%s/\(\d\)*/$2
> text will turn to be:
> 2
'Fraid the Python re implementers just decided not to do it that way.

Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC    

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