Pathological regular expression

David Liang bmdavll at
Thu Apr 9 11:56:00 CEST 2009

Hi all,
I'm having a weird problem with a regular expression (tested in 2.6
and 3.0):

Basically, any of these:
_re_comments = re.compile(r'^(([^\\]+|\\.|"([^"\\]+|\\.)*")*)#.*$')
_re_comments = re.compile(r'^(([^#]+|\\.|"([^"\\]+|\\.)*")*)#.*$')
_re_comments = re.compile(r'^(([^"]+|\\.|"([^"\\]+|\\.)*")*)#.*$')

followed by for example,
line = r'~/.[m]ozilla/firefox/*.default/chrome'
print(_re_comments.sub(r'\1', line))

...hangs the interpreter. For reference, if the first command had been
_re_comments = re.compile(r'^(([^z]+|\\.|"([^"\\]+|\\.)*")*)#.*$')

(off by one character z) it works fine, and all the equivalent
operations work in sed and awk. Am I missing something about Python


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