W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 1998

Re: OPINIONS WANTED: regexps in CSS?

From: Ian Hickson <exxieh@bath.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 22:27:19 -0000
Message-ID: <013a01bd4d3e$48f26c40$d220268a@hpxu>
To: wmperry@aventail.com, Bert Bos <Bert.Bos@sophia.inria.fr>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
There have been two main arguments against regexp: complexity for the user,
and complexity for the implementor. Another recap is at the bottom...

Ian Graham said:
>I now tend to think that adding regex stuff would
>simply cloud this simplicity, and make the whole
>thing harder to use.
Not at all, since no one is *required* to use regexp. Just the same as
having regexp in editors' find and replace dialog boxes doesn't mean
everyone *has" to use them.

>Too slow or cumbersome to implement
Well, we hear from Bill that:
>  Regular expressions are not that expensive if you precompile them and
>just keep the regex_t hanging around instead of the much less efficient way
>of just recompiling the regexp every time.  This is similar to what the
>perl 'study' command does for regexps I believe.
>  And like someone pointed out before, regular expressions have been around
>for years, and highly efficient (and free :) implementations exist for just
>about any platform.  I personally use regexps on 15 different platforms
>(mostly unix, but occasionally crosses over to NT/95 just fine) in my own
>programs.

So I guess css implementors can always ask Bill for help :-) (sorry bill!)

RECAP again:
*strongly for*
Braden N. McDaniel
Ian Hickson
Todd Fahrner
William M. Perry (Bill)
*for*
Aymeric Poulain Maubant
Carl Johan Berglund
Eric A. Meyer (as long as it's not the *only* way of doing things)
Sevo Stille
Tim Bagot

*against*
Albert Lunde
Bert Bos
Frank Boumphrey
Ian Graham
*strongly against*
David Perrell
Sho Kuwamoto
Victoria Rosenfeld

*no opinion*
Andrew n Marshall
Stephanos Piperoglou
Steven Pemberton

9 to 7, 3 abstaining.
Seems quite evenly split, so I get the feeling that you (the wg members)
will take the easy option of not including it :-(

--
Ian Hickson
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Received on Wednesday, 11 March 1998 17:36:44 GMT

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