[darcs-users] understanding darcs boring regexp's

Henning Sprang henning_sprang at gmx.de
Sat Jul 1 11:10:55 UTC 2006

Jamie Webb wrote:
> [...]
> ^work/[^/]*\.aux$

Thanks very much for this fast and helpful reply!

> [...] 
> Sorry, but it's /very/ well documented. The manual says it's a regex.
> It's up to you to go and learn what a regex is (hint: Google). It
> would be absurd for every application which uses them to reproduce
> that information.

Sorry, but I absolutely don't agree!

I develop (free) software myself, and in my opinion this is a bad
excuse. If a user who tells you he searched for the docs, and didn't
find the right description for what he wants to do, it's a very
intelligent strategy for developers and documenters to assume they did
something wrong. At lesat as long as it's not an extremely strange thing
the user wants to do - ignoring this will simply lead to bad
documentation and bad software. Please, think about it again.

Back to the actual topic, how many different types of regex styles exist
out there? I can name: grep, perl, java... and there are probably many
more, so, what should I have been googling for? The information should
not be reproduced, if it's somewhere else available, but it should be
linked to. And maybe this single example could be added.

Apart from that, darcs whatsnew -ls shows me an output like:


But in the regex I have to ignore the "./" at the start completely, as
your and my examples show. So at least this detail is not documented and
lead to my first problems with the boring syntax.


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