Regex teaser

James Laver james.laver at
Wed Dec 4 00:59:44 GMT 2013

On 3 Dec 2013, at 23:54, Paul Makepeace <paulm at> wrote:

> What does this output?
> $ perl -le '($a = "aabbb") =~ s/b*$/c/g; print $a’

You can tell you’ve been writing perl too long when you know what that’s going to do and why :(

Here’s your example modified to exhibit my favourite regex madness. Can you explain this one?

perl -le '($a = "aabbb") =~ s/.*?/./g; print $a’


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