Default non-capturing regex flag [WAS: how to create strawmanproposals?]
steves_list at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 17 21:31:51 PDT 2012
I'm seeing this for the first time now. Sorry for reviving old news.
On 2011-06-03, Brendan Eich wrote:
> Kyle Simpson wrote:
>> I propose a /n flag for regular expressions, which would swap the
>> default capturing/non-capturing behavior between ( ) and (?: )
>> operators (that is, ( ) would not capture, and (?: ) would capture).
> I like it.
> As with all things RegExp, I wonder what Steve thinks.
I appreciate the vote of confidence! I consider /n to be a medium-strength
nice-to-have. In fact, I added it myself in XRegExp v2.0.0-beta. 
Kyle called this the noncapturing flag and suggested
RegExp.prototype.noncapturing. .NET calls the (?n) flag ExplicitCapture and
does not let (?: ) capture. The reason for this is suggested by the name
"explicit capture"--with /n, only explicitly named capturing groups of the
form (?<name> ) capture a value. IMHO, this is the better way to go, but of
course it's dependent on supporting named capture in the first place (as
Also IMHO, it is better to shelve /n until named capture is added.
Mike Samuel wrote:
> Can RegExp flag experimentation be done in library code?
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