Adding DOTALL modifier to ECMAScript regex standards

Jake Reynolds jreynoldsdev at gmail.com
Wed Aug 10 14:02:00 UTC 2016


Hello,

I brought up the topic of adding the DOTALL modifier to the Chrome V8
Engine here
<https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/#!topic/chromium-discuss/K9h0qB3Z3Gw>
and
was directed to es-discuss.  I was curious about the practicality and the
want for adding a DOTALL modifier to the ECMAScript standards in the future?

For those that don't know that DOTALL modifier is a regex modifier that
allows the '.' symbol to match newlines as well.

*Example regex:* /he[.*]?llo/
*Example search string 1: *hello
*Example search string 2: *he
llo

The above regex will match the 1st search string but will not match the 2nd.

In ECMAScript the only current way to make a match like that work is to use
[\d\D] which will match everything including newlines, given below.

*Current workaround regex: */he[\d\D]?llo/

The *s* modifier is the standard in most major languages except Javascript
and Ruby.  This will allow newline matching for the . symbol.  The proposed
regex is below:

*Proposed new regex: */he[.*]?llo/s
*Example search string: *he
llo

Let me know if there is any more information I can provide, or any
questions you have.

Thanks much,
Jake
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