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New section for Regex Q's?

by xdg (Monsignor)
on Sep 23, 2005 at 09:44 UTC ( #494451=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Since many questions in SoPW seem to be about regular expressions, not Perl (though usually at least in Perl, but not always), I thought it might be worth discussing whether there should be a separate section for questions about regular expressions.

Not sure what a good monkish name would be. "Tower of Regex", "Regex Shrine"?

I realize too much subject fragmentation is a bad thing and that section creation is a major event that shouldn't be taken lightly. SoPW works in part because it bring a wide variety of beginner and advanced questions together in one place. But on the other hand, this isn't RegexMonks, and I'd prefer to be able to compartmentalize my reading a little better.



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Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by ambrus (Abbot) on Sep 23, 2005 at 13:46 UTC

    I think that's a very bad idea. Problems are not just regex or non-regex. Sometimes you can't decide if a question is a regex question or not. Lots of people ask for regexps to parse XML|HTML|CSV. (Update: to make this clear, this would be sort of like making a section for homework questions.) This would be worse if we had a section like that. But that's nor the most important problem.

    We could just as well have sections for CGI questions (including templating, generic HTML|CSS|Javascript questions doing nothing to perl, etc), LWP|WWW::Mechanize questions, data structure questions (including how do I dereference this, or sort this by this key), XML questions, bioinformatics quesitions, module installing questions.

    Don't you realize how this is orthogonal to the current division of sections? There are regex meditations, regex obfus, cool uses of regex, regexp snippets, regex poetry, reviews of regex modules and regex books. If you continue this, we would get a large matrix of sections.

Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by castaway (Parson) on Sep 23, 2005 at 09:51 UTC
    This sounds like it could be better/easier accomplished through good use of the Keyword Nodelet. At least, assuming we had ways of picking which keywords one would rather not see nodes related to (or vice versa, picking favourites), which we don't as yet.. But I'm open for ideas as to how to present such choices..


Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Sep 23, 2005 at 14:19 UTC
Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by TedPride (Priest) on Sep 23, 2005 at 12:29 UTC
    Regex is an important part of Perl Wisdom, and there aren't really enough regex questions to spawn a section just for that. All splitting them off would do is detract from SoPW.
Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by planetscape (Chancellor) on Sep 23, 2005 at 21:28 UTC

    While I completely understand the OP's desire to "compartmentalize [his] reading", I am inclined to vote "no." Many questions (including one of my first) look like regex questions to the one doing the asking, but have better non-regex solutions. (I might still be banging my head on certain questions if alternate ways of looking at things had not been proposed.)

    Those better solutions may never be offered up if the question is pre-categorized as a regex one. This wastes valuable opportunities for both mentors and learners, IMHO.

    OTOH, I am very much looking forward to new, clever uses for the Keyword Nodelet...

Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by halley (Prior) on Sep 23, 2005 at 13:51 UTC

    Per the theme,

    • The Regex Codex
    • The Regex Abbey
    • Ark of the Regex
    • The Cloister of Regular Expressions
    Et cetera.

    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

      Or following on from the usual queries: Regex Crypt
      just another cpan module author
Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by holli (Abbot) on Sep 23, 2005 at 13:20 UTC
    I like the idea. It could be named Seekers of Regex Wisdom, or maybe Refu?

    holli, /regexed monk/
Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by aufflick (Deacon) on Sep 26, 2005 at 05:51 UTC
    I think there is a very good and a very bad side to this, although the bad side can be mitigated.

    The Bad side

    The bad side that I see, as others have pointed out, is that someone may pose a pure regex question, when they should actually be asking a more general question. A simple example would be something like why doesn't this regex match this deeply nested xml fragment - In this case someone could easily recognise the real problem, move the node and point the monk to XML::Twig or similar. Not all non-re questions would be as easily identified though, and people might just hedge their bets in phrasing questions thus removing the benefit of having an re specific area.

    The Good side

    On the other hand, a big plus that I see is that a regex specific area would be relevant to non-Perl people. I can envision becomming the defacto place for all regex QA, thus helping raise the profile of perlmonks and Perl (which nicely segues to the node: "Popularity of Perl vs. availability of Perl developers").

    On balance I think it's worth a try. If it turns out to be a bad idea, all the nodes can just be re-homed into SoPW and the area removed.

Re: New section for Regex Q's?
by artist (Parson) on Sep 26, 2005 at 19:55 UTC

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