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I'd call it "abuse". My bet is this pattern of application is well-known and tolerated for the sake of critical mass of existing "cool examples of (ab)using re-engine", and therefore safe to use in the future :). Stand-alone (*F) is guaranteed to fail, there's no need to "force to backtrack" while staying in the same branch; and as there are no other branches in your example, the whole matching must have been optimized away. On the other hand, something like (?(?{CODE})(*F)), with CODE result depending on sub-matches so far, is legitimate use and another matter entirely, but not the case here.

The impression is, aforementioned tolerance goes as far as injection of (*F) makes (but not always) engine fail to fail early, which is funny.

my $match = qr[([ab]+)([ab]+)]; my $str = 'aba'; $str =~ /^ $match $ (?{ print "1: $1-$2\n" }) a /x; $str =~ /^ $match $ (?{ print "2: $1-$2\n" }) b /x; $str =~ /^ $match $ (?{ print "3: $1-$2\n" }) (*F) b /x; $str =~ /^ $match $ (?{ print "4: $1-$2\n" }) (*F) .. /x; __END__ 1: ab-a 1: a-ba 3: ab-a 3: a-ba

In reply to Re^3: (Ab)using the Regex Engine by vr
in thread (Ab)using the Regex Engine by jo37

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