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Re: trouble with pattern, character collections

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  • Ben Fritz
    ... I thought 7.3.796 fixed this so [^ n] is the same as . ? Isn t that the case? -- -- You received this message from the vim_use maillist. Do not
    Message 1 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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      On Sunday, February 17, 2013 6:40:04 AM UTC-6, Christian Brabandt wrote:
      >
      > I think, you are seeing some kind of inconsistency here. The problem is,
      >
      > that '[^\n]' does match newlines.

      I thought 7.3.796 fixed this so [^\n] is the same as '.'? Isn't that the case?

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    • Marc Weber
      ... Rererad my message. My point is that [^ n] should *not* be the same as . following the principle of least surprise. Or tell me why there should be two
      Message 2 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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        > I thought 7.3.796 fixed this so [^\n] is the same as '.'? Isn't that the case?
        Rererad my message. My point is that [^\n] should *not* be the same as
        '.' following the principle of least surprise.

        Or tell me why there should be two ways to express the same - but no
        sane way to express [^\n].

        If its not possible to make [^\n] behave the way you expect there should
        be an error instead.

        Marc Weber

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      • Tim Chase
        ... I seem to recall a similar thread a while back on similar topics of newlines inside negated character classes. [digging] yup:
        Message 3 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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          On 2013-02-18 20:28, Marc Weber wrote:
          > > I thought 7.3.796 fixed this so [^\n] is the same as '.'? Isn't
          > > that the case?
          > Rererad my message. My point is that [^\n] should *not* be the same
          > as '.' following the principle of least surprise.
          >
          > Or tell me why there should be two ways to express the same - but no
          > sane way to express [^\n].
          >
          > If its not possible to make [^\n] behave the way you expect there
          > should be an error instead.

          I seem to recall a similar thread a while back on similar topics of
          newlines inside negated character classes. [digging] yup:

          http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.editors.vim/107071

          I don't know if my testing proves useful, or if the continuation of
          the thread offers you anything valuable, but at least it's not the
          first time this has been bumped against.

          -tim


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        • Marc Weber
          I don t think that additional threads are going to help There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO). Let me summarize again - and tell me if you
          Message 4 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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            I don't think that additional threads are going to help
            There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO).
            Let me summarize again - and tell me if you feel differently.

            Test cases:
            [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
            [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze"))

            I expect both do the same, the difference is that the second as chr(10) in [^],
            while the first has \n (which should be translated to chr(10).

            However I obsorve that [2] returns 0 as expected , but [1] does return
            1, thus it matches \n even though I told Vim that I do not want to match
            it. People told me this was because '.' is equal to [^\n].


            Current situation: at least to be fixed
            1:
            No matter whether '.' should behave like [^\n]
            [1] and [2] should behave the same, right?
            2:
            This should be documented.
            (Do you all at least agree these two statments?)

            If so which is the best way to fix this - and which should be the way to
            express [^\n] meaning do not match \n rather than behave like '.' then ?

            Marc Weber

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          • Christian Brabandt
            Hi Ben! ... It is. The problem is, that there is a difference between the evaluated string [^ n] which means match anything but linefeed and [^ n] which
            Message 5 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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              Hi Ben!

              On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Ben Fritz wrote:

              > I thought 7.3.796 fixed this so [^\n] is the same as '.'? Isn't that the case?

              It is. The problem is, that there is a difference between the evaluated
              string "[^\n]" which means match anything but linefeed and '[^\n]' which
              means anything but "a line seperator". This is, so that the linefeed
              control char whithin a text can be matched by '.' or [^\n]

              regards,
              Christian
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            • Christian Brabandt
              Hi Tim! ... That problem should have been solved by patch 7.3.796. regards, Christian -- Wie man sein Kind nicht nennen sollte: Bill Jard -- -- You received
              Message 6 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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                Hi Tim!

                On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Tim Chase wrote:

                > I seem to recall a similar thread a while back on similar topics of
                > newlines inside negated character classes. [digging] yup:
                >
                > http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.editors.vim/107071
                >
                > I don't know if my testing proves useful, or if the continuation of
                > the thread offers you anything valuable, but at least it's not the
                > first time this has been bumped against.

                That problem should have been solved by patch 7.3.796.

                regards,
                Christian
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                Wie man sein Kind nicht nennen sollte:
                Bill Jard

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              • Christian Brabandt
                Hi Marc! ... No, it is because n is evaluated to a true line feed, so [^ n] matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while [^ n] matches anything
                Message 7 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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                  Hi Marc!

                  On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:

                  > I don't think that additional threads are going to help
                  > There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO).
                  > Let me summarize again - and tell me if you feel differently.
                  >
                  > Test cases:
                  > [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                  > [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze"))
                  >
                  > I expect both do the same, the difference is that the second as chr(10) in [^],
                  > while the first has \n (which should be translated to chr(10).
                  >
                  > However I obsorve that [2] returns 0 as expected , but [1] does return
                  > 1, thus it matches \n even though I told Vim that I do not want to match
                  > it. People told me this was because '.' is equal to [^\n].

                  No, it is because "\n" is evaluated to a true line feed, so "[^\n]"
                  matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while '[^\n]' matches
                  anything but ASCII NUL (which is used internally by Vim to distinguish
                  lines from each other (e.g. a line seperator), so that a . matches
                  anyhing in the buffer but the line seperator)

                  > If so which is the best way to fix this - and which should be the way to
                  > express [^\n] meaning do not match \n rather than behave like '.' then ?

                  [^\n] should always behave like '.'

                  Mit freundlichen Grüßen
                  Christian
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                • Marc Weber
                  ... Christian: Once and for all - I don t want anybody to explain me that [^ n] behaves in a wired way because . should behave the way it does. I m *not*
                  Message 8 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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                    > No, it is because "\n" is evaluated to a true line feed, so "[^\n]"
                    > matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while '[^\n]' matches
                    > anything but ASCII NUL (which is used internally by Vim to distinguish
                    > lines from each other (e.g. a line seperator), so that a . matches
                    > anyhing in the buffer but the line seperator)

                    Christian: Once and for all - I don't want anybody to explain me that
                    [^\n] behaves in a wired way because '.' should behave the way it does.

                    I'm *not* talking about internals. I'm talking the user interface you
                    and me and new users are faced with every day. So help me think about
                    whether there is a way to improve the situation.

                    So why should anybody write [^\n] if you can use '.'? So why make [^\n]
                    behave the same way? Why not make it raise an error such as:

                    E99999: For odd reasons you should try "[\n]" instead of '[^\n]' and be
                    done. True reason see long reply by Christian on ml ..

                    Trouble solved within 2 min. No debugging why vim does not behave the
                    way you expect. This guard would be trival to implement. if []
                    collections are negated and contain \n show the message.
                    And it would not break backward compatibility. Which is the use case for
                    allowing '[^\n]' at all?

                    I'm not saying it solves the issue, but it would cause less pain,
                    do you agree on this?

                    I wrote vim-addon-manager to improve usage experience for users - and
                    this is another case just driving me crazy which I think needs to
                    improved - the issue is in which way.

                    Marc Weber

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                  • Erik Christiansen
                    ... Vim already uses $ for EOL, documented at :h $ , which even seems to offer the synonym . Vim already has . to mean . , so does not need
                    Message 9 of 28 , Feb 18, 2013
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                      On 18.02.13 23:06, Christian Brabandt wrote:
                      > No, it is because "\n" is evaluated to a true line feed, so "[^\n]"
                      > matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while '[^\n]' matches
                      > anything but ASCII NUL (which is used internally by Vim to distinguish
                      > lines from each other (e.g. a line seperator), so that a . matches
                      > anyhing in the buffer but the line seperator)
                      >
                      > > If so which is the best way to fix this - and which should be the way to
                      > > express [^\n] meaning do not match \n rather than behave like '.' then ?

                      Vim already uses '$' for EOL, documented at ":h $", which even seems to
                      offer the synonym "<End>". Vim already has '.' to mean '.', so does not
                      need <elephant> for the same. So why do it???

                      > [^\n] should always behave like '.'

                      No, sorry, only in a line devoid of newlines. By definition.
                      In regex terms, i.e the user view, [^\n] may match anything other than a
                      newline, while '.' may match any single character. Only if newlines have
                      been stripped in the internal line representation, and e.g. replaced
                      with NUL, can '.' legitimately fail to match \n. Otherwise, we can only
                      reasonably say the [^\n] should NOT always behave like '.'

                      In contrast, "[^\n]" _is_ identical to '[^\n]' in regex syntax, so must
                      be identical in behaviour, devoid of even subtle differences, in any
                      context.

                      On 18.02.13 23:38, Marc Weber wrote:
                      > I'm *not* talking about internals. I'm talking the user interface you
                      > and me and new users are faced with every day. So help me think about
                      > whether there is a way to improve the situation.
                      >
                      > So why should anybody write [^\n] if you can use '.'? So why make [^\n]
                      > behave the same way? Why not make it raise an error such as:
                      >
                      > E99999: For odd reasons you should try "[\n]" instead of '[^\n]' and be
                      > done. True reason see long reply by Christian on ml ..

                      Or E99999: Unsupported syntax. Vim fails to give rational syntax-relevant
                      effect to this regex. Try <whatever> instead.

                      Sorry, [^\n] can never match \n ; not even in pink. That is broken
                      behaviour.

                      Erik

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                      and totally illogical, with just a little bit more effort?"
                      - A. P. J.

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                    • Christian Brabandt
                      Hi Erik! ... Well, if you think about it, $ matches something different. You can t say, /n$n can you? ... Because the . is a perfect valid alias to [^ n]
                      Message 10 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                        Hi Erik!

                        On Di, 19 Feb 2013, Erik Christiansen wrote:

                        > On 18.02.13 23:06, Christian Brabandt wrote:
                        > > No, it is because "\n" is evaluated to a true line feed, so "[^\n]"
                        > > matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while '[^\n]' matches
                        > > anything but ASCII NUL (which is used internally by Vim to distinguish
                        > > lines from each other (e.g. a line seperator), so that a . matches
                        > > anyhing in the buffer but the line seperator)
                        > >
                        > > > If so which is the best way to fix this - and which should be the way to
                        > > > express [^\n] meaning do not match \n rather than behave like '.' then ?
                        >
                        > Vim already uses '$' for EOL, documented at ":h $", which even seems to
                        > offer the synonym "<End>".


                        Well, if you think about it, $ matches something different. You can't
                        say, "/n$n" can you?

                        > Vim already has '.' to mean '.', so does not
                        > need <elephant> for the same. So why do it???

                        Because the '.' is a perfect valid alias to [^\n] in most regexes
                        anyway? Why cripple it?

                        > > [^\n] should always behave like '.'
                        >
                        > No, sorry, only in a line devoid of newlines. By definition.
                        > In regex terms, i.e the user view, [^\n] may match anything other than a
                        > newline, while '.' may match any single character. Only if newlines have
                        > been stripped in the internal line representation, and e.g. replaced
                        > with NUL, can '.' legitimately fail to match \n. Otherwise, we can only
                        > reasonably say the [^\n] should NOT always behave like '.'

                        In all regexp engines that I know of, the '.' by default doesn't match a
                        newline, so it is perfectly valid to have [^\n] match the same as '.'

                        > In contrast, "[^\n]" _is_ identical to '[^\n]' in regex syntax, so must
                        > be identical in behaviour, devoid of even subtle differences, in any
                        > context.

                        Please read again the article to which you replied. I already said, why
                        this is different. This comes from the string-evaluation of the "[..]"
                        expression. You can read about it at :h expr-string.

                        > Sorry, [^\n] can never match \n ; not even in pink. That is broken
                        > behaviour.

                        Please come back with some arguments. I told you why this happens. If
                        you don't want that, Vim already provides a setting to fix this.

                        :set cpo+=l


                        Mit freundlichen Grüßen
                        Christian
                        --
                        Windows ist kein Virus - ein Virus tut etwas.

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                      • Christian Brabandt
                        Hi Marc! ... Bram, here is a patch, making [^ n] not match NL within the text and that also documents, that . matches CR and LF within the text. This makes
                        Message 11 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                          Hi Marc!

                          On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:

                          > I don't think that additional threads are going to help
                          > There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO).
                          > Let me summarize again - and tell me if you feel differently.
                          >
                          > Test cases:
                          > [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                          > [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze"))
                          >
                          > I expect both do the same, the difference is that the second as chr(10) in [^],
                          > while the first has \n (which should be translated to chr(10).
                          >
                          > However I obsorve that [2] returns 0 as expected , but [1] does return
                          > 1, thus it matches \n even though I told Vim that I do not want to match
                          > it. People told me this was because '.' is equal to [^\n].
                          >
                          >
                          > Current situation: at least to be fixed
                          > 1:
                          > No matter whether '.' should behave like [^\n]
                          > [1] and [2] should behave the same, right?
                          > 2:
                          > This should be documented.
                          > (Do you all at least agree these two statments?)

                          Bram, here is a patch, making [^\n] not match NL within the text and
                          that also documents, that '.' matches CR and LF within the text.

                          This makes both [1] and [2] behave the same and seems to better match
                          the users expectations.

                          regards,
                          Christian
                          --
                          Ein Volk kann nicht auf seine Genies, sondern auf das Volk, auf die
                          Menge stolz sein - die Genies können auf die Genies es sein.
                          -- Jean Paul

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                        • Christian Brabandt
                          Hi Marc! ... Because [^ n] is perfectly valid? ... If you don t want that, use :set cpo+=l ... It is a perfect valid regular expression. What is the reason to
                          Message 12 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                            Hi Marc!

                            On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:

                            > > No, it is because "\n" is evaluated to a true line feed, so "[^\n]"
                            > > matches anything but ASCII NUL and ASCII 10, while '[^\n]' matches
                            > > anything but ASCII NUL (which is used internally by Vim to distinguish
                            > > lines from each other (e.g. a line seperator), so that a . matches
                            > > anyhing in the buffer but the line seperator)
                            >
                            > Christian: Once and for all - I don't want anybody to explain me that
                            > [^\n] behaves in a wired way because '.' should behave the way it does.
                            >
                            > I'm *not* talking about internals. I'm talking the user interface you
                            > and me and new users are faced with every day. So help me think about
                            > whether there is a way to improve the situation.
                            >
                            > So why should anybody write [^\n] if you can use '.'? So why make [^\n]
                            > behave the same way? Why not make it raise an error such as:

                            Because [^\n] is perfectly valid?

                            >
                            > E99999: For odd reasons you should try "[\n]" instead of '[^\n]' and be
                            > done. True reason see long reply by Christian on ml ..
                            >
                            > Trouble solved within 2 min. No debugging why vim does not behave the
                            > way you expect. This guard would be trival to implement. if []
                            > collections are negated and contain \n show the message.

                            If you don't want that, use :set cpo+=l

                            > And it would not break backward compatibility. Which is the use case for
                            > allowing '[^\n]' at all?

                            It is a perfect valid regular expression. What is the reason to forbid
                            its use?

                            Anyway, I just made a patch, that should match your expectations.


                            regards,
                            Christian
                            --
                            Adam - der erste Entwurf für Eva.
                            -- Jeanne Moreau

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                          • Marc Weber
                            I want Vim defaults to be - sane - follow the principle of least surprise. (I d like nocompatible to be set by default, but that s another story) Christian:
                            Message 13 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                              I want Vim defaults to be
                              - sane
                              - follow the principle of least surprise.
                              (I'd like nocompatible to be set by default, but that's another story)

                              Christian: :set cpo+=l still makes my test cases fail:
                              [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                              [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze")

                              You explained it by \n not being chr(10), so what is it?

                              Let's try by understanding \n's behaviour:
                              ==========================================

                              case 1) vim buf
                              To my undestanding $ matches end of line (in a vim buffer) without eating that
                              end of line whereas \n does both: it matches and eats the end of line.
                              Eg try /..\n.. and :set hlsearch

                              Thus \n is the same as $\n when applying regex to vim buffers. dos 1310 usually
                              is encoded in a ff setting, so \n does what you want if you want it.

                              case 2) matchstr, matchall, substitute =~ and whatnot (?)

                              So if \n is not chr(10), what is it then in this case?

                              echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))

                              clearly indicates it matches \n and and I agree on Erik which called it this way

                              Sorry, [^\n] can never match \n ; not even in pink. That is broken
                              behaviour.

                              So from this point of view I'd say \n behavior is broken when regex get applied
                              to strings only (which your patch is supposed to fix - I'll test it
                              later)

                              Is there more to fix?
                              =====================

                              issue 1)

                              docs state:
                              [] (with 'nomagic': \[]) */[]* */\[]* */\_[]* */collection*
                              \_[]

                              Well - try /[] - it will not be treated as collection, it'll match [], because
                              its empty!! So there should be a comment that collections must contain at least
                              one char to be seen as one.

                              issue 2)
                              With "\_" prepended the collection also includes the end-of-line - why does it exist, because
                              [\n] is accepted and works as expected?

                              So can \_[] syntax be deprecated?


                              Marc Weber

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                            • Christian Brabandt
                              Hi Marc! ... Well, you need to prevent that expr-quote (:h expr-quote) is being evaluated. You need to escape the then. ... No. Please read again what I
                              Message 14 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                                Hi Marc!

                                On Di, 19 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:

                                > I want Vim defaults to be
                                > - sane
                                > - follow the principle of least surprise.
                                > (I'd like nocompatible to be set by default, but that's another story)
                                >
                                > Christian: :set cpo+=l still makes my test cases fail:
                                > [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                                > [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze")

                                Well, you need to prevent that expr-quote (:h expr-quote) is being
                                evaluated. You need to escape the \ then.

                                > You explained it by \n not being chr(10), so what is it?

                                No. Please read again what I wrote. I am not going to repeat myself.

                                > Let's try by understanding \n's behaviour:
                                > ==========================================
                                >
                                > case 1) vim buf
                                > To my undestanding $ matches end of line (in a vim buffer) without eating that
                                > end of line whereas \n does both: it matches and eats the end of line.
                                > Eg try /..\n.. and :set hlsearch
                                >
                                > Thus \n is the same as $\n when applying regex to vim buffers. dos 1310 usually
                                > is encoded in a ff setting, so \n does what you want if you want it.
                                >
                                > case 2) matchstr, matchall, substitute =~ and whatnot (?)
                                >
                                > So if \n is not chr(10), what is it then in this case?
                                >
                                > echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                                >
                                > clearly indicates it matches \n and and I agree on Erik which called it this way
                                >

                                Vim internals do not distinguish between evaluating functions and
                                buffers. They work on matching a regular pattern on a string of text. In
                                Vim buffers, lines are distinguished in memory by NUL and that is the
                                only thing, that '.' does not match and so does [^\n] so that in a
                                buffer a search for /[^\n] will match any char (even control codes like
                                CR or LF)

                                What you want is, that in a text /[^\n] also does not match LF character
                                and that is what my patch provides thus it should do what you want.

                                > Is there more to fix?
                                > =====================
                                >
                                > issue 1)
                                >
                                > docs state:
                                > [] (with 'nomagic': \[]) */[]* */\[]* */\_[]* */collection*
                                > \_[]
                                >
                                > Well - try /[] - it will not be treated as collection, it'll match [], because
                                > its empty!! So there should be a comment that collections must contain at least
                                > one char to be seen as one.

                                I would call this a bug as well. I think, this should give an error.

                                > issue 2)
                                > With "\_" prepended the collection also includes the end-of-line - why does it exist, because
                                > [\n] is accepted and works as expected?
                                >
                                > So can \_[] syntax be deprecated?

                                Why is this an issue? I don't see a problem with \_ syntax at all.

                                Mit freundlichen Grüßen
                                Christian
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                              • Marc Weber
                                ... Let me tell you. People get to know Vim. Vim is a tool to serve users. They want to edit text, get their job done (At least that s what I assume). For this
                                Message 15 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                                  > Why is this an issue? I don't see a problem with \_ syntax at all.
                                  Let me tell you. People get to know Vim. Vim is a tool to serve users.
                                  They want to edit text, get their job done (At least that's what I
                                  assume). For this reason every construct such as \_ which requires you
                                  to lookup help is going to take your time - time which should be spent
                                  on the wiki or the homepage (yes - there is much to improve).

                                  So from technical point of view there is nothing wrong: Something is
                                  documentented, and it works as expected.

                                  If you look at the ruby community there are some voices which
                                  dislike some aspects about ruby: That there are so many ways to do
                                  something ..

                                  If you look at the whole ecosystem it is wrong, because its
                                  wasting resources in many ways (human resources being the most
                                  expensive ones). You may disagree on this - but its true.
                                  The best docs are the ones you don't have to read.

                                  I'm not proposing dropping it (if Vim was my projcet I'd do so - showing
                                  an error message instead) - but maybe docs can be adjusted so that
                                  people use [\n] and maybe even miss the Vim only special case on the
                                  first glance.

                                  Christian, thanks for your support.

                                  Marc Weber

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                                • Christian Brabandt
                                  ... Attached is an updated patch, that also prevents /[] matching [] (a collation cannot be empty, so I think it should return an error and other vi clones do,
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                                    On Di, 19 Feb 2013, Christian Brabandt wrote:

                                    > On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:
                                    > > I don't think that additional threads are going to help
                                    > > There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO).
                                    > > Let me summarize again - and tell me if you feel differently.
                                    > >
                                    > > Test cases:
                                    > > [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                                    > > [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze"))
                                    > >
                                    > > I expect both do the same, the difference is that the second as chr(10) in [^],
                                    > > while the first has \n (which should be translated to chr(10).
                                    > >
                                    > > However I obsorve that [2] returns 0 as expected , but [1] does return
                                    > > 1, thus it matches \n even though I told Vim that I do not want to match
                                    > > it. People told me this was because '.' is equal to [^\n].
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Current situation: at least to be fixed
                                    > > 1:
                                    > > No matter whether '.' should behave like [^\n]
                                    > > [1] and [2] should behave the same, right?
                                    > > 2:
                                    > > This should be documented.
                                    > > (Do you all at least agree these two statments?)
                                    >
                                    > Bram, here is a patch, making [^\n] not match NL within the text and
                                    > that also documents, that '.' matches CR and LF within the text.
                                    >
                                    > This makes both [1] and [2] behave the same and seems to better match
                                    > the users expectations.

                                    Attached is an updated patch, that also prevents /[] matching []
                                    (a collation cannot be empty, so I think it should return an error and
                                    other vi clones do, also grep and perl throw an error).

                                    Included are tests as well.

                                    regards,
                                    Christian
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                                  • Marc Weber
                                    ... We should discuss whether /[] is a bug or feature. docs state that /[abc matches [abc by purpose (which could also be treated as error because there is no
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                                      > [..] patch, [..] prevents /[] matching []
                                      > other vi clones do, also grep and perl throw an error).
                                      :) You start comparing Vim against what other tools do.

                                      We should discuss whether /[] is a bug or feature. docs state that /[abc
                                      matches [abc by purpose (which could also be treated as error because
                                      there is no closing ]. And I actually might agree on this being useful.

                                      Marc Weber

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                                    • Ben Fritz
                                      ... Sometimes the meaning is clearer. What if you re searching for a sequence of certain characters including newlines, where the first character is NOT a
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Feb 19, 2013
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                                        On Monday, February 18, 2013 4:38:56 PM UTC-6, MarcWeber wrote:
                                        >
                                        > So why should anybody write [^\n] if you can use '.'? So why make [^\n]
                                        >
                                        > behave the same way?

                                        Sometimes the meaning is clearer.

                                        What if you're searching for a sequence of certain characters including newlines, where the first character is NOT a newline?

                                        I'd probably want to use:

                                        /[^\n]\&[a-f0-9\n]\+

                                        which is equivalent to, but clearer in meaning than:

                                        /.\&[a-f0-9\n]\+

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                                      • Erik Christiansen
                                        ... Christian, many thanks for the work you have done, and for putting users first. It is heartily appreciated. The consolation may be small, but vim is now
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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                                          On 19.02.13 10:23, Christian Brabandt wrote:
                                          > Bram, here is a patch, making [^\n] not match NL within the text and
                                          > that also documents, that '.' matches CR and LF within the text.
                                          >
                                          > This makes both [1] and [2] behave the same and seems to better match
                                          > the users expectations.

                                          Christian, many thanks for the work you have done, and for putting users
                                          first. It is heartily appreciated.

                                          The consolation may be small, but vim is now consistent with awk:

                                          »
                                          . This matches any single character, including the newline character.

                                          « - xpdf gawk.pdf # "Effective AWK Programming"

                                          O'Reilly's "Mastering Regular Expressions" has it as varying between
                                          tools. (OK, we knew that. :-)

                                          Regards,
                                          Erik

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                                        • Bram Moolenaar
                                          ... This isn t right, there are no NL characters in the text. There are NUL characters which are stored as NL characters. That s an implementation detail,
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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                                            Christian Brabandt wrote:

                                            > Hi Marc!
                                            >
                                            > On Mo, 18 Feb 2013, Marc Weber wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > I don't think that additional threads are going to help
                                            > > There is an issue, and we should find a way to fix (IMHO).
                                            > > Let me summarize again - and tell me if you feel differently.
                                            > >
                                            > > Test cases:
                                            > > [1] echo len(matchstr("\n",'\zs[^\n]\ze'))
                                            > > [2] echo len(matchstr("\n","\\zs[^\n]\\ze"))
                                            > >
                                            > > I expect both do the same, the difference is that the second as chr(10) in [^],
                                            > > while the first has \n (which should be translated to chr(10).
                                            > >
                                            > > However I obsorve that [2] returns 0 as expected , but [1] does return
                                            > > 1, thus it matches \n even though I told Vim that I do not want to match
                                            > > it. People told me this was because '.' is equal to [^\n].
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Current situation: at least to be fixed
                                            > > 1:
                                            > > No matter whether '.' should behave like [^\n]
                                            > > [1] and [2] should behave the same, right?
                                            > > 2:
                                            > > This should be documented.
                                            > > (Do you all at least agree these two statments?)
                                            >
                                            > Bram, here is a patch, making [^\n] not match NL within the text and
                                            > that also documents, that '.' matches CR and LF within the text.
                                            >
                                            > This makes both [1] and [2] behave the same and seems to better match
                                            > the users expectations.

                                            This isn't right, there are no NL characters in the text. There are NUL
                                            characters which are stored as NL characters. That's an implementation
                                            detail, which sometimes becomes visible to the user.

                                            It's good to explain this in the docs. I'm not sure we actually should
                                            change the behavior, it might not really take away much confusion.


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                                          • Marc Weber
                                            Hi Bram, thanks for joining the discussion and participating. echo len(nr2char(0)) returns 0, where is the 0 char stored as n .. So please take care about the
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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                                              Hi Bram,

                                              thanks for joining the discussion and participating.

                                              echo len(nr2char(0))
                                              returns 0, where is the 0 char stored as \n ..
                                              So please take care about the use case: I'm not talking about buffers,
                                              I'm talking about matchstr, substitute etc and viml strings.

                                              I'm aware that both should be tested and documented which becomes clear
                                              reading my later summary.

                                              Anyway [^\n] matching \n is a very very unexpected behaviour.
                                              Having \_[ syntax doesn't make sense, either. Because [\n] works and is
                                              standard. And this should be visible in docs.

                                              Marc Weber

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                                            • Erik Christiansen
                                              ... Bram, is that meant to be There are NL characters which are stored as NUL characters ? Because if there are no NL characters in the text , then nothing
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Feb 20, 2013
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                                                On 20.02.13 13:32, Bram Moolenaar wrote:
                                                > Christian Brabandt wrote:
                                                > > Bram, here is a patch, making [^\n] not match NL within the text and
                                                > > that also documents, that '.' matches CR and LF within the text.
                                                > >
                                                > > This makes both [1] and [2] behave the same and seems to better match
                                                > > the users expectations.
                                                >
                                                > This isn't right, there are no NL characters in the text. There are NUL
                                                > characters which are stored as NL characters.

                                                Bram, is that meant to be "There are NL characters which are stored as
                                                NUL characters"? Because if "there are no NL characters in the text",
                                                then nothing can be stored as them, can it?

                                                > That's an implementation detail, which sometimes becomes visible to
                                                > the user.

                                                OK, but the actual problem is corruption of a regex syntax snippet in
                                                one quoting context. Letting "[^\n]" not be the same as '[^\n]' is the
                                                mark of a broken regex implementation. Other regex engines manage \n
                                                without their syntax breaking, so it is possible with Vim too.

                                                Vim has '.' to represent "any character", and so does not require a
                                                second representation for that. But if [^\n] is the same as '.', because
                                                there are no newlines present, then that must _always_ be the case,
                                                regardless of a bit of quoting flim-flam.

                                                > It's good to explain this in the docs.

                                                Yes, knowing that there are no newlines can help us avoid looking for
                                                them.

                                                Another fix is needed, though, for the problem that quote flavour is
                                                allowed to corrupt the regex in one case, causing behaviour contrary to
                                                the quoted regex syntax. That is an illogicality boobytrap to torment
                                                the user.

                                                > I'm not sure we actually should change the behavior, it might not
                                                > really take away much confusion.

                                                Excuse me, Bram but removing the broken behaviour of "[^\n]" not being
                                                the same as '[^\n]' does remove a mind boggling logical nonsense, and so
                                                does do away with major confusion.

                                                Deep knowledge if Vim internals is an asset when it fosters effective
                                                and robust fixes, but tends toward a liability if it blinds one to the
                                                failings of a self-contradicting user interface, I think.

                                                In all that we construct, it is _what_ should happen which guides _how_
                                                it is made to happen. Arguments defending the current broken status
                                                repeatedly refer to _how_ usurping _what_, as an implementational
                                                side effect, and accepting that as a justification. That is not
                                                intelligent design, and has here led to impaired functionality.

                                                Vim's supremacy would be improved by removing the user interface
                                                deficiency.

                                                Erik

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