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Bug #21422 preg_match regexps not greedy by default
Submitted: 2003-01-05 01:37 UTC Modified: 2003-01-05 04:00 UTC
From: astetson at aol dot com Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: *Regular Expressions
PHP Version: 4.3.0 OS: Linux
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
 [2003-01-05 01:37 UTC] astetson at aol dot com
Perl regexps are greedy by default.  \d+ will get all decimals possible (\d+? will only find one - it's lazy).  It seems preg_match is not greedy by default.

preg_match("/^\w+(\d+)$/", $change_link, $change_id);
print("My ID is $change_id[1]<BR>");

when passed: "edit11"
change_id[1] is equal to "1".  It should be equal to "11" especially when my regexp is looking for the end of the line ($) after it!


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 [2003-01-05 04:00 UTC]
Thank you for taking the time to write to us, but this is not
a bug. Please double-check the documentation available at and the instructions on how to report
a bug at

Your script is the evidence that preg_* is greedy by default, because \w+ consumes as many characters as possible - letters and digits as well. The last digit is not used because \d+ must match at least one digit in order that the whole expression succeeds.

Ask for help on the mailing list to figure out the proper regexp.
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