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Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 13:52:21 -0500
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Terry    >> Why can't I write some libraries so that Ada is just as easy to
         >> use to search and replace data in text files as Perl?
Mike F> Dunno - why can't you?:-)
      > (Actually, I think much of this may have been done already.)

If there is a way to do Unix general expressions in Ada, please post
the reference where the source code can be downloaded. This is not
a smiley-type issue, this is a major advancement in Ada's capabilities.
Languages like C, Tcl, Perl, awk, cshell, vi, etc., come with Unix
regular expression built in. Ada sorely needs this capability.

Terry    >> Why is string and list handling so much easier in Tcl and Perl
         >> than in Ada?
Mike F > Is it? Have you seen the Gnat.Spitbol stuff in GNAT 3.10? Is this
       > enough, or is more necessary?

For many purposes, the Spitbol patterns are superior to Unix regular
expressions. However, for purposes of converting, interfacing, or
reusing existing patterns, the Gnat.Spitbol may not be helpful.
It would be helpful to enhance Gnat.Spitbol with Gnat.Awk_Regular_Expressions.

Mike Brenner