Issue #5588 has been updated by Suraj Kurapati.


Alas, I was unable to resist the lure of implementing this, so I'm back to give this another try.

My current approach is to expand (?v:STUFF) into (?:(?!STUFF).) when the regexp AST is built.

The goal is to have an negated embedded regexp say: "there is *something* here that is NOT this".
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Feature #5588: add negation flag (v) to Regexp
http://redmine.ruby-lang.org/issues/5588

Author: Suraj Kurapati
Status: Open
Priority: Normal
Assignee: 
Category: 
Target version: 


Please add a negation flag (v) to regexps which inverts them:

  "ruby" =~ /perl/v       #=> true   (turn on negation)
  "ruby" !~ /perl/v       #=> false  (turn on negation)
  "ruby" =~ /(?v:perl)/   #=> true   (turn on negation)
  "ruby" !~ /(?v:perl)/   #=> false  (turn on negation)
  "ruby" =~ /(?-v:perl)/  #=> false  (turn off negation)
  "ruby" !~ /(?-v:perl)/  #=> true   (turn off negation)

The flag name "v" comes from the ex(1) command of the same name.

This has beneficial applications where it is sometimes difficult
to construct what you want to match but much easier to construct
what you *do not* want to match.  Having this negation built in
the regexp itself would remove the need for us to change our 
Ruby code to process a regexp in a different way.  

For example, suppose that you are passing a regexp to the `--name`
command-line option of MiniTest.  This regexp tells MiniTest to
only run those tests whose names match.  If Ruby had a negation
flag on its regexps, then it would be suddenly trivial to make
MiniTest skip certain tests by negating the regexp we pass in.

In this manner, we get a beneficial feature without ever changing
our Ruby code (the codebase of MiniTest in this example).  :-)

Thanks for your consideration.


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