ietf-nntp Simplification of wildmat
chl at clw.cs.man.ac.uk
Wed Apr 25 04:41:56 PDT 2001
In <ylk84aqz2l.fsf at windlord.stanford.edu> Russ Allbery <rra at stanford.edu> writes:
>Okay, I've read all of the wildmat thread (well, skimmed it this time
>around). After thinking about this for a while, and particularly given
>that we've now dumped XPAT back to the status of a non-standardized
>command, I think Andrew is right.
>Furthermore, I think that introduction of character sets also has no
>motivating application for the base draft, and therefore we may as well
>leave them out as well. This has the advantage of considerably
>simplifying this entire section, giving the most freedom to implementors,
>and allowing the extended wildmat syntax to be advertised as an extension.
>Accordingly, I'm wondering if we shouldn't just start over again from
>first principles, ban the characters '!', '[', ']', ',', and '\' from
>wildmats entirely, and specify a wildmat language that involves only UTF-8
>characters matching themselves, *, and ?.
>NEWNEWS can get a simple explanation of commas and ! to negate a pattern,
>possibly taken from Clive's proposed text, and have that be unique to
No, there is benefit in the improved wildmats because they instantly
become applicable in various other commands than NEWNEWS. Since much of
the improved format is already widely implemented, that should be no
So I prefer to go with Clive's formulation, but cutting it down to the
minimum necessary to match newsgroup-names (leaving implementors to do the
best they can if they continue to support XPAT). This means at least
including '!' and ',', though I could be persuaded to leave out '[...]',
and I think there is no remaining need for '\' at all. If '[...]' remains,
then it seems we may have to forbid ',' within it.
I think it would be useful for Clive to publish his latest minimal
formulation along those lines. I suspect it will be considerably shorter
than some of his earlier versions.
Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133 Web: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl
Email: chl at clw.cs.man.ac.uk Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
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