Regex Help - Greedy vs. Non-Greedy

Drew Tomlinson drew at
Wed Sep 9 16:32:42 UTC 2009

Daniel Bye wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 09, 2009 at 09:15:25AM -0700, Drew Tomlinson wrote:
>> I'm trying to do a search and replace in vim.  I have lines like this:
>> http://site1/dir/;
>> http://site2/dir/;LastName, FirstName;Phone;
>> http://site3/dir/;LastName, FirstName;
>> http://site4/dir/;
>> I'm want to match "http:*" and stop matching at the first ";".  My basic 
>> regex is:
>> /http:.\+;/
>> But it's matching *all* the semi-colons.  Thus I've Googled and tried 
>> various incatations to try and make my regex "non-greedy" but I can't 
>> seem to come up with the correct combination.
>> How can I write a regex that stops matching at the first semi-colon?
> Tested in vi, not vim:
>  /http:[^;]*/
> Dan

Thanks for your reply.  I tried it in vim (or more specifically, gvim 
7.2) and your example matches all semi-colons.  However in vi, it does 
stop at the first semi-colon as you say.

Can anyone please explain the difference?



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