You might have come across the problem of .* capturing all the pattern it matches in the string, while you wanted only a part of it. E.g.,
$var = 'some_url?id=1&number=2&name=Peter&address=someaddress';
In the above string if you only want to capture the value of “id” (i.e. 1) and you use this regex
$var =~ /\?(.*)=(.*)\&/ ;
it will not work as expected. $1 would have this
(.*) tries to capture as much matching content as possible. In other words it is greedy (wants to have more and more). But of-course only the content which matches the pattern.
If you want to capture id=1 only in $1 and $2 respectively you have to refrain the greed of regex by using ? (question mark) like this,
$var =~ /\?(.*?)=(.*?)\&/ ; print "$1 and $2\n";
it would print,
id and 1
You can use (.+) in place of (.*) to make sure that it matches only when some character there for sure, on eor more times.
$var =~ /\?(.+?)=(.+?)\&/ ;