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bug#8688: 23.2; search-whitespace-regexp not working as documented

From: Glenn Morris
Subject: bug#8688: 23.2; search-whitespace-regexp not working as documented
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 03:15:33 -0400
User-agent: Gnus (www.gnus.org), GNU Emacs (www.gnu.org/software/emacs/)

Worik Stanton wrote:

> I set search-whitespace-regexp to [ \t\r\n]+ in customise as suggested
> in the documentation but when I do a isearch-forward-regexp the space
> character only matches a literal space.
>  '(search-whitespace-regexp "[ \\t\\r\\n]+"))
> is the line from .emacs

I think you're being confused by the way customize treats regexps (it
confuses me as well; I'm not sure it is helpful). There is extra
escaping in the setting of search-whitespace-regexp that is written to
your .emacs. It should be:

  '(search-whitespace-regexp "[ \t\r\n]+"))

The doc of search-whitespace-regexp says:

  In the Customization buffer, that is `[' followed by a space,
  a tab, a carriage return (control-M), a newline, and `]+'

If you literally use that input, does it work?

Oh, it's not possible to type a TAB, or ctrl-M, or newline, in a custom
field, since it moves you out of the editable field... This is even more

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