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Most bioinformatics formats are regular!
Don't need to support a context free grammar
Bioinformaticians already know regexps
Lot of documentation (Friedl's book)
Can be very fast (or very slow)
Okay, not technically regular
- "can be parsed with perl5/re-style regexps"
- Need some constructs which aren't regular
- Back references / "named group repeats"