Both patterns and strings to be searched can be Unicode strings str as well as 8-bit strings bytes. However, Unicode strings and 8-bit strings cannot be mixed: that is, you cannot match a Unicode string with a byte pattern or vice-versa; similarly, when asking for a substitution, the replacement string must be of the same type as both the pattern and the search string. This behaviour will happen even if it is a valid escape sequence for a regular expression. Usually patterns will be expressed in Python code using this raw string notation. It is important to note that most regular expression operations are available as module-level functions and methods on compiled regular expressions. See also The third-party regex module, which has an API compatible with the standard library re module, but offers additional functionality and a more thorough Unicode support.
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Allow verbose REs, which can be controlled more cleanly and understandably. For case, [A-Z] will match lowercase letters, also. This is only meaningful for Unicode patterns, and is ignored for byte patterns. When this flag has been specified, whitespace within the RE chain is ignored, except when the whitespace is in a character class before preceded by an unescaped backslash; this lets you organize and indent the RE more clearly. Most of them will be covered in this bite.