Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I have tried this add-on before with similar results. When I choose to use regex, say "s.*h", or "s.+h", looking for the word "search", it highlights pretty much the whole page. s....h works, but isn't very useful. I must have some option set wrong or conflict? I have FF 16.0.2 on Win 7 64. Any ideas?

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.28.1-signed). 

As you know * and + in regex means 0 or 1 up to infinite. Normally in regex a dot should not match [\n\r], BUT that's not good for matching HTML webpage. Simple example, let's say you see this on a webpage:

sabhcd habcdef

And you type s.*h, what do you expect to find? I'd guess that you're trying to find 'sabhcd h' because you think sabhcd and habcdef are on the same line. But that could be very wrong. The HTML code could easily be:


The extraction of plain text from the above HTML code would actually result in:

habcdef abcdeh

So if a dot does not match \n, instead of finding 'sabhcd h' for you, s.*h would find only 'sabh', which is the same as what you would find using a regex like s.*?h. I feel that's a semantic duplication (at least in such cases) and a waste of expressive power of regex, AND it's not what users want. So in Fastest Search, I altered the regex to make sure .* goes as greedy as possible, across \n\r, which frequently do not (and are not intended to) show up in rendered view. IF you don't want to match all the way, you can easily change your regex to s.*?h, or s(.*?h){3} (to find everything between s and the 3rd h). It gives you the most expressive power with the least typing.

Another important reason contributing to a seemingly full-page find is that frequently websites have text that are hidden by multiple ways that even Firefox/Google Chrome fails to find out, like put text in same color as background, overlap an opaque div on top of text, etc. In such case, users don't see the text but Fastest Search sees it and has to search the text, leading users to feel bewildered why the search ran all the way to end of page where nothing was shown there seemingly. This is beyond Fastest Search or sometimes even browser's scope (there could be work arounds but they don't suit all situations and impose unbearable performance penalty on complex pages). It's not my addon's fault.

I hope you understand my points and revise your rating accordingly. I put a lot of effort and thinking into regex and all other features, I would hate to see losing a star for the extra effort I put in to make a best-effort implementation of regex search.