Talk:1394: Superm*n

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 09:54, 14 July 2014 by Jeremyp (talk | contribs) (Wildcard)
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Excellent description, but minor niggle: In "Superm*n' , the '*' is a wildcard. This isn't a regular expression that would match 'Superman' and Supermoon'. A regexp could be "Superm.*n" - the '.' means 'any character' and the '*' means 'as many times as you like'. (More selective regexps exist) If you were to interpret 'Superm*n' as a regular expression, it would match 'Supern' , 'Supermn', "Supermmn', Supermmmn' etc. So you could describe 'Superm*n' as a 'wildcard search that would match superman and supermoon'. 05:11, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

You're approaching this from a very specific context. You may be correct in that context, but there are plenty of different programs, protocols, languages, etc which use wildcards in various ways. I once worked as a 411 operator, and in the search software we used at the time, a search on "SUPERM*N" would have found both "Superman" and "Supermoon" if both of those were names in listings (although our supervisors would consider that too many keystrokes and would suggest "SUP*N" instead). - 05:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Oops, looks like I read the initial comment too quickly, didn't realize you were kind of making the same point I wanted to, you were just being more technical about it. Either way, I think the explanation of the wildcard in the article itself should be made vague enough to avoid further threads like this. - 06:03, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
It's clearly a Unix shell file glob. Jeremyp (talk) 09:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


If a Trivia section is warranted for this comic, I think it should definitely be pointed out this is one of the rare strips that uses a colour other than black or white. Is there an available statistic on use of colour in xkcd? - 05:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

In a similar tune to the supermoon, could the sun at perihelion be called a "superstar"? 08:36, 14 July 2014 (UTC)