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Emacs regex seems to have a few strange rules like escaping brackets. I'd rather use the perl based regex I've always used.

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As far as I know you can't, though some people tried the approach of converting perl regexps to elisp regexps.

It can be done by calling an external program. shell-command-on-region can send a part or the whole buffer to an external program and then replace the text with the program's output, so you can invoke perl as an external process and utilize its regexps this way.

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