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This is a well formatted, clear question, that unfortunately stems from a false premise (regex can be used to perform arithmetic) Through comments, the OP has found that what they want cannot be done, and has decided to use an alternate approach (which they don't need help with)

Instead of adding a "You can't do that" answer, I want to close the question, but I am unsure which category this falls into.

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Careful with "can't be done with regex" - you can do what the OP asks for with Perl regexes. –  Mat Dec 9 '12 at 9:57
    
@Mat There really should be a separate word for Perl regexen, "regex" doesn't seem to fit anymore. –  Asad Dec 9 '12 at 9:59
    
Maybe. Regarding this question, I disagree with closing (except if it's a dupe). It's an answerable, reasonable question, and others might very well face the same problem. An answer saying it's not possible (with supporting facts) sounds like a much better idea. –  Mat Dec 9 '12 at 10:02
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@Mat So you're saying the premise of my question (questions with flawed premises should be closed) is flawed? Guess I was asking for that one. –  Asad Dec 9 '12 at 12:27
    
As long as they're otherwise ok and not completely outlandish, an explanation of why the premise is flawed (and when possible, an explanation or example of what to do about it) sounds much better to me. –  Mat Dec 9 '12 at 12:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with just answering it to say that it can't be done. Things that some tool is not capable of are just as worth knowing about as things that it is – it's still interesting and important information.

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"Too localized" is always a safe bet, as the question isn't likely to be of any use to future users of the site.

From the close reason:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

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And yet there are a few questions that get asked over and over that suffer from false premises: "How can I save/delete/upload a file to/from the user's computer in JS?" Those don't seem very localized, yet they suffer from the same problem in that the only valid response is "You can't do that" –  Asad Dec 9 '12 at 9:49
    
@Asad Well, in those cases I would find a duplicate, then. –  jonsca Dec 9 '12 at 9:50

The user can delete his own question, since it has no upvoted answers. You can also flag it for deletion by a mod.

If the question is answerable, and of value to the site and future visitors, there's no need to delete it. Even if the OP doesn't require a solution, future visitors may, so perhaps it's worth answering it.

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