The double-dot operator (..) matches all characters except for an end-of-line (eol). White space can surround the double-dot, but the dots must be together. This operator cannot stand alone. Another pattern must follow. The parser matches as few characters as possible before matching the pattern that follows.

The following script matches any string of characters up to and including the word, Smith. The pattern fails on the second line of data because there is no Smith before the end-of-line (eol) is reached. In the DEFAULT rule, the double-dot operator matches everything until the end of the line.

ASL Script (dbldot_match.asl):
 .."Smith"} eol
do {
 print("Matched with ".a);
do {
 print("Failed match");
Input (dbldot_match.txt):
3400 John V. Smith
3502 Kathy McCue
1401 Bruce Smith
$ sm_adapter --file=dbldot_match.txt dbldot_match.asl
Matched with 3400 John V. Smith
Failed match
Matched with 1401 Bruce Smith