This is documentation for Mathematica 8, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.

# Shortest

 Shortest[p] is a pattern object that matches the shortest sequence consistent with the pattern p.
• Shortest works for both ordinary expression patterns and string patterns.
• If several Shortest objects occur in the same expression, those that appear first are given higher priority to match shortest sequences.
• Shortest is given priority pri to be the shortest sequence. Matches for shortest sequences are tried first for Shortest objects with higher priorities.
• Priorities can be any expression, and are ordered in standard Mathematica Sort order. Shortest[p] specifies the highest possible priority.
• Shortest objects with equal priorities are tried in the order they appear in the expression.
• If no explicit Shortest or Longest is given, ordinary expression patterns are normally effectively assumed to be Shortest[p], while string patterns are assumed to be Longest[p].
• For ordinary expressions, Shortest[p] specifies that not just p itself, but also all parts of p should match the shortest sequences.
Control ambiguous matches by using Shortest:
Control ambiguous matches by using Shortest:
 Out[1]=
 Out[2]=
 Scope   (2)
Shortest works with string patterns:
Priorities for several Shortest objects:
A similar definition without Shortest:
Priorities are not supported in string expressions:
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