I like the idea of saving a reference to the last matched string and
providing a varargs function to access substrings. I'll try to put
this (as C code) in the next release. I don't think the interface to
access substrings by name instead of by number buys you much (except
an advantage over Perl :-). You can always define constants to name
the substrings near the place where you write down the pattern.
Off to coding,
--Guido van Rossum, CWI, Amsterdam <Guido.van.Rossum@cwi.nl>