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> 2) A new string pattern %i, that matches all legal identifiers. It'd
> be a little more readable than writing [%w_] (if that's even
> correct?).

Ignoring locales for a moment, AFAIK identifiers are matched with the
Lua pattern [A-Za-z_][A-Za-z_0-9]* to make sure identifiers can contain
digits but shouldn't start with a digit. This means that adding %i would
contradict the following bit from the Lua reference manual (5.1 as well
as 5.2):

  A pattern item can be:

   - a single character class, which matches any single character
     in the class;

   - ...

So the proposed %i pattern would be "special" compared to the other
predefined patterns (ignoring %bxy). I'm not saying I don't like the
suggestion though :-)

 - Peter