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My actions are executing out of order or sometimes not at all.

Most likely, you have (in error) placed the opening ‘{’ of the action block on a different line than the rule, e.g.,

{  <<<--- WRONG!


flex requires that the opening ‘{’ of an action associated with a rule begin on the same line as does the rule. You need instead to write your rules as follows:

^(foo|bar)   {  // CORRECT!