regular expression is optional in the sense that if you make an alias which doesnt take any expressions, you don't need it.
as soon as you want to have it match what you type with some parameters then you need to use a regular expression.
you might think that FARR could simply be smart enough to know that when you type "countdown BLAH" that the "BLAH" part should be treated like a parameter -- but FARR can't tell if the BLAH is supposed to be a parameter or more words to narrow down the search more, which is what it is assuming.
one thing we could add which addresses someone else's request for a way to easily pass commandline arguments is to add a special character meaning everything after this should be considered an argument, like if you type: "notepad & test.text"
then FARR would know that everything after the & should not be used for searching but should be passed as an argument to the triggered program.