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1 nigel 41 News about PCRE releases
2     ------------------------
3    
4 nigel 87 Release 6.5 01-Feb-06
5     ---------------------
6    
7     Important changes in this release:
8    
9     1. A number of new features have been added to pcregrep.
10    
11     2. The Unicode property tables have been updated to Unicode 4.1.0, and the
12     supported properties have been extended with script names such as "Arabic",
13     and the derived properties "Any" and "L&". This has necessitated a change to
14     the interal format of compiled patterns. Any saved compiled patterns that
15     use \p or \P must be recompiled.
16    
17     3. The specification of recursion in patterns has been changed so that all
18     recursive subpatterns are automatically treated as atomic groups. Thus, for
19     example, (?R) is treated as if it were (?>(?R)). This is necessary because
20     otherwise there are situations where recursion does not work.
21    
22     See the ChangeLog for a complete list of changes, which include a number of bug
23     fixes and tidies.
24    
25    
26 nigel 77 Release 6.0 07-Jun-05
27     ---------------------
28    
29     The release number has been increased to 6.0 because of the addition of several
30     major new pieces of functionality.
31    
32     A new function, pcre_dfa_exec(), which implements pattern matching using a DFA
33     algorithm, has been added. This has a number of advantages for certain cases,
34     though it does run more slowly, and lacks the ability to capture substrings. On
35     the other hand, it does find all matches, not just the first, and it works
36     better for partial matching. The pcrematching man page discusses the
37     differences.
38    
39     The pcretest program has been enhanced so that it can make use of the new
40     pcre_dfa_exec() matching function and the extra features it provides.
41    
42     The distribution now includes a C++ wrapper library. This is built
43     automatically if a C++ compiler is found. The pcrecpp man page discusses this
44     interface.
45    
46     The code itself has been re-organized into many more files, one for each
47     function, so it no longer requires everything to be linked in when static
48     linkage is used. As a consequence, some internal functions have had to have
49     their names exposed. These functions all have names starting with _pcre_. They
50     are undocumented, and are not intended for use by outside callers.
51    
52     The pcregrep program has been enhanced with new functionality such as
53     multiline-matching and options for output more matching context. See the
54     ChangeLog for a complete list of changes to the library and the utility
55     programs.
56    
57    
58 nigel 75 Release 5.0 13-Sep-04
59     ---------------------
60    
61     The licence under which PCRE is released has been changed to the more
62     conventional "BSD" licence.
63    
64     In the code, some bugs have been fixed, and there are also some major changes
65     in this release (which is why I've increased the number to 5.0). Some changes
66     are internal rearrangements, and some provide a number of new facilities. The
67     new features are:
68    
69     1. There's an "automatic callout" feature that inserts callouts before every
70     item in the regex, and there's a new callout field that gives the position
71     in the pattern - useful for debugging and tracing.
72    
73     2. The extra_data structure can now be used to pass in a set of character
74     tables at exec time. This is useful if compiled regex are saved and re-used
75     at a later time when the tables may not be at the same address. If the
76     default internal tables are used, the pointer saved with the compiled
77     pattern is now set to NULL, which means that you don't need to do anything
78     special unless you are using custom tables.
79    
80     3. It is possible, with some restrictions on the content of the regex, to
81     request "partial" matching. A special return code is given if all of the
82     subject string matched part of the regex. This could be useful for testing
83     an input field as it is being typed.
84    
85     4. There is now some optional support for Unicode character properties, which
86     means that the patterns items such as \p{Lu} and \X can now be used. Only
87     the general category properties are supported. If PCRE is compiled with this
88     support, an additional 90K data structure is include, which increases the
89     size of the library dramatically.
90    
91     5. There is support for saving compiled patterns and re-using them later.
92    
93     6. There is support for running regular expressions that were compiled on a
94     different host with the opposite endianness.
95    
96     7. The pcretest program has been extended to accommodate the new features.
97    
98     The main internal rearrangement is that sequences of literal characters are no
99     longer handled as strings. Instead, each character is handled on its own. This
100     makes some UTF-8 handling easier, and makes the support of partial matching
101     possible. Compiled patterns containing long literal strings will be larger as a
102     result of this change; I hope that performance will not be much affected.
103    
104    
105 nigel 73 Release 4.5 01-Dec-03
106     ---------------------
107    
108     Again mainly a bug-fix and tidying release, with only a couple of new features:
109    
110     1. It's possible now to compile PCRE so that it does not use recursive
111     function calls when matching. Instead it gets memory from the heap. This slows
112     things down, but may be necessary on systems with limited stacks.
113    
114     2. UTF-8 string checking has been tightened to reject overlong sequences and to
115     check that a starting offset points to the start of a character. Failure of the
116     latter returns a new error code: PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET.
117    
118     3. PCRE can now be compiled for systems that use EBCDIC code.
119    
120    
121 nigel 71 Release 4.4 21-Aug-03
122     ---------------------
123    
124     This is mainly a bug-fix and tidying release. The only new feature is that PCRE
125     checks UTF-8 strings for validity by default. There is an option to suppress
126     this, just in case anybody wants that teeny extra bit of performance.
127    
128    
129     Releases 4.1 - 4.3
130     ------------------
131    
132     Sorry, I forgot about updating the NEWS file for these releases. Please take a
133     look at ChangeLog.
134    
135    
136 nigel 63 Release 4.0 17-Feb-03
137     ---------------------
138    
139     There have been a lot of changes for the 4.0 release, adding additional
140     functionality and mending bugs. Below is a list of the highlights of the new
141     functionality. For full details of these features, please consult the
142     documentation. For a complete list of changes, see the ChangeLog file.
143    
144     1. Support for Perl's \Q...\E escapes.
145    
146     2. "Possessive quantifiers" ?+, *+, ++, and {,}+ which come from Sun's Java
147     package. They provide some syntactic sugar for simple cases of "atomic
148     grouping".
149    
150     3. Support for the \G assertion. It is true when the current matching position
151     is at the start point of the match.
152    
153     4. A new feature that provides some of the functionality that Perl provides
154     with (?{...}). The facility is termed a "callout". The way it is done in PCRE
155     is for the caller to provide an optional function, by setting pcre_callout to
156     its entry point. To get the function called, the regex must include (?C) at
157     appropriate points.
158    
159     5. Support for recursive calls to individual subpatterns. This makes it really
160     easy to get totally confused.
161    
162     6. Support for named subpatterns. The Python syntax (?P<name>...) is used to
163     name a group.
164    
165     7. Several extensions to UTF-8 support; it is now fairly complete. There is an
166     option for pcregrep to make it operate in UTF-8 mode.
167    
168     8. The single man page has been split into a number of separate man pages.
169     These also give rise to individual HTML pages which are put in a separate
170     directory. There is an index.html page that lists them all. Some hyperlinking
171     between the pages has been installed.
172    
173    
174 nigel 53 Release 3.5 15-Aug-01
175     ---------------------
176    
177     1. The configuring system has been upgraded to use later versions of autoconf
178     and libtool. By default it builds both a shared and a static library if the OS
179     supports it. You can use --disable-shared or --disable-static on the configure
180     command if you want only one of them.
181    
182     2. The pcretest utility is now installed along with pcregrep because it is
183     useful for users (to test regexs) and by doing this, it automatically gets
184     relinked by libtool. The documentation has been turned into a man page, so
185     there are now .1, .txt, and .html versions in /doc.
186    
187     3. Upgrades to pcregrep:
188     (i) Added long-form option names like gnu grep.
189     (ii) Added --help to list all options with an explanatory phrase.
190     (iii) Added -r, --recursive to recurse into sub-directories.
191     (iv) Added -f, --file to read patterns from a file.
192    
193     4. Added --enable-newline-is-cr and --enable-newline-is-lf to the configure
194     script, to force use of CR or LF instead of \n in the source. On non-Unix
195     systems, the value can be set in config.h.
196    
197     5. The limit of 200 on non-capturing parentheses is a _nesting_ limit, not an
198     absolute limit. Changed the text of the error message to make this clear, and
199     likewise updated the man page.
200    
201     6. The limit of 99 on the number of capturing subpatterns has been removed.
202     The new limit is 65535, which I hope will not be a "real" limit.
203    
204    
205 nigel 49 Release 3.3 01-Aug-00
206     ---------------------
207    
208     There is some support for UTF-8 character strings. This is incomplete and
209     experimental. The documentation describes what is and what is not implemented.
210     Otherwise, this is just a bug-fixing release.
211    
212    
213 nigel 43 Release 3.0 01-Feb-00
214     ---------------------
215 nigel 41
216 nigel 43 1. A "configure" script is now used to configure PCRE for Unix systems. It
217     builds a Makefile, a config.h file, and the pcre-config script.
218    
219     2. PCRE is built as a shared library by default.
220    
221     3. There is support for POSIX classes such as [:alpha:].
222    
223     5. There is an experimental recursion feature.
224    
225 nigel 41 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
226     IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSIONS BEFORE 2.00
227    
228     Please note that there has been a change in the API such that a larger
229     ovector is required at matching time, to provide some additional workspace.
230     The new man page has details. This change was necessary in order to support
231     some of the new functionality in Perl 5.005.
232    
233     IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.00
234    
235     Another (I hope this is the last!) change has been made to the API for the
236     pcre_compile() function. An additional argument has been added to make it
237     possible to pass over a pointer to character tables built in the current
238     locale by pcre_maketables(). To use the default tables, this new arguement
239     should be passed as NULL.
240    
241     IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.05
242    
243     Yet another (and again I hope this really is the last) change has been made
244     to the API for the pcre_exec() function. An additional argument has been
245     added to make it possible to start the match other than at the start of the
246     subject string. This is important if there are lookbehinds. The new man
247     page has the details, but you just want to convert existing programs, all
248     you need to do is to stick in a new fifth argument to pcre_exec(), with a
249     value of zero. For example, change
250    
251     pcre_exec(pattern, extra, subject, length, options, ovec, ovecsize)
252     to
253     pcre_exec(pattern, extra, subject, length, 0, options, ovec, ovecsize)
254    
255     ****

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