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1  README file for PCRE (Perl-compatible regular expressions)  README file for PCRE (Perl-compatible regular expression library)
2  ----------------------------------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
3    
4  *******************************************************************************  The latest release of PCRE is always available from
 *           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSIONS BEFORE 2.00           *  
 *                                                                             *  
 * Please note that there has been a change in the API such that a larger      *  
 * ovector is required at matching time, to provide some additional workspace. *  
 * The new man page has details. This change was necessary in order to support *  
 * some of the new functionality in Perl 5.005.                                *  
 *                                                                             *  
 *           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.00                   *  
 *                                                                             *  
 * Another (I hope this is the last!) change has been made to the API for the  *  
 * pcre_compile() function. An additional argument has been added to make it   *  
 * possible to pass over a pointer to character tables built in the current    *  
 * locale by pcre_maketables(). To use the default tables, this new arguement  *  
 * should be passed as NULL.                                                   *  
 *******************************************************************************  
5    
6  The distribution should contain the following files:    ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/pcre-xxx.tar.gz
7    
8    Please read the NEWS file if you are upgrading from a previous release.
9    
10    
11    Building PCRE on a Unix system
12    ------------------------------
13    
14    To build PCRE on a Unix system, run the "configure" command in the PCRE
15    distribution directory. This is a standard GNU "autoconf" configuration script,
16    for which generic instructions are supplied in INSTALL. On many systems just
17    running "./configure" is sufficient, but the usual methods of changing standard
18    defaults are available. For example
19    
20    CFLAGS='-O2 -Wall' ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
21    
22    specifies that the C compiler should be run with the flags '-O2 -Wall' instead
23    of the default, and that "make install" should install PCRE under /opt/local
24    instead of the default /usr/local. The "configure" script builds thre files:
25    
26    . Makefile is built by copying Makefile.in and making substitutions.
27    . config.h is built by copying config.in and making substitutions.
28    . pcre-config is built by copying pcre-config.in and making substitutions.
29    
30    Once "configure" has run, you can run "make". It builds two libraries called
31    libpcre and libpcreposix, a test program called pcretest, and the pgrep
32    command. You can use "make install" to copy these, and the public header file
33    pcre.h, to appropriate live directories on your system, in the normal way.
34    
35    Running "make install" also installs the command pcre-config, which can be used
36    to recall information about the PCRE configuration and installation. For
37    example,
38    
39      pcre-config --version
40    
41    prints the version number, and
42    
43     pcre-config --libs
44    
45    outputs information about where the library is installed. This command can be
46    included in makefiles for programs that use PCRE, saving the programmer from
47    having to remember too many details.
48    
   ChangeLog         log of changes to the code  
   LICENCE           conditions for the use of PCRE  
   Makefile          for building PCRE  
   README            this file  
   RunTest           a shell script for running tests  
   Tech.Notes        notes on the encoding  
   pcre.3            man page for the functions  
   pcreposix.3       man page for the POSIX wrapper API  
   dftables.c        auxiliary program for building chartables.c  
   get.c             )  
   maketables.c      )  
   study.c           ) source of  
   pcre.c            )   the functions  
   pcreposix.c       )  
   pcre.h            header for the external API  
   pcreposix.h       header for the external POSIX wrapper API  
   internal.h        header for internal use  
   pcretest.c        test program  
   pgrep.1           man page for pgrep  
   pgrep.c           source of a grep utility that uses PCRE  
   perltest          Perl test program  
   testinput         test data, compatible with Perl 5.004 and 5.005  
   testinput2        test data for error messages and non-Perl things  
   testinput3        test data, compatible with Perl 5.005  
   testinput4        test data for locale-specific tests  
   testoutput        test results corresponding to testinput  
   testoutput2       test results corresponding to testinput2  
   testoutput3       test results corresponding to testinput3  
   testoutput4       test results corresponding to testinput4  
   
 To build PCRE, edit Makefile for your system (it is a fairly simple make file,  
 and there are some comments at the top) and then run it. It builds two  
 libraries called libpcre.a and libpcreposix.a, a test program called pcretest,  
 and the pgrep command.  
   
 To test PCRE, run the RunTest script in the pcre directory. This runs pcretest  
 on each of the testinput files in turn, and compares the output with the  
 contents of the corresponding testoutput file. A file called testtry is used to  
 hold the output from pcretest (which is documented below).  
49    
50  To run pcretest on just one of the test files, give its number as an argument  Shared libraries on Unix systems
51  to RunTest, for example:  --------------------------------
52    
53    The default distribution builds PCRE as two shared libraries. This support is
54    new and experimental and may not work on all systems. It relies on the
55    "libtool" scripts - these are distributed with PCRE. It should build a
56    "libtool" script and use this to compile and link shared libraries, which are
57    placed in a subdirectory called .libs. The programs pcretest and pgrep are
58    built to use these uninstalled libraries by means of wrapper scripts. When you
59    use "make install" to install shared libraries, pgrep and pcretest are
60    automatically re-built to use the newly installed libraries. However, only
61    pgrep is installed, as pcretest is really just a test program.
62    
63    To build PCRE using static libraries you must use --disable-shared when
64    configuring it. For example
65    
66    ./configure --prefix=/usr/gnu --disable-shared
67    
68    Then run "make" in the usual way.
69    
70    
71    Building on non-Unix systems
72    ----------------------------
73    
74    For a non-Unix system, read the comments in the file NON-UNIX-USE. PCRE has
75    been compiled on Windows systems and on Macintoshes, but I don't know the
76    details because I don't use those systems. It should be straightforward to
77    build PCRE on any system that has a Standard C compiler, because it uses only
78    Standard C functions.
79    
80    
81    Testing PCRE
82    ------------
83    
84    To test PCRE on a Unix system, run the RunTest script in the pcre directory.
85    (This can also be run by "make runtest" or "make check".) For other systems,
86    see the instruction in NON-UNIX-USE.
87    
88    The script runs the pcretest test program (which is documented in
89    doc/pcretest.txt) on each of the testinput files (in the testdata directory) in
90    turn, and compares the output with the contents of the corresponding testoutput
91    file. A file called testtry is used to hold the output from pcretest. To run
92    pcretest on just one of the test files, give its number as an argument to
93    RunTest, for example:
94    
95    RunTest 3    RunTest 3
96    
97  The first and third test files can also be fed directly into the perltest  The first and third test files can also be fed directly into the perltest
98  program to check that Perl gives the same results. The third file requires the  script to check that Perl gives the same results. The third file requires the
99  additional features of release 5.005, which is why it is kept separate from the  additional features of release 5.005, which is why it is kept separate from the
100  main test input, which needs only Perl 5.004. In the long run, when 5.005 is  main test input, which needs only Perl 5.004. In the long run, when 5.005 is
101  widespread, these two test files may get amalgamated.  widespread, these two test files may get amalgamated.
# Line 88  output to say why. If running this test Line 117  output to say why. If running this test
117  in the comparison output, it means that locale is not available on your system,  in the comparison output, it means that locale is not available on your system,
118  despite being listed by "locale". This does not mean that PCRE is broken.  despite being listed by "locale". This does not mean that PCRE is broken.
119    
 To install PCRE, copy libpcre.a to any suitable library directory (e.g.  
 /usr/local/lib), pcre.h to any suitable include directory (e.g.  
 /usr/local/include), and pcre.3 to any suitable man directory (e.g.  
 /usr/local/man/man3).  
   
 To install the pgrep command, copy it to any suitable binary directory, (e.g.  
 /usr/local/bin) and pgrep.1 to any suitable man directory (e.g.  
 /usr/local/man/man1).  
   
120  PCRE has its own native API, but a set of "wrapper" functions that are based on  PCRE has its own native API, but a set of "wrapper" functions that are based on
121  the POSIX API are also supplied in the library libpcreposix.a. Note that this  the POSIX API are also supplied in the library libpcreposix.a. Note that this
122  just provides a POSIX calling interface to PCRE: the regular expressions  just provides a POSIX calling interface to PCRE: the regular expressions
# Line 112  Character tables Line 132  Character tables
132    
133  PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters. The final  PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters. The final
134  argument of the pcre_compile() function is a pointer to a block of memory  argument of the pcre_compile() function is a pointer to a block of memory
135  containing the concatenated tables. A call to pcre_maketables() is used to  containing the concatenated tables. A call to pcre_maketables() can be used to
136  generate a set of tables in the current locale. However, if the final argument  generate a set of tables in the current locale. If the final argument for
137  is passed as NULL, a set of default tables that is built into the binary is  pcre_compile() is passed as NULL, a set of default tables that is built into
138  used.  the binary is used.
139    
140  The source file called chartables.c contains the default set of tables. This is  The source file called chartables.c contains the default set of tables. This is
141  not supplied in the distribution, but is built by the program dftables  not supplied in the distribution, but is built by the program dftables
142  (compiled from dftables.c), which uses the ANSI C character handling functions  (compiled from dftables.c), which uses the ANSI C character handling functions
143  such as isalnum(), isalpha(), isupper(), islower(), etc. to build the table  such as isalnum(), isalpha(), isupper(), islower(), etc. to build the table
144  sources. This means that the default C locale set your system will control the  sources. This means that the default C locale which is set for your system will
145  contents of the tables. You can change the default tables by editing  control the contents of these default tables. You can change the default tables
146  chartables.c and then re-building PCRE. If you do this, you should probably  by editing chartables.c and then re-building PCRE. If you do this, you should
147  also edit Makefile to ensure that the file doesn't ever get re-generated.  probably also edit Makefile to ensure that the file doesn't ever get
148    re-generated.
149    
150  The first two 256-byte tables provide lower casing and case flipping functions,  The first two 256-byte tables provide lower casing and case flipping functions,
151  respectively. The next table consists of three 32-byte bit maps which identify  respectively. The next table consists of three 32-byte bit maps which identify
# Line 145  You should not alter the set of characte Line 166  You should not alter the set of characte
166  will cause PCRE to malfunction.  will cause PCRE to malfunction.
167    
168    
169  The pcretest program  Manifest
170  --------------------  --------
171    
172  This program is intended for testing PCRE, but it can also be used for  The distribution should contain the following files:
 experimenting with regular expressions.  
173    
174  If it is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first and writes to  (A) The actual source files of the PCRE library functions and their
175  the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it reads from that file      headers:
176  and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and writes to stdout, and  
177  prompts for each line of input.    dftables.c            auxiliary program for building chartables.c
178      get.c                 )
179  The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file. Each    maketables.c          )
180  set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any number of data    study.c               ) source of
181  lines to be matched against the pattern. An empty line signals the end of the    pcre.c                )   the functions
182  set. The regular expressions are given enclosed in any non-alphameric    pcreposix.c           )
183  delimiters other than backslash, for example    pcre.in               "source" for the header for the external API; pcre.h
184                              is built from this by "configure"
185    /(a|bc)x+yz/    pcreposix.h           header for the external POSIX wrapper API
186      internal.h            header for internal use
187  White space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expression may    config.in             template for config.h, which is built by configure
188  be continued over several input lines, in which case the newline characters are  
189  included within it. See the testinput files for many examples. It is possible  (B) Auxiliary files:
190  to include the delimiter within the pattern by escaping it, for example  
191      AUTHORS               information about the author of PCRE
192    /abc\/def/    ChangeLog             log of changes to the code
193      INSTALL               generic installation instructions
194  If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern, but since    LICENCE               conditions for the use of PCRE
195  delimiters are always non-alphameric, this does not affect its interpretation.    COPYING               the same, using GNU's standard name
196  If the terminating delimiter is immediately followed by a backslash, for    Makefile.in           template for Unix Makefile, which is built by configure
197  example,    NEWS                  important changes in this release
198      NON-UNIX-USE          notes on building PCRE on non-Unix systems
199      README                this file
200      RunTest               a Unix shell script for running tests
201      config.guess          ) files used by libtool,
202      config.sub            )   used only when building a shared library
203      configure             a configuring shell script (built by autoconf)
204      configure.in          the autoconf input used to build configure
205      doc/Tech.Notes        notes on the encoding
206      doc/pcre.3            man page source for the PCRE functions
207      doc/pcre.html         HTML version
208      doc/pcre.txt          plain text version
209      doc/pcreposix.3       man page source for the POSIX wrapper API
210      doc/pcreposix.html    HTML version
211      doc/pcreposix.txt     plain text version
212      doc/pcretest.txt      documentation of test program
213      doc/perltest.txt      documentation of Perl test program
214      doc/pgrep.1           man page source for the pgrep utility
215      doc/pgrep.html        HTML version
216      doc/pgrep.txt         plain text version
217      install-sh            a shell script for installing files
218      ltconfig              ) files used to build "libtool",
219      ltmain.sh             )   used only when building a shared library
220      pcretest.c            test program
221      perltest              Perl test program
222      pgrep.c               source of a grep utility that uses PCRE
223      pcre-config.in        source of script which retains PCRE information
224      testdata/testinput1   test data, compatible with Perl 5.004 and 5.005
225      testdata/testinput2   test data for error messages and non-Perl things
226      testdata/testinput3   test data, compatible with Perl 5.005
227      testdata/testinput4   test data for locale-specific tests
228      testdata/testoutput1  test results corresponding to testinput1
229      testdata/testoutput2  test results corresponding to testinput2
230      testdata/testoutput3  test results corresponding to testinput3
231      testdata/testoutput4  test results corresponding to testinput4
232    
233    /abc/\  (C) Auxiliary files for Win32 DLL
234    
235  then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This provides a way of    dll.mk
236  testing the error condition that arises if a pattern finishes with a backslash,    pcre.def
 because  
   
   /abc\/  
   
 is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/", causing  
 pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular expression.  
   
 The pattern may be followed by i, m, s, or x to set the PCRE_CASELESS,  
 PCRE_MULTILINE, PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively. These  
 options have the same effect as they do in Perl.  
   
 There are also some upper case options that do not match Perl options: /A, /E,  
 and /X set PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY, and PCRE_EXTRA respectively.  
   
 The /L option must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for example,  
   
   /pattern/Lfr  
   
 For this reason, it must be the last option letter. The given locale is set,  
 pcre_maketables() is called to build a set of character tables for the locale,  
 and this is then passed to pcre_compile() when compiling the regular  
 expression. Without an /L option, NULL is passed as the tables pointer; that  
 is, /L applies only to the expression on which it appears.  
   
 The /I option requests that pcretest output information about the compiled  
 expression (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and so on). It  
 does this by calling pcre_info() after compiling an expression, and outputting  
 the information it gets back. If the pattern is studied, the results of that  
 are also output.  
   
 The /D option is a PCRE debugging feature, which also assumes /I. It causes the  
 internal form of compiled regular expressions to be output after compilation.  
   
 The /S option causes pcre_study() to be called after the expression has been  
 compiled, and the results used when the expression is matched.  
   
 Finally, the /P option causes pcretest to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper API  
 rather than its native API. When this is done, all other options except /i and  
 /m are ignored. REG_ICASE is set if /i is present, and REG_NEWLINE is set if /m  
 is present. The wrapper functions force PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY always, and  
 PCRE_DOTALL unless REG_NEWLINE is set.  
   
 Before each data line is passed to pcre_exec(), leading and trailing whitespace  
 is removed, and it is then scanned for \ escapes. The following are recognized:  
   
   \a     alarm (= BEL)  
   \b     backspace  
   \e     escape  
   \f     formfeed  
   \n     newline  
   \r     carriage return  
   \t     tab  
   \v     vertical tab  
   \nnn   octal character (up to 3 octal digits)  
   \xhh   hexadecimal character (up to 2 hex digits)  
   
   \A     pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to pcre_exec()  
   \B     pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to pcre_exec()  
   \Cdd   call pcre_copy_substring() for substring dd after a successful match  
            (any decimal number less than 32)  
   \Gdd   call pcre_get_substring() for substring dd after a successful match  
            (any decimal number less than 32)  
   \L     call pcre_get_substringlist() after a successful match  
   \Odd   set the size of the output vector passed to pcre_exec() to dd  
            (any number of decimal digits)  
   \Z     pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to pcre_exec()  
   
 A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the anything else. If the  
 very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a way of passing  
 an empty line as data, since a real empty line terminates the data input.  
   
 If /P was present on the regex, causing the POSIX wrapper API to be used, only  
 \B, and \Z have any effect, causing REG_NOTBOL and REG_NOTEOL to be passed to  
 regexec() respectively.  
   
 When a match succeeds, pcretest outputs the list of captured substrings that  
 pcre_exec() returns, starting with number 0 for the string that matched the  
 whole pattern. Here is an example of an interactive pcretest run.  
   
   $ pcretest  
   Testing Perl-Compatible Regular Expressions  
   PCRE version 0.90 08-Sep-1997  
   
     re> /^abc(\d+)/  
   data> abc123  
     0: abc123  
     1: 123  
   data> xyz  
   No match  
   
 If any of \C, \G, or \L are present in a data line that is successfully  
 matched, the substrings extracted by the convenience functions are output with  
 C, G, or L after the string number instead of a colon. This is in addition to  
 the normal full list. The string length (that is, the return from the  
 extraction function) is given in parentheses after each string for \C and \G.  
   
 Note that while patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain ">"  
 prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However newlines can be  
 included in data by means of the \n escape.  
   
 If the -p option is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /P to each  
 regular expression: the POSIX wrapper API is used to call PCRE. None of the  
 following flags has any effect in this case.  
   
 If the option -d is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /D to each  
 regular expression: the internal form is output after compilation.  
   
 If the option -i is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /I to each  
 regular expression: information about the compiled pattern is given after  
 compilation.  
   
 If the option -s is given to pcretest, it outputs the size of each compiled  
 pattern after it has been compiled.  
   
 If the -t option is given, each compile, study, and match is run 20000 times  
 while being timed, and the resulting time per compile or match is output in  
 milliseconds. Do not set -t with -s, because you will then get the size output  
 20000 times and the timing will be distorted. If you want to change the number  
 of repetitions used for timing, edit the definition of LOOPREPEAT at the top of  
 pcretest.c  
   
   
   
 The perltest program  
 --------------------  
   
 The perltest program tests Perl's regular expressions; it has the same  
 specification as pcretest, and so can be given identical input, except that  
 input patterns can be followed only by Perl's lower case options. The contents  
 of testinput and testinput3 meet this condition.  
   
 The data lines are processed as Perl strings, so if they contain $ or @  
 characters, these have to be escaped. For this reason, all such characters in  
 the testinput file are escaped so that it can be used for perltest as well as  
 for pcretest, and the special upper case options such as /A that pcretest  
 recognizes are not used in this file. The output should be identical, apart  
 from the initial identifying banner.  
   
 The testinput2 and testinput4 files are not suitable for feeding to Perltest,  
 since they do make use of the special upper case options and escapes that  
 pcretest uses to test some features of PCRE. The first of these files also  
 contains malformed regular expressions, in order to check that PCRE diagnoses  
 them correctly.  
237    
238  Philip Hazel <ph10@cam.ac.uk>  Philip Hazel <ph10@cam.ac.uk>
239  February 1999  February 2000

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