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1 .TH PCREAPI 3
2 .SH NAME
3 PCRE - Perl-compatible regular expressions
4 .SH "PCRE NATIVE API"
5 .rs
6 .sp
7 .B #include <pcre.h>
8 .PP
9 .SM
10 .B pcre *pcre_compile(const char *\fIpattern\fP, int \fIoptions\fP,
11 .ti +5n
12 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP, int *\fIerroffset\fP,
13 .ti +5n
14 .B const unsigned char *\fItableptr\fP);
15 .PP
16 .B pcre *pcre_compile2(const char *\fIpattern\fP, int \fIoptions\fP,
17 .ti +5n
18 .B int *\fIerrorcodeptr\fP,
19 .ti +5n
20 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP, int *\fIerroffset\fP,
21 .ti +5n
22 .B const unsigned char *\fItableptr\fP);
23 .PP
24 .B pcre_extra *pcre_study(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, int \fIoptions\fP,
25 .ti +5n
26 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP);
27 .PP
28 .B int pcre_exec(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
29 .ti +5n
30 .B "const char *\fIsubject\fP," int \fIlength\fP, int \fIstartoffset\fP,
31 .ti +5n
32 .B int \fIoptions\fP, int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIovecsize\fP);
33 .PP
34 .B int pcre_dfa_exec(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
35 .ti +5n
36 .B "const char *\fIsubject\fP," int \fIlength\fP, int \fIstartoffset\fP,
37 .ti +5n
38 .B int \fIoptions\fP, int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIovecsize\fP,
39 .ti +5n
40 .B int *\fIworkspace\fP, int \fIwscount\fP);
41 .PP
42 .B int pcre_copy_named_substring(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
43 .ti +5n
44 .B const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
45 .ti +5n
46 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, const char *\fIstringname\fP,
47 .ti +5n
48 .B char *\fIbuffer\fP, int \fIbuffersize\fP);
49 .PP
50 .B int pcre_copy_substring(const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
51 .ti +5n
52 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, int \fIstringnumber\fP, char *\fIbuffer\fP,
53 .ti +5n
54 .B int \fIbuffersize\fP);
55 .PP
56 .B int pcre_get_named_substring(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
57 .ti +5n
58 .B const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
59 .ti +5n
60 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, const char *\fIstringname\fP,
61 .ti +5n
62 .B const char **\fIstringptr\fP);
63 .PP
64 .B int pcre_get_stringnumber(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
65 .ti +5n
66 .B const char *\fIname\fP);
67 .PP
68 .B int pcre_get_stringtable_entries(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
69 .ti +5n
70 .B const char *\fIname\fP, char **\fIfirst\fP, char **\fIlast\fP);
71 .PP
72 .B int pcre_get_substring(const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
73 .ti +5n
74 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, int \fIstringnumber\fP,
75 .ti +5n
76 .B const char **\fIstringptr\fP);
77 .PP
78 .B int pcre_get_substring_list(const char *\fIsubject\fP,
79 .ti +5n
80 .B int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIstringcount\fP, "const char ***\fIlistptr\fP);"
81 .PP
82 .B void pcre_free_substring(const char *\fIstringptr\fP);
83 .PP
84 .B void pcre_free_substring_list(const char **\fIstringptr\fP);
85 .PP
86 .B const unsigned char *pcre_maketables(void);
87 .PP
88 .B int pcre_fullinfo(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
89 .ti +5n
90 .B int \fIwhat\fP, void *\fIwhere\fP);
91 .PP
92 .B int pcre_info(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, int *\fIoptptr\fP, int
93 .B *\fIfirstcharptr\fP);
94 .PP
95 .B int pcre_refcount(pcre *\fIcode\fP, int \fIadjust\fP);
96 .PP
97 .B int pcre_config(int \fIwhat\fP, void *\fIwhere\fP);
98 .PP
99 .B char *pcre_version(void);
100 .PP
101 .B void *(*pcre_malloc)(size_t);
102 .PP
103 .B void (*pcre_free)(void *);
104 .PP
105 .B void *(*pcre_stack_malloc)(size_t);
106 .PP
107 .B void (*pcre_stack_free)(void *);
108 .PP
109 .B int (*pcre_callout)(pcre_callout_block *);
110 .
111 .
112 .SH "PCRE API OVERVIEW"
113 .rs
114 .sp
115 PCRE has its own native API, which is described in this document. There are
116 also some wrapper functions that correspond to the POSIX regular expression
117 API. These are described in the
118 .\" HREF
119 \fBpcreposix\fP
120 .\"
121 documentation. Both of these APIs define a set of C function calls. A C++
122 wrapper is distributed with PCRE. It is documented in the
123 .\" HREF
124 \fBpcrecpp\fP
125 .\"
126 page.
127 .P
128 The native API C function prototypes are defined in the header file
129 \fBpcre.h\fP, and on Unix systems the library itself is called \fBlibpcre\fP.
130 It can normally be accessed by adding \fB-lpcre\fP to the command for linking
131 an application that uses PCRE. The header file defines the macros PCRE_MAJOR
132 and PCRE_MINOR to contain the major and minor release numbers for the library.
133 Applications can use these to include support for different releases of PCRE.
134 .P
135 The functions \fBpcre_compile()\fP, \fBpcre_compile2()\fP, \fBpcre_study()\fP,
136 and \fBpcre_exec()\fP are used for compiling and matching regular expressions
137 in a Perl-compatible manner. A sample program that demonstrates the simplest
138 way of using them is provided in the file called \fIpcredemo.c\fP in the source
139 distribution. The
140 .\" HREF
141 \fBpcresample\fP
142 .\"
143 documentation describes how to run it.
144 .P
145 A second matching function, \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, which is not
146 Perl-compatible, is also provided. This uses a different algorithm for the
147 matching. The alternative algorithm finds all possible matches (at a given
148 point in the subject), and scans the subject just once. However, this algorithm
149 does not return captured substrings. A description of the two matching
150 algorithms and their advantages and disadvantages is given in the
151 .\" HREF
152 \fBpcrematching\fP
153 .\"
154 documentation.
155 .P
156 In addition to the main compiling and matching functions, there are convenience
157 functions for extracting captured substrings from a subject string that is
158 matched by \fBpcre_exec()\fP. They are:
159 .sp
160 \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP
161 \fBpcre_copy_named_substring()\fP
162 \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP
163 \fBpcre_get_named_substring()\fP
164 \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP
165 \fBpcre_get_stringnumber()\fP
166 \fBpcre_get_stringtable_entries()\fP
167 .sp
168 \fBpcre_free_substring()\fP and \fBpcre_free_substring_list()\fP are also
169 provided, to free the memory used for extracted strings.
170 .P
171 The function \fBpcre_maketables()\fP is used to build a set of character tables
172 in the current locale for passing to \fBpcre_compile()\fP, \fBpcre_exec()\fP,
173 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP. This is an optional facility that is provided for
174 specialist use. Most commonly, no special tables are passed, in which case
175 internal tables that are generated when PCRE is built are used.
176 .P
177 The function \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP is used to find out information about a
178 compiled pattern; \fBpcre_info()\fP is an obsolete version that returns only
179 some of the available information, but is retained for backwards compatibility.
180 The function \fBpcre_version()\fP returns a pointer to a string containing the
181 version of PCRE and its date of release.
182 .P
183 The function \fBpcre_refcount()\fP maintains a reference count in a data block
184 containing a compiled pattern. This is provided for the benefit of
185 object-oriented applications.
186 .P
187 The global variables \fBpcre_malloc\fP and \fBpcre_free\fP initially contain
188 the entry points of the standard \fBmalloc()\fP and \fBfree()\fP functions,
189 respectively. PCRE calls the memory management functions via these variables,
190 so a calling program can replace them if it wishes to intercept the calls. This
191 should be done before calling any PCRE functions.
192 .P
193 The global variables \fBpcre_stack_malloc\fP and \fBpcre_stack_free\fP are also
194 indirections to memory management functions. These special functions are used
195 only when PCRE is compiled to use the heap for remembering data, instead of
196 recursive function calls, when running the \fBpcre_exec()\fP function. See the
197 .\" HREF
198 \fBpcrebuild\fP
199 .\"
200 documentation for details of how to do this. It is a non-standard way of
201 building PCRE, for use in environments that have limited stacks. Because of the
202 greater use of memory management, it runs more slowly. Separate functions are
203 provided so that special-purpose external code can be used for this case. When
204 used, these functions are always called in a stack-like manner (last obtained,
205 first freed), and always for memory blocks of the same size. There is a
206 discussion about PCRE's stack usage in the
207 .\" HREF
208 \fBpcrestack\fP
209 .\"
210 documentation.
211 .P
212 The global variable \fBpcre_callout\fP initially contains NULL. It can be set
213 by the caller to a "callout" function, which PCRE will then call at specified
214 points during a matching operation. Details are given in the
215 .\" HREF
216 \fBpcrecallout\fP
217 .\"
218 documentation.
219 .
220 .
221 .\" HTML <a name="newlines"></a>
222 .SH NEWLINES
223 .rs
224 .sp
225 PCRE supports five different conventions for indicating line breaks in
226 strings: a single CR (carriage return) character, a single LF (linefeed)
227 character, the two-character sequence CRLF, any of the three preceding, or any
228 Unicode newline sequence. The Unicode newline sequences are the three just
229 mentioned, plus the single characters VT (vertical tab, U+000B), FF (formfeed,
230 U+000C), NEL (next line, U+0085), LS (line separator, U+2028), and PS
231 (paragraph separator, U+2029).
232 .P
233 Each of the first three conventions is used by at least one operating system as
234 its standard newline sequence. When PCRE is built, a default can be specified.
235 The default default is LF, which is the Unix standard. When PCRE is run, the
236 default can be overridden, either when a pattern is compiled, or when it is
237 matched.
238 .P
239 At compile time, the newline convention can be specified by the \fIoptions\fP
240 argument of \fBpcre_compile()\fP, or it can be specified by special text at the
241 start of the pattern itself; this overrides any other settings. See the
242 .\" HREF
243 \fBpcrepattern\fP
244 .\"
245 page for details of the special character sequences.
246 .P
247 In the PCRE documentation the word "newline" is used to mean "the character or
248 pair of characters that indicate a line break". The choice of newline
249 convention affects the handling of the dot, circumflex, and dollar
250 metacharacters, the handling of #-comments in /x mode, and, when CRLF is a
251 recognized line ending sequence, the match position advancement for a
252 non-anchored pattern. There is more detail about this in the
253 .\" HTML <a href="#execoptions">
254 .\" </a>
255 section on \fBpcre_exec()\fP options
256 .\"
257 below.
258 .P
259 The choice of newline convention does not affect the interpretation of
260 the \en or \er escape sequences, nor does it affect what \eR matches, which is
261 controlled in a similar way, but by separate options.
262 .
263 .
264 .SH MULTITHREADING
265 .rs
266 .sp
267 The PCRE functions can be used in multi-threading applications, with the
268 proviso that the memory management functions pointed to by \fBpcre_malloc\fP,
269 \fBpcre_free\fP, \fBpcre_stack_malloc\fP, and \fBpcre_stack_free\fP, and the
270 callout function pointed to by \fBpcre_callout\fP, are shared by all threads.
271 .P
272 The compiled form of a regular expression is not altered during matching, so
273 the same compiled pattern can safely be used by several threads at once.
274 .
275 .
276 .SH "SAVING PRECOMPILED PATTERNS FOR LATER USE"
277 .rs
278 .sp
279 The compiled form of a regular expression can be saved and re-used at a later
280 time, possibly by a different program, and even on a host other than the one on
281 which it was compiled. Details are given in the
282 .\" HREF
283 \fBpcreprecompile\fP
284 .\"
285 documentation. However, compiling a regular expression with one version of PCRE
286 for use with a different version is not guaranteed to work and may cause
287 crashes.
288 .
289 .
290 .SH "CHECKING BUILD-TIME OPTIONS"
291 .rs
292 .sp
293 .B int pcre_config(int \fIwhat\fP, void *\fIwhere\fP);
294 .PP
295 The function \fBpcre_config()\fP makes it possible for a PCRE client to
296 discover which optional features have been compiled into the PCRE library. The
297 .\" HREF
298 \fBpcrebuild\fP
299 .\"
300 documentation has more details about these optional features.
301 .P
302 The first argument for \fBpcre_config()\fP is an integer, specifying which
303 information is required; the second argument is a pointer to a variable into
304 which the information is placed. The following information is available:
305 .sp
306 PCRE_CONFIG_UTF8
307 .sp
308 The output is an integer that is set to one if UTF-8 support is available;
309 otherwise it is set to zero.
310 .sp
311 PCRE_CONFIG_UNICODE_PROPERTIES
312 .sp
313 The output is an integer that is set to one if support for Unicode character
314 properties is available; otherwise it is set to zero.
315 .sp
316 PCRE_CONFIG_NEWLINE
317 .sp
318 The output is an integer whose value specifies the default character sequence
319 that is recognized as meaning "newline". The four values that are supported
320 are: 10 for LF, 13 for CR, 3338 for CRLF, -2 for ANYCRLF, and -1 for ANY. The
321 default should normally be the standard sequence for your operating system.
322 .sp
323 PCRE_CONFIG_BSR
324 .sp
325 The output is an integer whose value indicates what character sequences the \eR
326 escape sequence matches by default. A value of 0 means that \eR matches any
327 Unicode line ending sequence; a value of 1 means that \eR matches only CR, LF,
328 or CRLF. The default can be overridden when a pattern is compiled or matched.
329 .sp
330 PCRE_CONFIG_LINK_SIZE
331 .sp
332 The output is an integer that contains the number of bytes used for internal
333 linkage in compiled regular expressions. The value is 2, 3, or 4. Larger values
334 allow larger regular expressions to be compiled, at the expense of slower
335 matching. The default value of 2 is sufficient for all but the most massive
336 patterns, since it allows the compiled pattern to be up to 64K in size.
337 .sp
338 PCRE_CONFIG_POSIX_MALLOC_THRESHOLD
339 .sp
340 The output is an integer that contains the threshold above which the POSIX
341 interface uses \fBmalloc()\fP for output vectors. Further details are given in
342 the
343 .\" HREF
344 \fBpcreposix\fP
345 .\"
346 documentation.
347 .sp
348 PCRE_CONFIG_MATCH_LIMIT
349 .sp
350 The output is an integer that gives the default limit for the number of
351 internal matching function calls in a \fBpcre_exec()\fP execution. Further
352 details are given with \fBpcre_exec()\fP below.
353 .sp
354 PCRE_CONFIG_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION
355 .sp
356 The output is an integer that gives the default limit for the depth of
357 recursion when calling the internal matching function in a \fBpcre_exec()\fP
358 execution. Further details are given with \fBpcre_exec()\fP below.
359 .sp
360 PCRE_CONFIG_STACKRECURSE
361 .sp
362 The output is an integer that is set to one if internal recursion when running
363 \fBpcre_exec()\fP is implemented by recursive function calls that use the stack
364 to remember their state. This is the usual way that PCRE is compiled. The
365 output is zero if PCRE was compiled to use blocks of data on the heap instead
366 of recursive function calls. In this case, \fBpcre_stack_malloc\fP and
367 \fBpcre_stack_free\fP are called to manage memory blocks on the heap, thus
368 avoiding the use of the stack.
369 .
370 .
371 .SH "COMPILING A PATTERN"
372 .rs
373 .sp
374 .B pcre *pcre_compile(const char *\fIpattern\fP, int \fIoptions\fP,
375 .ti +5n
376 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP, int *\fIerroffset\fP,
377 .ti +5n
378 .B const unsigned char *\fItableptr\fP);
379 .sp
380 .B pcre *pcre_compile2(const char *\fIpattern\fP, int \fIoptions\fP,
381 .ti +5n
382 .B int *\fIerrorcodeptr\fP,
383 .ti +5n
384 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP, int *\fIerroffset\fP,
385 .ti +5n
386 .B const unsigned char *\fItableptr\fP);
387 .P
388 Either of the functions \fBpcre_compile()\fP or \fBpcre_compile2()\fP can be
389 called to compile a pattern into an internal form. The only difference between
390 the two interfaces is that \fBpcre_compile2()\fP has an additional argument,
391 \fIerrorcodeptr\fP, via which a numerical error code can be returned.
392 .P
393 The pattern is a C string terminated by a binary zero, and is passed in the
394 \fIpattern\fP argument. A pointer to a single block of memory that is obtained
395 via \fBpcre_malloc\fP is returned. This contains the compiled code and related
396 data. The \fBpcre\fP type is defined for the returned block; this is a typedef
397 for a structure whose contents are not externally defined. It is up to the
398 caller to free the memory (via \fBpcre_free\fP) when it is no longer required.
399 .P
400 Although the compiled code of a PCRE regex is relocatable, that is, it does not
401 depend on memory location, the complete \fBpcre\fP data block is not
402 fully relocatable, because it may contain a copy of the \fItableptr\fP
403 argument, which is an address (see below).
404 .P
405 The \fIoptions\fP argument contains various bit settings that affect the
406 compilation. It should be zero if no options are required. The available
407 options are described below. Some of them, in particular, those that are
408 compatible with Perl, can also be set and unset from within the pattern (see
409 the detailed description in the
410 .\" HREF
411 \fBpcrepattern\fP
412 .\"
413 documentation). For these options, the contents of the \fIoptions\fP argument
414 specifies their initial settings at the start of compilation and execution. The
415 PCRE_ANCHORED and PCRE_NEWLINE_\fIxxx\fP options can be set at the time of
416 matching as well as at compile time.
417 .P
418 If \fIerrptr\fP is NULL, \fBpcre_compile()\fP returns NULL immediately.
419 Otherwise, if compilation of a pattern fails, \fBpcre_compile()\fP returns
420 NULL, and sets the variable pointed to by \fIerrptr\fP to point to a textual
421 error message. This is a static string that is part of the library. You must
422 not try to free it. The offset from the start of the pattern to the character
423 where the error was discovered is placed in the variable pointed to by
424 \fIerroffset\fP, which must not be NULL. If it is, an immediate error is given.
425 .P
426 If \fBpcre_compile2()\fP is used instead of \fBpcre_compile()\fP, and the
427 \fIerrorcodeptr\fP argument is not NULL, a non-zero error code number is
428 returned via this argument in the event of an error. This is in addition to the
429 textual error message. Error codes and messages are listed below.
430 .P
431 If the final argument, \fItableptr\fP, is NULL, PCRE uses a default set of
432 character tables that are built when PCRE is compiled, using the default C
433 locale. Otherwise, \fItableptr\fP must be an address that is the result of a
434 call to \fBpcre_maketables()\fP. This value is stored with the compiled
435 pattern, and used again by \fBpcre_exec()\fP, unless another table pointer is
436 passed to it. For more discussion, see the section on locale support below.
437 .P
438 This code fragment shows a typical straightforward call to \fBpcre_compile()\fP:
439 .sp
440 pcre *re;
441 const char *error;
442 int erroffset;
443 re = pcre_compile(
444 "^A.*Z", /* the pattern */
445 0, /* default options */
446 &error, /* for error message */
447 &erroffset, /* for error offset */
448 NULL); /* use default character tables */
449 .sp
450 The following names for option bits are defined in the \fBpcre.h\fP header
451 file:
452 .sp
453 PCRE_ANCHORED
454 .sp
455 If this bit is set, the pattern is forced to be "anchored", that is, it is
456 constrained to match only at the first matching point in the string that is
457 being searched (the "subject string"). This effect can also be achieved by
458 appropriate constructs in the pattern itself, which is the only way to do it in
459 Perl.
460 .sp
461 PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
462 .sp
463 If this bit is set, \fBpcre_compile()\fP automatically inserts callout items,
464 all with number 255, before each pattern item. For discussion of the callout
465 facility, see the
466 .\" HREF
467 \fBpcrecallout\fP
468 .\"
469 documentation.
470 .sp
471 PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
472 PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
473 .sp
474 These options (which are mutually exclusive) control what the \eR escape
475 sequence matches. The choice is either to match only CR, LF, or CRLF, or to
476 match any Unicode newline sequence. The default is specified when PCRE is
477 built. It can be overridden from within the pattern, or by setting an option
478 when a compiled pattern is matched.
479 .sp
480 PCRE_CASELESS
481 .sp
482 If this bit is set, letters in the pattern match both upper and lower case
483 letters. It is equivalent to Perl's /i option, and it can be changed within a
484 pattern by a (?i) option setting. In UTF-8 mode, PCRE always understands the
485 concept of case for characters whose values are less than 128, so caseless
486 matching is always possible. For characters with higher values, the concept of
487 case is supported if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support, but not
488 otherwise. If you want to use caseless matching for characters 128 and above,
489 you must ensure that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support as well as
490 with UTF-8 support.
491 .sp
492 PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
493 .sp
494 If this bit is set, a dollar metacharacter in the pattern matches only at the
495 end of the subject string. Without this option, a dollar also matches
496 immediately before a newline at the end of the string (but not before any other
497 newlines). The PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY option is ignored if PCRE_MULTILINE is set.
498 There is no equivalent to this option in Perl, and no way to set it within a
499 pattern.
500 .sp
501 PCRE_DOTALL
502 .sp
503 If this bit is set, a dot metacharater in the pattern matches all characters,
504 including those that indicate newline. Without it, a dot does not match when
505 the current position is at a newline. This option is equivalent to Perl's /s
506 option, and it can be changed within a pattern by a (?s) option setting. A
507 negative class such as [^a] always matches newline characters, independent of
508 the setting of this option.
509 .sp
510 PCRE_DUPNAMES
511 .sp
512 If this bit is set, names used to identify capturing subpatterns need not be
513 unique. This can be helpful for certain types of pattern when it is known that
514 only one instance of the named subpattern can ever be matched. There are more
515 details of named subpatterns below; see also the
516 .\" HREF
517 \fBpcrepattern\fP
518 .\"
519 documentation.
520 .sp
521 PCRE_EXTENDED
522 .sp
523 If this bit is set, whitespace data characters in the pattern are totally
524 ignored except when escaped or inside a character class. Whitespace does not
525 include the VT character (code 11). In addition, characters between an
526 unescaped # outside a character class and the next newline, inclusive, are also
527 ignored. This is equivalent to Perl's /x option, and it can be changed within a
528 pattern by a (?x) option setting.
529 .P
530 This option makes it possible to include comments inside complicated patterns.
531 Note, however, that this applies only to data characters. Whitespace characters
532 may never appear within special character sequences in a pattern, for example
533 within the sequence (?( which introduces a conditional subpattern.
534 .sp
535 PCRE_EXTRA
536 .sp
537 This option was invented in order to turn on additional functionality of PCRE
538 that is incompatible with Perl, but it is currently of very little use. When
539 set, any backslash in a pattern that is followed by a letter that has no
540 special meaning causes an error, thus reserving these combinations for future
541 expansion. By default, as in Perl, a backslash followed by a letter with no
542 special meaning is treated as a literal. (Perl can, however, be persuaded to
543 give a warning for this.) There are at present no other features controlled by
544 this option. It can also be set by a (?X) option setting within a pattern.
545 .sp
546 PCRE_FIRSTLINE
547 .sp
548 If this option is set, an unanchored pattern is required to match before or at
549 the first newline in the subject string, though the matched text may continue
550 over the newline.
551 .sp
552 PCRE_MULTILINE
553 .sp
554 By default, PCRE treats the subject string as consisting of a single line of
555 characters (even if it actually contains newlines). The "start of line"
556 metacharacter (^) matches only at the start of the string, while the "end of
557 line" metacharacter ($) matches only at the end of the string, or before a
558 terminating newline (unless PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY is set). This is the same as
559 Perl.
560 .P
561 When PCRE_MULTILINE it is set, the "start of line" and "end of line" constructs
562 match immediately following or immediately before internal newlines in the
563 subject string, respectively, as well as at the very start and end. This is
564 equivalent to Perl's /m option, and it can be changed within a pattern by a
565 (?m) option setting. If there are no newlines in a subject string, or no
566 occurrences of ^ or $ in a pattern, setting PCRE_MULTILINE has no effect.
567 .sp
568 PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
569 PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
570 PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
571 PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
572 PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
573 .sp
574 These options override the default newline definition that was chosen when PCRE
575 was built. Setting the first or the second specifies that a newline is
576 indicated by a single character (CR or LF, respectively). Setting
577 PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF specifies that a newline is indicated by the two-character
578 CRLF sequence. Setting PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF specifies that any of the three
579 preceding sequences should be recognized. Setting PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY specifies
580 that any Unicode newline sequence should be recognized. The Unicode newline
581 sequences are the three just mentioned, plus the single characters VT (vertical
582 tab, U+000B), FF (formfeed, U+000C), NEL (next line, U+0085), LS (line
583 separator, U+2028), and PS (paragraph separator, U+2029). The last two are
584 recognized only in UTF-8 mode.
585 .P
586 The newline setting in the options word uses three bits that are treated
587 as a number, giving eight possibilities. Currently only six are used (default
588 plus the five values above). This means that if you set more than one newline
589 option, the combination may or may not be sensible. For example,
590 PCRE_NEWLINE_CR with PCRE_NEWLINE_LF is equivalent to PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF, but
591 other combinations may yield unused numbers and cause an error.
592 .P
593 The only time that a line break is specially recognized when compiling a
594 pattern is if PCRE_EXTENDED is set, and an unescaped # outside a character
595 class is encountered. This indicates a comment that lasts until after the next
596 line break sequence. In other circumstances, line break sequences are treated
597 as literal data, except that in PCRE_EXTENDED mode, both CR and LF are treated
598 as whitespace characters and are therefore ignored.
599 .P
600 The newline option that is set at compile time becomes the default that is used
601 for \fBpcre_exec()\fP and \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, but it can be overridden.
602 .sp
603 PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
604 .sp
605 If this option is set, it disables the use of numbered capturing parentheses in
606 the pattern. Any opening parenthesis that is not followed by ? behaves as if it
607 were followed by ?: but named parentheses can still be used for capturing (and
608 they acquire numbers in the usual way). There is no equivalent of this option
609 in Perl.
610 .sp
611 PCRE_UNGREEDY
612 .sp
613 This option inverts the "greediness" of the quantifiers so that they are not
614 greedy by default, but become greedy if followed by "?". It is not compatible
615 with Perl. It can also be set by a (?U) option setting within the pattern.
616 .sp
617 PCRE_UTF8
618 .sp
619 This option causes PCRE to regard both the pattern and the subject as strings
620 of UTF-8 characters instead of single-byte character strings. However, it is
621 available only when PCRE is built to include UTF-8 support. If not, the use
622 of this option provokes an error. Details of how this option changes the
623 behaviour of PCRE are given in the
624 .\" HTML <a href="pcre.html#utf8support">
625 .\" </a>
626 section on UTF-8 support
627 .\"
628 in the main
629 .\" HREF
630 \fBpcre\fP
631 .\"
632 page.
633 .sp
634 PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK
635 .sp
636 When PCRE_UTF8 is set, the validity of the pattern as a UTF-8 string is
637 automatically checked. There is a discussion about the
638 .\" HTML <a href="pcre.html#utf8strings">
639 .\" </a>
640 validity of UTF-8 strings
641 .\"
642 in the main
643 .\" HREF
644 \fBpcre\fP
645 .\"
646 page. If an invalid UTF-8 sequence of bytes is found, \fBpcre_compile()\fP
647 returns an error. If you already know that your pattern is valid, and you want
648 to skip this check for performance reasons, you can set the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK
649 option. When it is set, the effect of passing an invalid UTF-8 string as a
650 pattern is undefined. It may cause your program to crash. Note that this option
651 can also be passed to \fBpcre_exec()\fP and \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, to suppress
652 the UTF-8 validity checking of subject strings.
653 .
654 .
655 .SH "COMPILATION ERROR CODES"
656 .rs
657 .sp
658 The following table lists the error codes than may be returned by
659 \fBpcre_compile2()\fP, along with the error messages that may be returned by
660 both compiling functions. As PCRE has developed, some error codes have fallen
661 out of use. To avoid confusion, they have not been re-used.
662 .sp
663 0 no error
664 1 \e at end of pattern
665 2 \ec at end of pattern
666 3 unrecognized character follows \e
667 4 numbers out of order in {} quantifier
668 5 number too big in {} quantifier
669 6 missing terminating ] for character class
670 7 invalid escape sequence in character class
671 8 range out of order in character class
672 9 nothing to repeat
673 10 [this code is not in use]
674 11 internal error: unexpected repeat
675 12 unrecognized character after (? or (?-
676 13 POSIX named classes are supported only within a class
677 14 missing )
678 15 reference to non-existent subpattern
679 16 erroffset passed as NULL
680 17 unknown option bit(s) set
681 18 missing ) after comment
682 19 [this code is not in use]
683 20 regular expression is too large
684 21 failed to get memory
685 22 unmatched parentheses
686 23 internal error: code overflow
687 24 unrecognized character after (?<
688 25 lookbehind assertion is not fixed length
689 26 malformed number or name after (?(
690 27 conditional group contains more than two branches
691 28 assertion expected after (?(
692 29 (?R or (?[+-]digits must be followed by )
693 30 unknown POSIX class name
694 31 POSIX collating elements are not supported
695 32 this version of PCRE is not compiled with PCRE_UTF8 support
696 33 [this code is not in use]
697 34 character value in \ex{...} sequence is too large
698 35 invalid condition (?(0)
699 36 \eC not allowed in lookbehind assertion
700 37 PCRE does not support \eL, \el, \eN, \eU, or \eu
701 38 number after (?C is > 255
702 39 closing ) for (?C expected
703 40 recursive call could loop indefinitely
704 41 unrecognized character after (?P
705 42 syntax error in subpattern name (missing terminator)
706 43 two named subpatterns have the same name
707 44 invalid UTF-8 string
708 45 support for \eP, \ep, and \eX has not been compiled
709 46 malformed \eP or \ep sequence
710 47 unknown property name after \eP or \ep
711 48 subpattern name is too long (maximum 32 characters)
712 49 too many named subpatterns (maximum 10000)
713 50 [this code is not in use]
714 51 octal value is greater than \e377 (not in UTF-8 mode)
715 52 internal error: overran compiling workspace
716 53 internal error: previously-checked referenced subpattern not found
717 54 DEFINE group contains more than one branch
718 55 repeating a DEFINE group is not allowed
719 56 inconsistent NEWLINE options
720 57 \eg is not followed by a braced name or an optionally braced
721 non-zero number
722 58 (?+ or (?- or (?(+ or (?(- must be followed by a non-zero number
723 59 (*VERB) with an argument is not supported
724 60 (*VERB) not recognized
725 61 number is too big
726 62 subpattern name expected
727 63 digit expected after (?+
728 .sp
729 The numbers 32 and 10000 in errors 48 and 49 are defaults; different values may
730 be used if the limits were changed when PCRE was built.
731 .
732 .
733 .SH "STUDYING A PATTERN"
734 .rs
735 .sp
736 .B pcre_extra *pcre_study(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, int \fIoptions\fP
737 .ti +5n
738 .B const char **\fIerrptr\fP);
739 .PP
740 If a compiled pattern is going to be used several times, it is worth spending
741 more time analyzing it in order to speed up the time taken for matching. The
742 function \fBpcre_study()\fP takes a pointer to a compiled pattern as its first
743 argument. If studying the pattern produces additional information that will
744 help speed up matching, \fBpcre_study()\fP returns a pointer to a
745 \fBpcre_extra\fP block, in which the \fIstudy_data\fP field points to the
746 results of the study.
747 .P
748 The returned value from \fBpcre_study()\fP can be passed directly to
749 \fBpcre_exec()\fP. However, a \fBpcre_extra\fP block also contains other
750 fields that can be set by the caller before the block is passed; these are
751 described
752 .\" HTML <a href="#extradata">
753 .\" </a>
754 below
755 .\"
756 in the section on matching a pattern.
757 .P
758 If studying the pattern does not produce any additional information
759 \fBpcre_study()\fP returns NULL. In that circumstance, if the calling program
760 wants to pass any of the other fields to \fBpcre_exec()\fP, it must set up its
761 own \fBpcre_extra\fP block.
762 .P
763 The second argument of \fBpcre_study()\fP contains option bits. At present, no
764 options are defined, and this argument should always be zero.
765 .P
766 The third argument for \fBpcre_study()\fP is a pointer for an error message. If
767 studying succeeds (even if no data is returned), the variable it points to is
768 set to NULL. Otherwise it is set to point to a textual error message. This is a
769 static string that is part of the library. You must not try to free it. You
770 should test the error pointer for NULL after calling \fBpcre_study()\fP, to be
771 sure that it has run successfully.
772 .P
773 This is a typical call to \fBpcre_study\fP():
774 .sp
775 pcre_extra *pe;
776 pe = pcre_study(
777 re, /* result of pcre_compile() */
778 0, /* no options exist */
779 &error); /* set to NULL or points to a message */
780 .sp
781 At present, studying a pattern is useful only for non-anchored patterns that do
782 not have a single fixed starting character. A bitmap of possible starting
783 bytes is created.
784 .
785 .
786 .\" HTML <a name="localesupport"></a>
787 .SH "LOCALE SUPPORT"
788 .rs
789 .sp
790 PCRE handles caseless matching, and determines whether characters are letters,
791 digits, or whatever, by reference to a set of tables, indexed by character
792 value. When running in UTF-8 mode, this applies only to characters with codes
793 less than 128. Higher-valued codes never match escapes such as \ew or \ed, but
794 can be tested with \ep if PCRE is built with Unicode character property
795 support. The use of locales with Unicode is discouraged. If you are handling
796 characters with codes greater than 128, you should either use UTF-8 and
797 Unicode, or use locales, but not try to mix the two.
798 .P
799 PCRE contains an internal set of tables that are used when the final argument
800 of \fBpcre_compile()\fP is NULL. These are sufficient for many applications.
801 Normally, the internal tables recognize only ASCII characters. However, when
802 PCRE is built, it is possible to cause the internal tables to be rebuilt in the
803 default "C" locale of the local system, which may cause them to be different.
804 .P
805 The internal tables can always be overridden by tables supplied by the
806 application that calls PCRE. These may be created in a different locale from
807 the default. As more and more applications change to using Unicode, the need
808 for this locale support is expected to die away.
809 .P
810 External tables are built by calling the \fBpcre_maketables()\fP function,
811 which has no arguments, in the relevant locale. The result can then be passed
812 to \fBpcre_compile()\fP or \fBpcre_exec()\fP as often as necessary. For
813 example, to build and use tables that are appropriate for the French locale
814 (where accented characters with values greater than 128 are treated as letters),
815 the following code could be used:
816 .sp
817 setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "fr_FR");
818 tables = pcre_maketables();
819 re = pcre_compile(..., tables);
820 .sp
821 The locale name "fr_FR" is used on Linux and other Unix-like systems; if you
822 are using Windows, the name for the French locale is "french".
823 .P
824 When \fBpcre_maketables()\fP runs, the tables are built in memory that is
825 obtained via \fBpcre_malloc\fP. It is the caller's responsibility to ensure
826 that the memory containing the tables remains available for as long as it is
827 needed.
828 .P
829 The pointer that is passed to \fBpcre_compile()\fP is saved with the compiled
830 pattern, and the same tables are used via this pointer by \fBpcre_study()\fP
831 and normally also by \fBpcre_exec()\fP. Thus, by default, for any single
832 pattern, compilation, studying and matching all happen in the same locale, but
833 different patterns can be compiled in different locales.
834 .P
835 It is possible to pass a table pointer or NULL (indicating the use of the
836 internal tables) to \fBpcre_exec()\fP. Although not intended for this purpose,
837 this facility could be used to match a pattern in a different locale from the
838 one in which it was compiled. Passing table pointers at run time is discussed
839 below in the section on matching a pattern.
840 .
841 .
842 .SH "INFORMATION ABOUT A PATTERN"
843 .rs
844 .sp
845 .B int pcre_fullinfo(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
846 .ti +5n
847 .B int \fIwhat\fP, void *\fIwhere\fP);
848 .PP
849 The \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP function returns information about a compiled
850 pattern. It replaces the obsolete \fBpcre_info()\fP function, which is
851 nevertheless retained for backwards compability (and is documented below).
852 .P
853 The first argument for \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP is a pointer to the compiled
854 pattern. The second argument is the result of \fBpcre_study()\fP, or NULL if
855 the pattern was not studied. The third argument specifies which piece of
856 information is required, and the fourth argument is a pointer to a variable
857 to receive the data. The yield of the function is zero for success, or one of
858 the following negative numbers:
859 .sp
860 PCRE_ERROR_NULL the argument \fIcode\fP was NULL
861 the argument \fIwhere\fP was NULL
862 PCRE_ERROR_BADMAGIC the "magic number" was not found
863 PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION the value of \fIwhat\fP was invalid
864 .sp
865 The "magic number" is placed at the start of each compiled pattern as an simple
866 check against passing an arbitrary memory pointer. Here is a typical call of
867 \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP, to obtain the length of the compiled pattern:
868 .sp
869 int rc;
870 size_t length;
871 rc = pcre_fullinfo(
872 re, /* result of pcre_compile() */
873 pe, /* result of pcre_study(), or NULL */
874 PCRE_INFO_SIZE, /* what is required */
875 &length); /* where to put the data */
876 .sp
877 The possible values for the third argument are defined in \fBpcre.h\fP, and are
878 as follows:
879 .sp
880 PCRE_INFO_BACKREFMAX
881 .sp
882 Return the number of the highest back reference in the pattern. The fourth
883 argument should point to an \fBint\fP variable. Zero is returned if there are
884 no back references.
885 .sp
886 PCRE_INFO_CAPTURECOUNT
887 .sp
888 Return the number of capturing subpatterns in the pattern. The fourth argument
889 should point to an \fBint\fP variable.
890 .sp
891 PCRE_INFO_DEFAULT_TABLES
892 .sp
893 Return a pointer to the internal default character tables within PCRE. The
894 fourth argument should point to an \fBunsigned char *\fP variable. This
895 information call is provided for internal use by the \fBpcre_study()\fP
896 function. External callers can cause PCRE to use its internal tables by passing
897 a NULL table pointer.
898 .sp
899 PCRE_INFO_FIRSTBYTE
900 .sp
901 Return information about the first byte of any matched string, for a
902 non-anchored pattern. The fourth argument should point to an \fBint\fP
903 variable. (This option used to be called PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHAR; the old name is
904 still recognized for backwards compatibility.)
905 .P
906 If there is a fixed first byte, for example, from a pattern such as
907 (cat|cow|coyote), its value is returned. Otherwise, if either
908 .sp
909 (a) the pattern was compiled with the PCRE_MULTILINE option, and every branch
910 starts with "^", or
911 .sp
912 (b) every branch of the pattern starts with ".*" and PCRE_DOTALL is not set
913 (if it were set, the pattern would be anchored),
914 .sp
915 -1 is returned, indicating that the pattern matches only at the start of a
916 subject string or after any newline within the string. Otherwise -2 is
917 returned. For anchored patterns, -2 is returned.
918 .sp
919 PCRE_INFO_FIRSTTABLE
920 .sp
921 If the pattern was studied, and this resulted in the construction of a 256-bit
922 table indicating a fixed set of bytes for the first byte in any matching
923 string, a pointer to the table is returned. Otherwise NULL is returned. The
924 fourth argument should point to an \fBunsigned char *\fP variable.
925 .sp
926 PCRE_INFO_HASCRORLF
927 .sp
928 Return 1 if the pattern contains any explicit matches for CR or LF characters,
929 otherwise 0. The fourth argument should point to an \fBint\fP variable. An
930 explicit match is either a literal CR or LF character, or \er or \en.
931 .sp
932 PCRE_INFO_JCHANGED
933 .sp
934 Return 1 if the (?J) or (?-J) option setting is used in the pattern, otherwise
935 0. The fourth argument should point to an \fBint\fP variable. (?J) and
936 (?-J) set and unset the local PCRE_DUPNAMES option, respectively.
937 .sp
938 PCRE_INFO_LASTLITERAL
939 .sp
940 Return the value of the rightmost literal byte that must exist in any matched
941 string, other than at its start, if such a byte has been recorded. The fourth
942 argument should point to an \fBint\fP variable. If there is no such byte, -1 is
943 returned. For anchored patterns, a last literal byte is recorded only if it
944 follows something of variable length. For example, for the pattern
945 /^a\ed+z\ed+/ the returned value is "z", but for /^a\edz\ed/ the returned value
946 is -1.
947 .sp
948 PCRE_INFO_NAMECOUNT
949 PCRE_INFO_NAMEENTRYSIZE
950 PCRE_INFO_NAMETABLE
951 .sp
952 PCRE supports the use of named as well as numbered capturing parentheses. The
953 names are just an additional way of identifying the parentheses, which still
954 acquire numbers. Several convenience functions such as
955 \fBpcre_get_named_substring()\fP are provided for extracting captured
956 substrings by name. It is also possible to extract the data directly, by first
957 converting the name to a number in order to access the correct pointers in the
958 output vector (described with \fBpcre_exec()\fP below). To do the conversion,
959 you need to use the name-to-number map, which is described by these three
960 values.
961 .P
962 The map consists of a number of fixed-size entries. PCRE_INFO_NAMECOUNT gives
963 the number of entries, and PCRE_INFO_NAMEENTRYSIZE gives the size of each
964 entry; both of these return an \fBint\fP value. The entry size depends on the
965 length of the longest name. PCRE_INFO_NAMETABLE returns a pointer to the first
966 entry of the table (a pointer to \fBchar\fP). The first two bytes of each entry
967 are the number of the capturing parenthesis, most significant byte first. The
968 rest of the entry is the corresponding name, zero terminated. The names are in
969 alphabetical order. When PCRE_DUPNAMES is set, duplicate names are in order of
970 their parentheses numbers. For example, consider the following pattern (assume
971 PCRE_EXTENDED is set, so white space - including newlines - is ignored):
972 .sp
973 .\" JOIN
974 (?<date> (?<year>(\ed\ed)?\ed\ed) -
975 (?<month>\ed\ed) - (?<day>\ed\ed) )
976 .sp
977 There are four named subpatterns, so the table has four entries, and each entry
978 in the table is eight bytes long. The table is as follows, with non-printing
979 bytes shows in hexadecimal, and undefined bytes shown as ??:
980 .sp
981 00 01 d a t e 00 ??
982 00 05 d a y 00 ?? ??
983 00 04 m o n t h 00
984 00 02 y e a r 00 ??
985 .sp
986 When writing code to extract data from named subpatterns using the
987 name-to-number map, remember that the length of the entries is likely to be
988 different for each compiled pattern.
989 .sp
990 PCRE_INFO_OKPARTIAL
991 .sp
992 Return 1 if the pattern can be used for partial matching, otherwise 0. The
993 fourth argument should point to an \fBint\fP variable. The
994 .\" HREF
995 \fBpcrepartial\fP
996 .\"
997 documentation lists the restrictions that apply to patterns when partial
998 matching is used.
999 .sp
1000 PCRE_INFO_OPTIONS
1001 .sp
1002 Return a copy of the options with which the pattern was compiled. The fourth
1003 argument should point to an \fBunsigned long int\fP variable. These option bits
1004 are those specified in the call to \fBpcre_compile()\fP, modified by any
1005 top-level option settings at the start of the pattern itself. In other words,
1006 they are the options that will be in force when matching starts. For example,
1007 if the pattern /(?im)abc(?-i)d/ is compiled with the PCRE_EXTENDED option, the
1008 result is PCRE_CASELESS, PCRE_MULTILINE, and PCRE_EXTENDED.
1009 .P
1010 A pattern is automatically anchored by PCRE if all of its top-level
1011 alternatives begin with one of the following:
1012 .sp
1013 ^ unless PCRE_MULTILINE is set
1014 \eA always
1015 \eG always
1016 .\" JOIN
1017 .* if PCRE_DOTALL is set and there are no back
1018 references to the subpattern in which .* appears
1019 .sp
1020 For such patterns, the PCRE_ANCHORED bit is set in the options returned by
1021 \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP.
1022 .sp
1023 PCRE_INFO_SIZE
1024 .sp
1025 Return the size of the compiled pattern, that is, the value that was passed as
1026 the argument to \fBpcre_malloc()\fP when PCRE was getting memory in which to
1027 place the compiled data. The fourth argument should point to a \fBsize_t\fP
1028 variable.
1029 .sp
1030 PCRE_INFO_STUDYSIZE
1031 .sp
1032 Return the size of the data block pointed to by the \fIstudy_data\fP field in
1033 a \fBpcre_extra\fP block. That is, it is the value that was passed to
1034 \fBpcre_malloc()\fP when PCRE was getting memory into which to place the data
1035 created by \fBpcre_study()\fP. The fourth argument should point to a
1036 \fBsize_t\fP variable.
1037 .
1038 .
1039 .SH "OBSOLETE INFO FUNCTION"
1040 .rs
1041 .sp
1042 .B int pcre_info(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, int *\fIoptptr\fP, int
1043 .B *\fIfirstcharptr\fP);
1044 .PP
1045 The \fBpcre_info()\fP function is now obsolete because its interface is too
1046 restrictive to return all the available data about a compiled pattern. New
1047 programs should use \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP instead. The yield of
1048 \fBpcre_info()\fP is the number of capturing subpatterns, or one of the
1049 following negative numbers:
1050 .sp
1051 PCRE_ERROR_NULL the argument \fIcode\fP was NULL
1052 PCRE_ERROR_BADMAGIC the "magic number" was not found
1053 .sp
1054 If the \fIoptptr\fP argument is not NULL, a copy of the options with which the
1055 pattern was compiled is placed in the integer it points to (see
1056 PCRE_INFO_OPTIONS above).
1057 .P
1058 If the pattern is not anchored and the \fIfirstcharptr\fP argument is not NULL,
1059 it is used to pass back information about the first character of any matched
1060 string (see PCRE_INFO_FIRSTBYTE above).
1061 .
1062 .
1063 .SH "REFERENCE COUNTS"
1064 .rs
1065 .sp
1066 .B int pcre_refcount(pcre *\fIcode\fP, int \fIadjust\fP);
1067 .PP
1068 The \fBpcre_refcount()\fP function is used to maintain a reference count in the
1069 data block that contains a compiled pattern. It is provided for the benefit of
1070 applications that operate in an object-oriented manner, where different parts
1071 of the application may be using the same compiled pattern, but you want to free
1072 the block when they are all done.
1073 .P
1074 When a pattern is compiled, the reference count field is initialized to zero.
1075 It is changed only by calling this function, whose action is to add the
1076 \fIadjust\fP value (which may be positive or negative) to it. The yield of the
1077 function is the new value. However, the value of the count is constrained to
1078 lie between 0 and 65535, inclusive. If the new value is outside these limits,
1079 it is forced to the appropriate limit value.
1080 .P
1081 Except when it is zero, the reference count is not correctly preserved if a
1082 pattern is compiled on one host and then transferred to a host whose byte-order
1083 is different. (This seems a highly unlikely scenario.)
1084 .
1085 .
1086 .SH "MATCHING A PATTERN: THE TRADITIONAL FUNCTION"
1087 .rs
1088 .sp
1089 .B int pcre_exec(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
1090 .ti +5n
1091 .B "const char *\fIsubject\fP," int \fIlength\fP, int \fIstartoffset\fP,
1092 .ti +5n
1093 .B int \fIoptions\fP, int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIovecsize\fP);
1094 .P
1095 The function \fBpcre_exec()\fP is called to match a subject string against a
1096 compiled pattern, which is passed in the \fIcode\fP argument. If the
1097 pattern has been studied, the result of the study should be passed in the
1098 \fIextra\fP argument. This function is the main matching facility of the
1099 library, and it operates in a Perl-like manner. For specialist use there is
1100 also an alternative matching function, which is described
1101 .\" HTML <a href="#dfamatch">
1102 .\" </a>
1103 below
1104 .\"
1105 in the section about the \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP function.
1106 .P
1107 In most applications, the pattern will have been compiled (and optionally
1108 studied) in the same process that calls \fBpcre_exec()\fP. However, it is
1109 possible to save compiled patterns and study data, and then use them later
1110 in different processes, possibly even on different hosts. For a discussion
1111 about this, see the
1112 .\" HREF
1113 \fBpcreprecompile\fP
1114 .\"
1115 documentation.
1116 .P
1117 Here is an example of a simple call to \fBpcre_exec()\fP:
1118 .sp
1119 int rc;
1120 int ovector[30];
1121 rc = pcre_exec(
1122 re, /* result of pcre_compile() */
1123 NULL, /* we didn't study the pattern */
1124 "some string", /* the subject string */
1125 11, /* the length of the subject string */
1126 0, /* start at offset 0 in the subject */
1127 0, /* default options */
1128 ovector, /* vector of integers for substring information */
1129 30); /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */
1130 .
1131 .\" HTML <a name="extradata"></a>
1132 .SS "Extra data for \fBpcre_exec()\fR"
1133 .rs
1134 .sp
1135 If the \fIextra\fP argument is not NULL, it must point to a \fBpcre_extra\fP
1136 data block. The \fBpcre_study()\fP function returns such a block (when it
1137 doesn't return NULL), but you can also create one for yourself, and pass
1138 additional information in it. The \fBpcre_extra\fP block contains the following
1139 fields (not necessarily in this order):
1140 .sp
1141 unsigned long int \fIflags\fP;
1142 void *\fIstudy_data\fP;
1143 unsigned long int \fImatch_limit\fP;
1144 unsigned long int \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP;
1145 void *\fIcallout_data\fP;
1146 const unsigned char *\fItables\fP;
1147 .sp
1148 The \fIflags\fP field is a bitmap that specifies which of the other fields
1149 are set. The flag bits are:
1150 .sp
1151 PCRE_EXTRA_STUDY_DATA
1152 PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT
1153 PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION
1154 PCRE_EXTRA_CALLOUT_DATA
1155 PCRE_EXTRA_TABLES
1156 .sp
1157 Other flag bits should be set to zero. The \fIstudy_data\fP field is set in the
1158 \fBpcre_extra\fP block that is returned by \fBpcre_study()\fP, together with
1159 the appropriate flag bit. You should not set this yourself, but you may add to
1160 the block by setting the other fields and their corresponding flag bits.
1161 .P
1162 The \fImatch_limit\fP field provides a means of preventing PCRE from using up a
1163 vast amount of resources when running patterns that are not going to match,
1164 but which have a very large number of possibilities in their search trees. The
1165 classic example is the use of nested unlimited repeats.
1166 .P
1167 Internally, PCRE uses a function called \fBmatch()\fP which it calls repeatedly
1168 (sometimes recursively). The limit set by \fImatch_limit\fP is imposed on the
1169 number of times this function is called during a match, which has the effect of
1170 limiting the amount of backtracking that can take place. For patterns that are
1171 not anchored, the count restarts from zero for each position in the subject
1172 string.
1173 .P
1174 The default value for the limit can be set when PCRE is built; the default
1175 default is 10 million, which handles all but the most extreme cases. You can
1176 override the default by suppling \fBpcre_exec()\fP with a \fBpcre_extra\fP
1177 block in which \fImatch_limit\fP is set, and PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT is set in
1178 the \fIflags\fP field. If the limit is exceeded, \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns
1179 PCRE_ERROR_MATCHLIMIT.
1180 .P
1181 The \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP field is similar to \fImatch_limit\fP, but
1182 instead of limiting the total number of times that \fBmatch()\fP is called, it
1183 limits the depth of recursion. The recursion depth is a smaller number than the
1184 total number of calls, because not all calls to \fBmatch()\fP are recursive.
1185 This limit is of use only if it is set smaller than \fImatch_limit\fP.
1186 .P
1187 Limiting the recursion depth limits the amount of stack that can be used, or,
1188 when PCRE has been compiled to use memory on the heap instead of the stack, the
1189 amount of heap memory that can be used.
1190 .P
1191 The default value for \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP can be set when PCRE is
1192 built; the default default is the same value as the default for
1193 \fImatch_limit\fP. You can override the default by suppling \fBpcre_exec()\fP
1194 with a \fBpcre_extra\fP block in which \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP is set, and
1195 PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION is set in the \fIflags\fP field. If the limit
1196 is exceeded, \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns PCRE_ERROR_RECURSIONLIMIT.
1197 .P
1198 The \fIpcre_callout\fP field is used in conjunction with the "callout" feature,
1199 which is described in the
1200 .\" HREF
1201 \fBpcrecallout\fP
1202 .\"
1203 documentation.
1204 .P
1205 The \fItables\fP field is used to pass a character tables pointer to
1206 \fBpcre_exec()\fP; this overrides the value that is stored with the compiled
1207 pattern. A non-NULL value is stored with the compiled pattern only if custom
1208 tables were supplied to \fBpcre_compile()\fP via its \fItableptr\fP argument.
1209 If NULL is passed to \fBpcre_exec()\fP using this mechanism, it forces PCRE's
1210 internal tables to be used. This facility is helpful when re-using patterns
1211 that have been saved after compiling with an external set of tables, because
1212 the external tables might be at a different address when \fBpcre_exec()\fP is
1213 called. See the
1214 .\" HREF
1215 \fBpcreprecompile\fP
1216 .\"
1217 documentation for a discussion of saving compiled patterns for later use.
1218 .
1219 .\" HTML <a name="execoptions"></a>
1220 .SS "Option bits for \fBpcre_exec()\fP"
1221 .rs
1222 .sp
1223 The unused bits of the \fIoptions\fP argument for \fBpcre_exec()\fP must be
1224 zero. The only bits that may be set are PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_NEWLINE_\fIxxx\fP,
1225 PCRE_NOTBOL, PCRE_NOTEOL, PCRE_NOTEMPTY, PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK and PCRE_PARTIAL.
1226 .sp
1227 PCRE_ANCHORED
1228 .sp
1229 The PCRE_ANCHORED option limits \fBpcre_exec()\fP to matching at the first
1230 matching position. If a pattern was compiled with PCRE_ANCHORED, or turned out
1231 to be anchored by virtue of its contents, it cannot be made unachored at
1232 matching time.
1233 .sp
1234 PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
1235 PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
1236 .sp
1237 These options (which are mutually exclusive) control what the \eR escape
1238 sequence matches. The choice is either to match only CR, LF, or CRLF, or to
1239 match any Unicode newline sequence. These options override the choice that was
1240 made or defaulted when the pattern was compiled.
1241 .sp
1242 PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
1243 PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
1244 PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
1245 PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
1246 PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
1247 .sp
1248 These options override the newline definition that was chosen or defaulted when
1249 the pattern was compiled. For details, see the description of
1250 \fBpcre_compile()\fP above. During matching, the newline choice affects the
1251 behaviour of the dot, circumflex, and dollar metacharacters. It may also alter
1252 the way the match position is advanced after a match failure for an unanchored
1253 pattern.
1254 .P
1255 When PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF, PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF, or PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY is set, and a
1256 match attempt for an unanchored pattern fails when the current position is at a
1257 CRLF sequence, and the pattern contains no explicit matches for CR or LF
1258 characters, the match position is advanced by two characters instead of one, in
1259 other words, to after the CRLF.
1260 .P
1261 The above rule is a compromise that makes the most common cases work as
1262 expected. For example, if the pattern is .+A (and the PCRE_DOTALL option is not
1263 set), it does not match the string "\er\enA" because, after failing at the
1264 start, it skips both the CR and the LF before retrying. However, the pattern
1265 [\er\en]A does match that string, because it contains an explicit CR or LF
1266 reference, and so advances only by one character after the first failure.
1267 .P
1268 An explicit match for CR of LF is either a literal appearance of one of those
1269 characters, or one of the \er or \en escape sequences. Implicit matches such as
1270 [^X] do not count, nor does \es (which includes CR and LF in the characters
1271 that it matches).
1272 .P
1273 Notwithstanding the above, anomalous effects may still occur when CRLF is a
1274 valid newline sequence and explicit \er or \en escapes appear in the pattern.
1275 .sp
1276 PCRE_NOTBOL
1277 .sp
1278 This option specifies that first character of the subject string is not the
1279 beginning of a line, so the circumflex metacharacter should not match before
1280 it. Setting this without PCRE_MULTILINE (at compile time) causes circumflex
1281 never to match. This option affects only the behaviour of the circumflex
1282 metacharacter. It does not affect \eA.
1283 .sp
1284 PCRE_NOTEOL
1285 .sp
1286 This option specifies that the end of the subject string is not the end of a
1287 line, so the dollar metacharacter should not match it nor (except in multiline
1288 mode) a newline immediately before it. Setting this without PCRE_MULTILINE (at
1289 compile time) causes dollar never to match. This option affects only the
1290 behaviour of the dollar metacharacter. It does not affect \eZ or \ez.
1291 .sp
1292 PCRE_NOTEMPTY
1293 .sp
1294 An empty string is not considered to be a valid match if this option is set. If
1295 there are alternatives in the pattern, they are tried. If all the alternatives
1296 match the empty string, the entire match fails. For example, if the pattern
1297 .sp
1298 a?b?
1299 .sp
1300 is applied to a string not beginning with "a" or "b", it matches the empty
1301 string at the start of the subject. With PCRE_NOTEMPTY set, this match is not
1302 valid, so PCRE searches further into the string for occurrences of "a" or "b".
1303 .P
1304 Perl has no direct equivalent of PCRE_NOTEMPTY, but it does make a special case
1305 of a pattern match of the empty string within its \fBsplit()\fP function, and
1306 when using the /g modifier. It is possible to emulate Perl's behaviour after
1307 matching a null string by first trying the match again at the same offset with
1308 PCRE_NOTEMPTY and PCRE_ANCHORED, and then if that fails by advancing the
1309 starting offset (see below) and trying an ordinary match again. There is some
1310 code that demonstrates how to do this in the \fIpcredemo.c\fP sample program.
1311 .sp
1312 PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK
1313 .sp
1314 When PCRE_UTF8 is set at compile time, the validity of the subject as a UTF-8
1315 string is automatically checked when \fBpcre_exec()\fP is subsequently called.
1316 The value of \fIstartoffset\fP is also checked to ensure that it points to the
1317 start of a UTF-8 character. There is a discussion about the validity of UTF-8
1318 strings in the
1319 .\" HTML <a href="pcre.html#utf8strings">
1320 .\" </a>
1321 section on UTF-8 support
1322 .\"
1323 in the main
1324 .\" HREF
1325 \fBpcre\fP
1326 .\"
1327 page. If an invalid UTF-8 sequence of bytes is found, \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns
1328 the error PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8. If \fIstartoffset\fP contains an invalid value,
1329 PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET is returned.
1330 .P
1331 If you already know that your subject is valid, and you want to skip these
1332 checks for performance reasons, you can set the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option when
1333 calling \fBpcre_exec()\fP. You might want to do this for the second and
1334 subsequent calls to \fBpcre_exec()\fP if you are making repeated calls to find
1335 all the matches in a single subject string. However, you should be sure that
1336 the value of \fIstartoffset\fP points to the start of a UTF-8 character. When
1337 PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK is set, the effect of passing an invalid UTF-8 string as a
1338 subject, or a value of \fIstartoffset\fP that does not point to the start of a
1339 UTF-8 character, is undefined. Your program may crash.
1340 .sp
1341 PCRE_PARTIAL
1342 .sp
1343 This option turns on the partial matching feature. If the subject string fails
1344 to match the pattern, but at some point during the matching process the end of
1345 the subject was reached (that is, the subject partially matches the pattern and
1346 the failure to match occurred only because there were not enough subject
1347 characters), \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL instead of
1348 PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH. When PCRE_PARTIAL is used, there are restrictions on what
1349 may appear in the pattern. These are discussed in the
1350 .\" HREF
1351 \fBpcrepartial\fP
1352 .\"
1353 documentation.
1354 .
1355 .SS "The string to be matched by \fBpcre_exec()\fP"
1356 .rs
1357 .sp
1358 The subject string is passed to \fBpcre_exec()\fP as a pointer in
1359 \fIsubject\fP, a length in \fIlength\fP, and a starting byte offset in
1360 \fIstartoffset\fP. In UTF-8 mode, the byte offset must point to the start of a
1361 UTF-8 character. Unlike the pattern string, the subject may contain binary zero
1362 bytes. When the starting offset is zero, the search for a match starts at the
1363 beginning of the subject, and this is by far the most common case.
1364 .P
1365 A non-zero starting offset is useful when searching for another match in the
1366 same subject by calling \fBpcre_exec()\fP again after a previous success.
1367 Setting \fIstartoffset\fP differs from just passing over a shortened string and
1368 setting PCRE_NOTBOL in the case of a pattern that begins with any kind of
1369 lookbehind. For example, consider the pattern
1370 .sp
1371 \eBiss\eB
1372 .sp
1373 which finds occurrences of "iss" in the middle of words. (\eB matches only if
1374 the current position in the subject is not a word boundary.) When applied to
1375 the string "Mississipi" the first call to \fBpcre_exec()\fP finds the first
1376 occurrence. If \fBpcre_exec()\fP is called again with just the remainder of the
1377 subject, namely "issipi", it does not match, because \eB is always false at the
1378 start of the subject, which is deemed to be a word boundary. However, if
1379 \fBpcre_exec()\fP is passed the entire string again, but with \fIstartoffset\fP
1380 set to 4, it finds the second occurrence of "iss" because it is able to look
1381 behind the starting point to discover that it is preceded by a letter.
1382 .P
1383 If a non-zero starting offset is passed when the pattern is anchored, one
1384 attempt to match at the given offset is made. This can only succeed if the
1385 pattern does not require the match to be at the start of the subject.
1386 .
1387 .SS "How \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns captured substrings"
1388 .rs
1389 .sp
1390 In general, a pattern matches a certain portion of the subject, and in
1391 addition, further substrings from the subject may be picked out by parts of the
1392 pattern. Following the usage in Jeffrey Friedl's book, this is called
1393 "capturing" in what follows, and the phrase "capturing subpattern" is used for
1394 a fragment of a pattern that picks out a substring. PCRE supports several other
1395 kinds of parenthesized subpattern that do not cause substrings to be captured.
1396 .P
1397 Captured substrings are returned to the caller via a vector of integer offsets
1398 whose address is passed in \fIovector\fP. The number of elements in the vector
1399 is passed in \fIovecsize\fP, which must be a non-negative number. \fBNote\fP:
1400 this argument is NOT the size of \fIovector\fP in bytes.
1401 .P
1402 The first two-thirds of the vector is used to pass back captured substrings,
1403 each substring using a pair of integers. The remaining third of the vector is
1404 used as workspace by \fBpcre_exec()\fP while matching capturing subpatterns,
1405 and is not available for passing back information. The length passed in
1406 \fIovecsize\fP should always be a multiple of three. If it is not, it is
1407 rounded down.
1408 .P
1409 When a match is successful, information about captured substrings is returned
1410 in pairs of integers, starting at the beginning of \fIovector\fP, and
1411 continuing up to two-thirds of its length at the most. The first element of a
1412 pair is set to the offset of the first character in a substring, and the second
1413 is set to the offset of the first character after the end of a substring. The
1414 first pair, \fIovector[0]\fP and \fIovector[1]\fP, identify the portion of the
1415 subject string matched by the entire pattern. The next pair is used for the
1416 first capturing subpattern, and so on. The value returned by \fBpcre_exec()\fP
1417 is one more than the highest numbered pair that has been set. For example, if
1418 two substrings have been captured, the returned value is 3. If there are no
1419 capturing subpatterns, the return value from a successful match is 1,
1420 indicating that just the first pair of offsets has been set.
1421 .P
1422 If a capturing subpattern is matched repeatedly, it is the last portion of the
1423 string that it matched that is returned.
1424 .P
1425 If the vector is too small to hold all the captured substring offsets, it is
1426 used as far as possible (up to two-thirds of its length), and the function
1427 returns a value of zero. In particular, if the substring offsets are not of
1428 interest, \fBpcre_exec()\fP may be called with \fIovector\fP passed as NULL and
1429 \fIovecsize\fP as zero. However, if the pattern contains back references and
1430 the \fIovector\fP is not big enough to remember the related substrings, PCRE
1431 has to get additional memory for use during matching. Thus it is usually
1432 advisable to supply an \fIovector\fP.
1433 .P
1434 The \fBpcre_info()\fP function can be used to find out how many capturing
1435 subpatterns there are in a compiled pattern. The smallest size for
1436 \fIovector\fP that will allow for \fIn\fP captured substrings, in addition to
1437 the offsets of the substring matched by the whole pattern, is (\fIn\fP+1)*3.
1438 .P
1439 It is possible for capturing subpattern number \fIn+1\fP to match some part of
1440 the subject when subpattern \fIn\fP has not been used at all. For example, if
1441 the string "abc" is matched against the pattern (a|(z))(bc) the return from the
1442 function is 4, and subpatterns 1 and 3 are matched, but 2 is not. When this
1443 happens, both values in the offset pairs corresponding to unused subpatterns
1444 are set to -1.
1445 .P
1446 Offset values that correspond to unused subpatterns at the end of the
1447 expression are also set to -1. For example, if the string "abc" is matched
1448 against the pattern (abc)(x(yz)?)? subpatterns 2 and 3 are not matched. The
1449 return from the function is 2, because the highest used capturing subpattern
1450 number is 1. However, you can refer to the offsets for the second and third
1451 capturing subpatterns if you wish (assuming the vector is large enough, of
1452 course).
1453 .P
1454 Some convenience functions are provided for extracting the captured substrings
1455 as separate strings. These are described below.
1456 .
1457 .\" HTML <a name="errorlist"></a>
1458 .SS "Error return values from \fBpcre_exec()\fP"
1459 .rs
1460 .sp
1461 If \fBpcre_exec()\fP fails, it returns a negative number. The following are
1462 defined in the header file:
1463 .sp
1464 PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH (-1)
1465 .sp
1466 The subject string did not match the pattern.
1467 .sp
1468 PCRE_ERROR_NULL (-2)
1469 .sp
1470 Either \fIcode\fP or \fIsubject\fP was passed as NULL, or \fIovector\fP was
1471 NULL and \fIovecsize\fP was not zero.
1472 .sp
1473 PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION (-3)
1474 .sp
1475 An unrecognized bit was set in the \fIoptions\fP argument.
1476 .sp
1477 PCRE_ERROR_BADMAGIC (-4)
1478 .sp
1479 PCRE stores a 4-byte "magic number" at the start of the compiled code, to catch
1480 the case when it is passed a junk pointer and to detect when a pattern that was
1481 compiled in an environment of one endianness is run in an environment with the
1482 other endianness. This is the error that PCRE gives when the magic number is
1483 not present.
1484 .sp
1485 PCRE_ERROR_UNKNOWN_OPCODE (-5)
1486 .sp
1487 While running the pattern match, an unknown item was encountered in the
1488 compiled pattern. This error could be caused by a bug in PCRE or by overwriting
1489 of the compiled pattern.
1490 .sp
1491 PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY (-6)
1492 .sp
1493 If a pattern contains back references, but the \fIovector\fP that is passed to
1494 \fBpcre_exec()\fP is not big enough to remember the referenced substrings, PCRE
1495 gets a block of memory at the start of matching to use for this purpose. If the
1496 call via \fBpcre_malloc()\fP fails, this error is given. The memory is
1497 automatically freed at the end of matching.
1498 .sp
1499 PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7)
1500 .sp
1501 This error is used by the \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP,
1502 \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP, and \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP functions (see
1503 below). It is never returned by \fBpcre_exec()\fP.
1504 .sp
1505 PCRE_ERROR_MATCHLIMIT (-8)
1506 .sp
1507 The backtracking limit, as specified by the \fImatch_limit\fP field in a
1508 \fBpcre_extra\fP structure (or defaulted) was reached. See the description
1509 above.
1510 .sp
1511 PCRE_ERROR_CALLOUT (-9)
1512 .sp
1513 This error is never generated by \fBpcre_exec()\fP itself. It is provided for
1514 use by callout functions that want to yield a distinctive error code. See the
1515 .\" HREF
1516 \fBpcrecallout\fP
1517 .\"
1518 documentation for details.
1519 .sp
1520 PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8 (-10)
1521 .sp
1522 A string that contains an invalid UTF-8 byte sequence was passed as a subject.
1523 .sp
1524 PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET (-11)
1525 .sp
1526 The UTF-8 byte sequence that was passed as a subject was valid, but the value
1527 of \fIstartoffset\fP did not point to the beginning of a UTF-8 character.
1528 .sp
1529 PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL (-12)
1530 .sp
1531 The subject string did not match, but it did match partially. See the
1532 .\" HREF
1533 \fBpcrepartial\fP
1534 .\"
1535 documentation for details of partial matching.
1536 .sp
1537 PCRE_ERROR_BADPARTIAL (-13)
1538 .sp
1539 The PCRE_PARTIAL option was used with a compiled pattern containing items that
1540 are not supported for partial matching. See the
1541 .\" HREF
1542 \fBpcrepartial\fP
1543 .\"
1544 documentation for details of partial matching.
1545 .sp
1546 PCRE_ERROR_INTERNAL (-14)
1547 .sp
1548 An unexpected internal error has occurred. This error could be caused by a bug
1549 in PCRE or by overwriting of the compiled pattern.
1550 .sp
1551 PCRE_ERROR_BADCOUNT (-15)
1552 .sp
1553 This error is given if the value of the \fIovecsize\fP argument is negative.
1554 .sp
1555 PCRE_ERROR_RECURSIONLIMIT (-21)
1556 .sp
1557 The internal recursion limit, as specified by the \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP
1558 field in a \fBpcre_extra\fP structure (or defaulted) was reached. See the
1559 description above.
1560 .sp
1561 PCRE_ERROR_BADNEWLINE (-23)
1562 .sp
1563 An invalid combination of PCRE_NEWLINE_\fIxxx\fP options was given.
1564 .P
1565 Error numbers -16 to -20 and -22 are not used by \fBpcre_exec()\fP.
1566 .
1567 .
1568 .SH "EXTRACTING CAPTURED SUBSTRINGS BY NUMBER"
1569 .rs
1570 .sp
1571 .B int pcre_copy_substring(const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
1572 .ti +5n
1573 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, int \fIstringnumber\fP, char *\fIbuffer\fP,
1574 .ti +5n
1575 .B int \fIbuffersize\fP);
1576 .PP
1577 .B int pcre_get_substring(const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
1578 .ti +5n
1579 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, int \fIstringnumber\fP,
1580 .ti +5n
1581 .B const char **\fIstringptr\fP);
1582 .PP
1583 .B int pcre_get_substring_list(const char *\fIsubject\fP,
1584 .ti +5n
1585 .B int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIstringcount\fP, "const char ***\fIlistptr\fP);"
1586 .PP
1587 Captured substrings can be accessed directly by using the offsets returned by
1588 \fBpcre_exec()\fP in \fIovector\fP. For convenience, the functions
1589 \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP, \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP, and
1590 \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP are provided for extracting captured substrings
1591 as new, separate, zero-terminated strings. These functions identify substrings
1592 by number. The next section describes functions for extracting named
1593 substrings.
1594 .P
1595 A substring that contains a binary zero is correctly extracted and has a
1596 further zero added on the end, but the result is not, of course, a C string.
1597 However, you can process such a string by referring to the length that is
1598 returned by \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP and \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP.
1599 Unfortunately, the interface to \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP is not adequate
1600 for handling strings containing binary zeros, because the end of the final
1601 string is not independently indicated.
1602 .P
1603 The first three arguments are the same for all three of these functions:
1604 \fIsubject\fP is the subject string that has just been successfully matched,
1605 \fIovector\fP is a pointer to the vector of integer offsets that was passed to
1606 \fBpcre_exec()\fP, and \fIstringcount\fP is the number of substrings that were
1607 captured by the match, including the substring that matched the entire regular
1608 expression. This is the value returned by \fBpcre_exec()\fP if it is greater
1609 than zero. If \fBpcre_exec()\fP returned zero, indicating that it ran out of
1610 space in \fIovector\fP, the value passed as \fIstringcount\fP should be the
1611 number of elements in the vector divided by three.
1612 .P
1613 The functions \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP and \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP
1614 extract a single substring, whose number is given as \fIstringnumber\fP. A
1615 value of zero extracts the substring that matched the entire pattern, whereas
1616 higher values extract the captured substrings. For \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP,
1617 the string is placed in \fIbuffer\fP, whose length is given by
1618 \fIbuffersize\fP, while for \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP a new block of memory is
1619 obtained via \fBpcre_malloc\fP, and its address is returned via
1620 \fIstringptr\fP. The yield of the function is the length of the string, not
1621 including the terminating zero, or one of these error codes:
1622 .sp
1623 PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY (-6)
1624 .sp
1625 The buffer was too small for \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP, or the attempt to get
1626 memory failed for \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP.
1627 .sp
1628 PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7)
1629 .sp
1630 There is no substring whose number is \fIstringnumber\fP.
1631 .P
1632 The \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP function extracts all available substrings
1633 and builds a list of pointers to them. All this is done in a single block of
1634 memory that is obtained via \fBpcre_malloc\fP. The address of the memory block
1635 is returned via \fIlistptr\fP, which is also the start of the list of string
1636 pointers. The end of the list is marked by a NULL pointer. The yield of the
1637 function is zero if all went well, or the error code
1638 .sp
1639 PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY (-6)
1640 .sp
1641 if the attempt to get the memory block failed.
1642 .P
1643 When any of these functions encounter a substring that is unset, which can
1644 happen when capturing subpattern number \fIn+1\fP matches some part of the
1645 subject, but subpattern \fIn\fP has not been used at all, they return an empty
1646 string. This can be distinguished from a genuine zero-length substring by
1647 inspecting the appropriate offset in \fIovector\fP, which is negative for unset
1648 substrings.
1649 .P
1650 The two convenience functions \fBpcre_free_substring()\fP and
1651 \fBpcre_free_substring_list()\fP can be used to free the memory returned by
1652 a previous call of \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP or
1653 \fBpcre_get_substring_list()\fP, respectively. They do nothing more than call
1654 the function pointed to by \fBpcre_free\fP, which of course could be called
1655 directly from a C program. However, PCRE is used in some situations where it is
1656 linked via a special interface to another programming language that cannot use
1657 \fBpcre_free\fP directly; it is for these cases that the functions are
1658 provided.
1659 .
1660 .
1661 .SH "EXTRACTING CAPTURED SUBSTRINGS BY NAME"
1662 .rs
1663 .sp
1664 .B int pcre_get_stringnumber(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
1665 .ti +5n
1666 .B const char *\fIname\fP);
1667 .PP
1668 .B int pcre_copy_named_substring(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
1669 .ti +5n
1670 .B const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
1671 .ti +5n
1672 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, const char *\fIstringname\fP,
1673 .ti +5n
1674 .B char *\fIbuffer\fP, int \fIbuffersize\fP);
1675 .PP
1676 .B int pcre_get_named_substring(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
1677 .ti +5n
1678 .B const char *\fIsubject\fP, int *\fIovector\fP,
1679 .ti +5n
1680 .B int \fIstringcount\fP, const char *\fIstringname\fP,
1681 .ti +5n
1682 .B const char **\fIstringptr\fP);
1683 .PP
1684 To extract a substring by name, you first have to find associated number.
1685 For example, for this pattern
1686 .sp
1687 (a+)b(?<xxx>\ed+)...
1688 .sp
1689 the number of the subpattern called "xxx" is 2. If the name is known to be
1690 unique (PCRE_DUPNAMES was not set), you can find the number from the name by
1691 calling \fBpcre_get_stringnumber()\fP. The first argument is the compiled
1692 pattern, and the second is the name. The yield of the function is the
1693 subpattern number, or PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7) if there is no subpattern of
1694 that name.
1695 .P
1696 Given the number, you can extract the substring directly, or use one of the
1697 functions described in the previous section. For convenience, there are also
1698 two functions that do the whole job.
1699 .P
1700 Most of the arguments of \fBpcre_copy_named_substring()\fP and
1701 \fBpcre_get_named_substring()\fP are the same as those for the similarly named
1702 functions that extract by number. As these are described in the previous
1703 section, they are not re-described here. There are just two differences:
1704 .P
1705 First, instead of a substring number, a substring name is given. Second, there
1706 is an extra argument, given at the start, which is a pointer to the compiled
1707 pattern. This is needed in order to gain access to the name-to-number
1708 translation table.
1709 .P
1710 These functions call \fBpcre_get_stringnumber()\fP, and if it succeeds, they
1711 then call \fBpcre_copy_substring()\fP or \fBpcre_get_substring()\fP, as
1712 appropriate. \fBNOTE:\fP If PCRE_DUPNAMES is set and there are duplicate names,
1713 the behaviour may not be what you want (see the next section).
1714 .
1715 .
1716 .SH "DUPLICATE SUBPATTERN NAMES"
1717 .rs
1718 .sp
1719 .B int pcre_get_stringtable_entries(const pcre *\fIcode\fP,
1720 .ti +5n
1721 .B const char *\fIname\fP, char **\fIfirst\fP, char **\fIlast\fP);
1722 .PP
1723 When a pattern is compiled with the PCRE_DUPNAMES option, names for subpatterns
1724 are not required to be unique. Normally, patterns with duplicate names are such
1725 that in any one match, only one of the named subpatterns participates. An
1726 example is shown in the
1727 .\" HREF
1728 \fBpcrepattern\fP
1729 .\"
1730 documentation.
1731 .P
1732 When duplicates are present, \fBpcre_copy_named_substring()\fP and
1733 \fBpcre_get_named_substring()\fP return the first substring corresponding to
1734 the given name that is set. If none are set, PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7) is
1735 returned; no data is returned. The \fBpcre_get_stringnumber()\fP function
1736 returns one of the numbers that are associated with the name, but it is not
1737 defined which it is.
1738 .P
1739 If you want to get full details of all captured substrings for a given name,
1740 you must use the \fBpcre_get_stringtable_entries()\fP function. The first
1741 argument is the compiled pattern, and the second is the name. The third and
1742 fourth are pointers to variables which are updated by the function. After it
1743 has run, they point to the first and last entries in the name-to-number table
1744 for the given name. The function itself returns the length of each entry, or
1745 PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7) if there are none. The format of the table is
1746 described above in the section entitled \fIInformation about a pattern\fP.
1747 Given all the relevant entries for the name, you can extract each of their
1748 numbers, and hence the captured data, if any.
1749 .
1750 .
1751 .SH "FINDING ALL POSSIBLE MATCHES"
1752 .rs
1753 .sp
1754 The traditional matching function uses a similar algorithm to Perl, which stops
1755 when it finds the first match, starting at a given point in the subject. If you
1756 want to find all possible matches, or the longest possible match, consider
1757 using the alternative matching function (see below) instead. If you cannot use
1758 the alternative function, but still need to find all possible matches, you
1759 can kludge it up by making use of the callout facility, which is described in
1760 the
1761 .\" HREF
1762 \fBpcrecallout\fP
1763 .\"
1764 documentation.
1765 .P
1766 What you have to do is to insert a callout right at the end of the pattern.
1767 When your callout function is called, extract and save the current matched
1768 substring. Then return 1, which forces \fBpcre_exec()\fP to backtrack and try
1769 other alternatives. Ultimately, when it runs out of matches, \fBpcre_exec()\fP
1770 will yield PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH.
1771 .
1772 .
1773 .\" HTML <a name="dfamatch"></a>
1774 .SH "MATCHING A PATTERN: THE ALTERNATIVE FUNCTION"
1775 .rs
1776 .sp
1777 .B int pcre_dfa_exec(const pcre *\fIcode\fP, "const pcre_extra *\fIextra\fP,"
1778 .ti +5n
1779 .B "const char *\fIsubject\fP," int \fIlength\fP, int \fIstartoffset\fP,
1780 .ti +5n
1781 .B int \fIoptions\fP, int *\fIovector\fP, int \fIovecsize\fP,
1782 .ti +5n
1783 .B int *\fIworkspace\fP, int \fIwscount\fP);
1784 .P
1785 The function \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP is called to match a subject string against
1786 a compiled pattern, using a matching algorithm that scans the subject string
1787 just once, and does not backtrack. This has different characteristics to the
1788 normal algorithm, and is not compatible with Perl. Some of the features of PCRE
1789 patterns are not supported. Nevertheless, there are times when this kind of
1790 matching can be useful. For a discussion of the two matching algorithms, see
1791 the
1792 .\" HREF
1793 \fBpcrematching\fP
1794 .\"
1795 documentation.
1796 .P
1797 The arguments for the \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP function are the same as for
1798 \fBpcre_exec()\fP, plus two extras. The \fIovector\fP argument is used in a
1799 different way, and this is described below. The other common arguments are used
1800 in the same way as for \fBpcre_exec()\fP, so their description is not repeated
1801 here.
1802 .P
1803 The two additional arguments provide workspace for the function. The workspace
1804 vector should contain at least 20 elements. It is used for keeping track of
1805 multiple paths through the pattern tree. More workspace will be needed for
1806 patterns and subjects where there are a lot of potential matches.
1807 .P
1808 Here is an example of a simple call to \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP:
1809 .sp
1810 int rc;
1811 int ovector[10];
1812 int wspace[20];
1813 rc = pcre_dfa_exec(
1814 re, /* result of pcre_compile() */
1815 NULL, /* we didn't study the pattern */
1816 "some string", /* the subject string */
1817 11, /* the length of the subject string */
1818 0, /* start at offset 0 in the subject */
1819 0, /* default options */
1820 ovector, /* vector of integers for substring information */
1821 10, /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */
1822 wspace, /* working space vector */
1823 20); /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */
1824 .
1825 .SS "Option bits for \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP"
1826 .rs
1827 .sp
1828 The unused bits of the \fIoptions\fP argument for \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP must be
1829 zero. The only bits that may be set are PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_NEWLINE_\fIxxx\fP,
1830 PCRE_NOTBOL, PCRE_NOTEOL, PCRE_NOTEMPTY, PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK, PCRE_PARTIAL,
1831 PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST, and PCRE_DFA_RESTART. All but the last three of these are
1832 the same as for \fBpcre_exec()\fP, so their description is not repeated here.
1833 .sp
1834 PCRE_PARTIAL
1835 .sp
1836 This has the same general effect as it does for \fBpcre_exec()\fP, but the
1837 details are slightly different. When PCRE_PARTIAL is set for
1838 \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, the return code PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH is converted into
1839 PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL if the end of the subject is reached, there have been no
1840 complete matches, but there is still at least one matching possibility. The
1841 portion of the string that provided the partial match is set as the first
1842 matching string.
1843 .sp
1844 PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST
1845 .sp
1846 Setting the PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST option causes the matching algorithm to stop as
1847 soon as it has found one match. Because of the way the alternative algorithm
1848 works, this is necessarily the shortest possible match at the first possible
1849 matching point in the subject string.
1850 .sp
1851 PCRE_DFA_RESTART
1852 .sp
1853 When \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP is called with the PCRE_PARTIAL option, and returns
1854 a partial match, it is possible to call it again, with additional subject
1855 characters, and have it continue with the same match. The PCRE_DFA_RESTART
1856 option requests this action; when it is set, the \fIworkspace\fP and
1857 \fIwscount\fP options must reference the same vector as before because data
1858 about the match so far is left in them after a partial match. There is more
1859 discussion of this facility in the
1860 .\" HREF
1861 \fBpcrepartial\fP
1862 .\"
1863 documentation.
1864 .
1865 .SS "Successful returns from \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP"
1866 .rs
1867 .sp
1868 When \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP succeeds, it may have matched more than one
1869 substring in the subject. Note, however, that all the matches from one run of
1870 the function start at the same point in the subject. The shorter matches are
1871 all initial substrings of the longer matches. For example, if the pattern
1872 .sp
1873 <.*>
1874 .sp
1875 is matched against the string
1876 .sp
1877 This is <something> <something else> <something further> no more
1878 .sp
1879 the three matched strings are
1880 .sp
1881 <something>
1882 <something> <something else>
1883 <something> <something else> <something further>
1884 .sp
1885 On success, the yield of the function is a number greater than zero, which is
1886 the number of matched substrings. The substrings themselves are returned in
1887 \fIovector\fP. Each string uses two elements; the first is the offset to the
1888 start, and the second is the offset to the end. In fact, all the strings have
1889 the same start offset. (Space could have been saved by giving this only once,
1890 but it was decided to retain some compatibility with the way \fBpcre_exec()\fP
1891 returns data, even though the meaning of the strings is different.)
1892 .P
1893 The strings are returned in reverse order of length; that is, the longest
1894 matching string is given first. If there were too many matches to fit into
1895 \fIovector\fP, the yield of the function is zero, and the vector is filled with
1896 the longest matches.
1897 .
1898 .SS "Error returns from \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP"
1899 .rs
1900 .sp
1901 The \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP function returns a negative number when it fails.
1902 Many of the errors are the same as for \fBpcre_exec()\fP, and these are
1903 described
1904 .\" HTML <a href="#errorlist">
1905 .\" </a>
1906 above.
1907 .\"
1908 There are in addition the following errors that are specific to
1909 \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP:
1910 .sp
1911 PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UITEM (-16)
1912 .sp
1913 This return is given if \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP encounters an item in the pattern
1914 that it does not support, for instance, the use of \eC or a back reference.
1915 .sp
1916 PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UCOND (-17)
1917 .sp
1918 This return is given if \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP encounters a condition item that
1919 uses a back reference for the condition, or a test for recursion in a specific
1920 group. These are not supported.
1921 .sp
1922 PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UMLIMIT (-18)
1923 .sp
1924 This return is given if \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP is called with an \fIextra\fP
1925 block that contains a setting of the \fImatch_limit\fP field. This is not
1926 supported (it is meaningless).
1927 .sp
1928 PCRE_ERROR_DFA_WSSIZE (-19)
1929 .sp
1930 This return is given if \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP runs out of space in the
1931 \fIworkspace\fP vector.
1932 .sp
1933 PCRE_ERROR_DFA_RECURSE (-20)
1934 .sp
1935 When a recursive subpattern is processed, the matching function calls itself
1936 recursively, using private vectors for \fIovector\fP and \fIworkspace\fP. This
1937 error is given if the output vector is not large enough. This should be
1938 extremely rare, as a vector of size 1000 is used.
1939 .
1940 .
1941 .SH "SEE ALSO"
1942 .rs
1943 .sp
1944 \fBpcrebuild\fP(3), \fBpcrecallout\fP(3), \fBpcrecpp(3)\fP(3),
1945 \fBpcrematching\fP(3), \fBpcrepartial\fP(3), \fBpcreposix\fP(3),
1946 \fBpcreprecompile\fP(3), \fBpcresample\fP(3), \fBpcrestack\fP(3).
1947 .
1948 .
1949 .SH AUTHOR
1950 .rs
1951 .sp
1952 .nf
1953 Philip Hazel
1954 University Computing Service
1955 Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
1956 .fi
1957 .
1958 .
1959 .SH REVISION
1960 .rs
1961 .sp
1962 .nf
1963 Last updated: 26 December 2007
1964 Copyright (c) 1997-2007 University of Cambridge.
1965 .fi

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