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1 nigel 53 .TH PCRETEST 1
2     .SH NAME
3     pcretest - a program for testing Perl-compatible regular expressions.
4     .SH SYNOPSIS
5 nigel 75 .rs
6     .sp
7 nigel 91 .B pcretest "[options] [source] [destination]"
8     .sp
9 nigel 75 \fBpcretest\fP was written as a test program for the PCRE regular expression
10 nigel 53 library itself, but it can also be used for experimenting with regular
11 nigel 63 expressions. This document describes the features of the test program; for
12     details of the regular expressions themselves, see the
13     .\" HREF
14 nigel 75 \fBpcrepattern\fP
15 nigel 63 .\"
16 nigel 75 documentation. For details of the PCRE library function calls and their
17     options, see the
18 nigel 63 .\" HREF
19 nigel 75 \fBpcreapi\fP
20 nigel 63 .\"
21     documentation.
22 nigel 75 .
23     .
24 nigel 53 .SH OPTIONS
25 nigel 63 .rs
26 nigel 53 .TP 10
27 nigel 93 \fB-b\fP
28     Behave as if each regex has the \fB/B\fP (show bytecode) modifier; the internal
29     form is output after compilation.
30     .TP 10
31 nigel 75 \fB-C\fP
32 nigel 63 Output the version number of the PCRE library, and all available information
33     about the optional features that are included, and then exit.
34     .TP 10
35 nigel 75 \fB-d\fP
36 nigel 77 Behave as if each regex has the \fB/D\fP (debug) modifier; the internal
37 nigel 93 form and information about the compiled pattern is output after compilation;
38     \fB-d\fP is equivalent to \fB-b -i\fP.
39 nigel 53 .TP 10
40 nigel 77 \fB-dfa\fP
41     Behave as if each data line contains the \eD escape sequence; this causes the
42     alternative matching function, \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, to be used instead of the
43     standard \fBpcre_exec()\fP function (more detail is given below).
44     .TP 10
45 nigel 93 \fB-help\fP
46     Output a brief summary these options and then exit.
47     .TP 10
48 nigel 75 \fB-i\fP
49 nigel 77 Behave as if each regex has the \fB/I\fP modifier; information about the
50 nigel 53 compiled pattern is given after compilation.
51     .TP 10
52 ph10 386 \fB-M\fP
53     Behave as if each data line contains the \eM escape sequence; this causes
54 ph10 392 PCRE to discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings by
55 ph10 386 calling \fBpcre_exec()\fP repeatedly with different limits.
56     .TP 10
57 nigel 75 \fB-m\fP
58 nigel 53 Output the size of each compiled pattern after it has been compiled. This is
59 nigel 75 equivalent to adding \fB/M\fP to each regular expression. For compatibility
60     with earlier versions of pcretest, \fB-s\fP is a synonym for \fB-m\fP.
61 nigel 53 .TP 10
62 nigel 75 \fB-o\fP \fIosize\fP
63     Set the number of elements in the output vector that is used when calling
64 nigel 93 \fBpcre_exec()\fP or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP to be \fIosize\fP. The default value
65     is 45, which is enough for 14 capturing subexpressions for \fBpcre_exec()\fP or
66     22 different matches for \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP. The vector size can be
67     changed for individual matching calls by including \eO in the data line (see
68     below).
69 nigel 53 .TP 10
70 nigel 75 \fB-p\fP
71 nigel 77 Behave as if each regex has the \fB/P\fP modifier; the POSIX wrapper API is
72     used to call PCRE. None of the other options has any effect when \fB-p\fP is
73     set.
74 nigel 53 .TP 10
75 nigel 91 \fB-q\fP
76 nigel 87 Do not output the version number of \fBpcretest\fP at the start of execution.
77     .TP 10
78 nigel 91 \fB-S\fP \fIsize\fP
79     On Unix-like systems, set the size of the runtime stack to \fIsize\fP
80     megabytes.
81     .TP 10
82 nigel 75 \fB-t\fP
83 nigel 63 Run each compile, study, and match many times with a timer, and output
84 nigel 75 resulting time per compile or match (in milliseconds). Do not set \fB-m\fP with
85     \fB-t\fP, because you will then get the size output a zillion times, and the
86 nigel 93 timing will be distorted. You can control the number of iterations that are
87     used for timing by following \fB-t\fP with a number (as a separate item on the
88     command line). For example, "-t 1000" would iterate 1000 times. The default is
89     to iterate 500000 times.
90     .TP 10
91     \fB-tm\fP
92     This is like \fB-t\fP except that it times only the matching phase, not the
93     compile or study phases.
94 nigel 75 .
95     .
96 nigel 53 .SH DESCRIPTION
97 nigel 63 .rs
98     .sp
99 nigel 75 If \fBpcretest\fP is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first and
100 nigel 53 writes to the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it reads from
101     that file and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and writes to
102     stdout, and prompts for each line of input, using "re>" to prompt for regular
103     expressions, and "data>" to prompt for data lines.
104 nigel 75 .P
105 ph10 289 When \fBpcretest\fP is built, a configuration option can specify that it should
106 ph10 287 be linked with the \fBlibreadline\fP library. When this is done, if the input
107     is from a terminal, it is read using the \fBreadline()\fP function. This
108     provides line-editing and history facilities. The output from the \fB-help\fP
109     option states whether or not \fBreadline()\fP will be used.
110     .P
111 nigel 53 The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file. Each
112     set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any number of data
113 nigel 63 lines to be matched against the pattern.
114 nigel 75 .P
115     Each data line is matched separately and independently. If you want to do
116 nigel 91 multi-line matches, you have to use the \en escape sequence (or \er or \er\en,
117 nigel 93 etc., depending on the newline setting) in a single line of input to encode the
118     newline sequences. There is no limit on the length of data lines; the input
119 nigel 91 buffer is automatically extended if it is too small.
120 nigel 75 .P
121 nigel 63 An empty line signals the end of the data lines, at which point a new regular
122     expression is read. The regular expressions are given enclosed in any
123 nigel 91 non-alphanumeric delimiters other than backslash, for example:
124 nigel 75 .sp
125 nigel 53 /(a|bc)x+yz/
126 nigel 75 .sp
127 nigel 53 White space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expression may
128     be continued over several input lines, in which case the newline characters are
129     included within it. It is possible to include the delimiter within the pattern
130     by escaping it, for example
131 nigel 75 .sp
132     /abc\e/def/
133     .sp
134 nigel 53 If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern, but since
135 nigel 75 delimiters are always non-alphanumeric, this does not affect its interpretation.
136 nigel 53 If the terminating delimiter is immediately followed by a backslash, for
137     example,
138 nigel 75 .sp
139     /abc/\e
140     .sp
141 nigel 53 then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This is done to provide a
142     way of testing the error condition that arises if a pattern finishes with a
143     backslash, because
144 nigel 75 .sp
145     /abc\e/
146     .sp
147 nigel 53 is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/", causing
148     pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular expression.
149 nigel 75 .
150     .
151     .SH "PATTERN MODIFIERS"
152 nigel 63 .rs
153     .sp
154 nigel 75 A pattern may be followed by any number of modifiers, which are mostly single
155     characters. Following Perl usage, these are referred to below as, for example,
156     "the \fB/i\fP modifier", even though the delimiter of the pattern need not
157     always be a slash, and no slash is used when writing modifiers. Whitespace may
158     appear between the final pattern delimiter and the first modifier, and between
159     the modifiers themselves.
160     .P
161     The \fB/i\fP, \fB/m\fP, \fB/s\fP, and \fB/x\fP modifiers set the PCRE_CASELESS,
162     PCRE_MULTILINE, PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively, when
163     \fBpcre_compile()\fP is called. These four modifier letters have the same
164     effect as they do in Perl. For example:
165     .sp
166 nigel 53 /caseless/i
167 nigel 75 .sp
168 ph10 518 The following table shows additional modifiers for setting PCRE compile-time
169     options that do not correspond to anything in Perl:
170 nigel 75 .sp
171 ph10 518 \fB/8\fP PCRE_UTF8
172 ph10 535 \fB/?\fP PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK
173 ph10 231 \fB/A\fP PCRE_ANCHORED
174     \fB/C\fP PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
175     \fB/E\fP PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
176     \fB/f\fP PCRE_FIRSTLINE
177     \fB/J\fP PCRE_DUPNAMES
178     \fB/N\fP PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
179     \fB/U\fP PCRE_UNGREEDY
180 ph10 535 \fB/W\fP PCRE_UCP
181 ph10 231 \fB/X\fP PCRE_EXTRA
182 ph10 345 \fB/<JS>\fP PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT
183 ph10 231 \fB/<cr>\fP PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
184     \fB/<lf>\fP PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
185     \fB/<crlf>\fP PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
186     \fB/<anycrlf>\fP PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
187     \fB/<any>\fP PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
188     \fB/<bsr_anycrlf>\fP PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
189     \fB/<bsr_unicode>\fP PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
190 nigel 75 .sp
191 ph10 518 The modifiers that are enclosed in angle brackets are literal strings as shown,
192     including the angle brackets, but the letters can be in either case. This
193     example sets multiline matching with CRLF as the line ending sequence:
194 nigel 93 .sp
195     /^abc/m<crlf>
196     .sp
197 ph10 518 As well as turning on the PCRE_UTF8 option, the \fB/8\fP modifier also causes
198     any non-printing characters in output strings to be printed using the
199     \ex{hh...} notation if they are valid UTF-8 sequences. Full details of the PCRE
200     options are given in the
201 nigel 91 .\" HREF
202     \fBpcreapi\fP
203     .\"
204 ph10 535 documentation.
205 nigel 91 .
206     .
207     .SS "Finding all matches in a string"
208     .rs
209     .sp
210 nigel 53 Searching for all possible matches within each subject string can be requested
211 nigel 75 by the \fB/g\fP or \fB/G\fP modifier. After finding a match, PCRE is called
212 nigel 53 again to search the remainder of the subject string. The difference between
213 nigel 75 \fB/g\fP and \fB/G\fP is that the former uses the \fIstartoffset\fP argument to
214     \fBpcre_exec()\fP to start searching at a new point within the entire string
215 nigel 53 (which is in effect what Perl does), whereas the latter passes over a shortened
216     substring. This makes a difference to the matching process if the pattern
217 nigel 75 begins with a lookbehind assertion (including \eb or \eB).
218     .P
219     If any call to \fBpcre_exec()\fP in a \fB/g\fP or \fB/G\fP sequence matches an
220 ph10 442 empty string, the next call is done with the PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART and
221     PCRE_ANCHORED flags set in order to search for another, non-empty, match at the
222 ph10 461 same point. If this second match fails, the start offset is advanced by one
223 ph10 442 character, and the normal match is retried. This imitates the way Perl handles
224     such cases when using the \fB/g\fP modifier or the \fBsplit()\fP function.
225 nigel 91 .
226     .
227     .SS "Other modifiers"
228     .rs
229     .sp
230 nigel 75 There are yet more modifiers for controlling the way \fBpcretest\fP
231 nigel 53 operates.
232 nigel 75 .P
233     The \fB/+\fP modifier requests that as well as outputting the substring that
234 nigel 53 matched the entire pattern, pcretest should in addition output the remainder of
235     the subject string. This is useful for tests where the subject contains
236     multiple copies of the same substring.
237 nigel 75 .P
238 nigel 93 The \fB/B\fP modifier is a debugging feature. It requests that \fBpcretest\fP
239 ph10 123 output a representation of the compiled byte code after compilation. Normally
240 ph10 116 this information contains length and offset values; however, if \fB/Z\fP is
241     also present, this data is replaced by spaces. This is a special feature for
242     use in the automatic test scripts; it ensures that the same output is generated
243     for different internal link sizes.
244 nigel 93 .P
245     The \fB/D\fP modifier is a PCRE debugging feature, and is equivalent to
246 ph10 148 \fB/BI\fP, that is, both the \fB/B\fP and the \fB/I\fP modifiers.
247 nigel 75 .P
248     The \fB/F\fP modifier causes \fBpcretest\fP to flip the byte order of the
249     fields in the compiled pattern that contain 2-byte and 4-byte numbers. This
250     facility is for testing the feature in PCRE that allows it to execute patterns
251     that were compiled on a host with a different endianness. This feature is not
252     available when the POSIX interface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the
253     \fB/P\fP pattern modifier is specified. See also the section about saving and
254     reloading compiled patterns below.
255     .P
256 ph10 510 The \fB/I\fP modifier requests that \fBpcretest\fP output information about the
257     compiled pattern (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and
258     so on). It does this by calling \fBpcre_fullinfo()\fP after compiling a
259     pattern. If the pattern is studied, the results of that are also output.
260 nigel 75 .P
261 ph10 510 The \fB/K\fP modifier requests \fBpcretest\fP to show names from backtracking
262     control verbs that are returned from calls to \fBpcre_exec()\fP. It causes
263     \fBpcretest\fP to create a \fBpcre_extra\fP block if one has not already been
264     created by a call to \fBpcre_study()\fP, and to set the PCRE_EXTRA_MARK flag
265     and the \fBmark\fP field within it, every time that \fBpcre_exec()\fP is
266     called. If the variable that the \fBmark\fP field points to is non-NULL for a
267 ph10 512 match, non-match, or partial match, \fBpcretest\fP prints the string to which
268     it points. For a match, this is shown on a line by itself, tagged with "MK:".
269 ph10 510 For a non-match it is added to the message.
270     .P
271     The \fB/L\fP modifier must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for
272     example,
273     .sp
274     /pattern/Lfr_FR
275     .sp
276     For this reason, it must be the last modifier. The given locale is set,
277     \fBpcre_maketables()\fP is called to build a set of character tables for the
278     locale, and this is then passed to \fBpcre_compile()\fP when compiling the
279 ph10 541 regular expression. Without an \fB/L\fP (or \fB/T\fP) modifier, NULL is passed
280     as the tables pointer; that is, \fB/L\fP applies only to the expression on
281     which it appears.
282 ph10 510 .P
283 nigel 75 The \fB/M\fP modifier causes the size of memory block used to hold the compiled
284 nigel 53 pattern to be output.
285 nigel 75 .P
286 ph10 510 The \fB/S\fP modifier causes \fBpcre_study()\fP to be called after the
287     expression has been compiled, and the results used when the expression is
288     matched.
289 ph10 541 .P
290 ph10 545 The \fB/T\fP modifier must be followed by a single digit. It causes a specific
291     set of built-in character tables to be passed to \fBpcre_compile()\fP. It is
292     used in the standard PCRE tests to check behaviour with different character
293 ph10 541 tables. The digit specifies the tables as follows:
294     .sp
295 ph10 545 0 the default ASCII tables, as distributed in
296 ph10 541 pcre_chartables.c.dist
297     1 a set of tables defining ISO 8859 characters
298     .sp
299 ph10 545 In table 1, some characters whose codes are greater than 128 are identified as
300 ph10 541 letters, digits, spaces, etc.
301 nigel 75 .
302     .
303 ph10 518 .SS "Using the POSIX wrapper API"
304     .rs
305     .sp
306     The \fB/P\fP modifier causes \fBpcretest\fP to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper
307 ph10 535 API rather than its native API. When \fB/P\fP is set, the following modifiers
308 ph10 518 set options for the \fBregcomp()\fP function:
309     .sp
310     /i REG_ICASE
311     /m REG_NEWLINE
312     /N REG_NOSUB
313     /s REG_DOTALL )
314 ph10 535 /U REG_UNGREEDY ) These options are not part of
315 ph10 518 /W REG_UCP ) the POSIX standard
316     /8 REG_UTF8 )
317     .sp
318     The \fB/+\fP modifier works as described above. All other modifiers are
319     ignored.
320     .
321     .
322 nigel 75 .SH "DATA LINES"
323 nigel 63 .rs
324     .sp
325 nigel 75 Before each data line is passed to \fBpcre_exec()\fP, leading and trailing
326     whitespace is removed, and it is then scanned for \e escapes. Some of these are
327 nigel 63 pretty esoteric features, intended for checking out some of the more
328     complicated features of PCRE. If you are just testing "ordinary" regular
329     expressions, you probably don't need any of these. The following escapes are
330 nigel 53 recognized:
331 nigel 75 .sp
332 nigel 93 \ea alarm (BEL, \ex07)
333     \eb backspace (\ex08)
334     \ee escape (\ex27)
335     \ef formfeed (\ex0c)
336     \en newline (\ex0a)
337 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
338     \eqdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT limit to dd
339     (any number of digits)
340 nigel 93 \er carriage return (\ex0d)
341     \et tab (\ex09)
342     \ev vertical tab (\ex0b)
343 nigel 75 \ennn octal character (up to 3 octal digits)
344     \exhh hexadecimal character (up to 2 hex digits)
345     .\" JOIN
346     \ex{hh...} hexadecimal character, any number of digits
347 nigel 63 in UTF-8 mode
348 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
349 nigel 75 \eA pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
350 nigel 91 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
351     .\" JOIN
352 nigel 75 \eB pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
353 nigel 91 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
354 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
355     \eCdd call pcre_copy_substring() for substring dd
356     after a successful match (number less than 32)
357     .\" JOIN
358     \eCname call pcre_copy_named_substring() for substring
359 nigel 63 "name" after a successful match (name termin-
360     ated by next non alphanumeric character)
361 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
362     \eC+ show the current captured substrings at callout
363 nigel 63 time
364 nigel 75 \eC- do not supply a callout function
365     .\" JOIN
366     \eC!n return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
367 nigel 63 reached
368 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
369     \eC!n!m return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
370 nigel 63 reached for the nth time
371 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
372     \eC*n pass the number n (may be negative) as callout
373     data; this is used as the callout return value
374 nigel 77 \eD use the \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP match function
375     \eF only shortest match for \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
376 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
377     \eGdd call pcre_get_substring() for substring dd
378     after a successful match (number less than 32)
379     .\" JOIN
380     \eGname call pcre_get_named_substring() for substring
381 nigel 63 "name" after a successful match (name termin-
382     ated by next non-alphanumeric character)
383 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
384     \eL call pcre_get_substringlist() after a
385 nigel 63 successful match
386 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
387 nigel 87 \eM discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and
388     MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings
389 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
390 nigel 75 \eN pass the PCRE_NOTEMPTY option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
391 ph10 442 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP; if used twice, pass the
392 ph10 461 PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART option
393 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
394     \eOdd set the size of the output vector passed to
395     \fBpcre_exec()\fP to dd (any number of digits)
396 nigel 77 .\" JOIN
397 ph10 428 \eP pass the PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
398     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP; if used twice, pass the
399 ph10 461 PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD option
400 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
401     \eQdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION limit to dd
402     (any number of digits)
403 nigel 77 \eR pass the PCRE_DFA_RESTART option to \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
404 nigel 75 \eS output details of memory get/free calls during matching
405 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
406 ph10 455 \eY pass the PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
407     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
408     .\" JOIN
409 nigel 75 \eZ pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
410 nigel 91 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
411 nigel 75 .\" JOIN
412     \e? pass the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option to
413 nigel 91 \fBpcre_exec()\fP or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
414 nigel 75 \e>dd start the match at offset dd (any number of digits);
415 nigel 91 .\" JOIN
416 nigel 75 this sets the \fIstartoffset\fP argument for \fBpcre_exec()\fP
417 nigel 91 or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
418     .\" JOIN
419     \e<cr> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CR option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
420     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
421     .\" JOIN
422     \e<lf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_LF option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
423     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
424     .\" JOIN
425     \e<crlf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
426     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
427 nigel 93 .\" JOIN
428 ph10 149 \e<anycrlf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
429     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
430     .\" JOIN
431 nigel 93 \e<any> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY option to \fBpcre_exec()\fP
432     or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP
433 nigel 75 .sp
434 nigel 93 The escapes that specify line ending sequences are literal strings, exactly as
435     shown. No more than one newline setting should be present in any data line.
436 nigel 75 .P
437 nigel 93 A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the anything else. If
438     the very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a way of
439     passing an empty line as data, since a real empty line terminates the data
440     input.
441     .P
442 nigel 75 If \eM is present, \fBpcretest\fP calls \fBpcre_exec()\fP several times, with
443 nigel 87 different values in the \fImatch_limit\fP and \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP
444     fields of the \fBpcre_extra\fP data structure, until it finds the minimum
445     numbers for each parameter that allow \fBpcre_exec()\fP to complete. The
446     \fImatch_limit\fP number is a measure of the amount of backtracking that takes
447     place, and checking it out can be instructive. For most simple matches, the
448     number is quite small, but for patterns with very large numbers of matching
449     possibilities, it can become large very quickly with increasing length of
450     subject string. The \fImatch_limit_recursion\fP number is a measure of how much
451     stack (or, if PCRE is compiled with NO_RECURSE, how much heap) memory is needed
452     to complete the match attempt.
453 nigel 75 .P
454     When \eO is used, the value specified may be higher or lower than the size set
455     by the \fB-O\fP command line option (or defaulted to 45); \eO applies only to
456     the call of \fBpcre_exec()\fP for the line in which it appears.
457     .P
458     If the \fB/P\fP modifier was present on the pattern, causing the POSIX wrapper
459 ph10 518 API to be used, the only option-setting sequences that have any effect are \eB,
460     \eN, and \eZ, causing REG_NOTBOL, REG_NOTEMPTY, and REG_NOTEOL, respectively,
461     to be passed to \fBregexec()\fP.
462 nigel 75 .P
463     The use of \ex{hh...} to represent UTF-8 characters is not dependent on the use
464     of the \fB/8\fP modifier on the pattern. It is recognized always. There may be
465 nigel 53 any number of hexadecimal digits inside the braces. The result is from one to
466 ph10 211 six bytes, encoded according to the original UTF-8 rules of RFC 2279. This
467     allows for values in the range 0 to 0x7FFFFFFF. Note that not all of those are
468     valid Unicode code points, or indeed valid UTF-8 characters according to the
469     later rules in RFC 3629.
470 nigel 75 .
471     .
472 nigel 77 .SH "THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION"
473 nigel 63 .rs
474     .sp
475 nigel 77 By default, \fBpcretest\fP uses the standard PCRE matching function,
476     \fBpcre_exec()\fP to match each data line. From release 6.0, PCRE supports an
477     alternative matching function, \fBpcre_dfa_test()\fP, which operates in a
478     different way, and has some restrictions. The differences between the two
479     functions are described in the
480     .\" HREF
481     \fBpcrematching\fP
482     .\"
483     documentation.
484     .P
485     If a data line contains the \eD escape sequence, or if the command line
486     contains the \fB-dfa\fP option, the alternative matching function is called.
487     This function finds all possible matches at a given point. If, however, the \eF
488     escape sequence is present in the data line, it stops after the first match is
489     found. This is always the shortest possible match.
490     .
491     .
492     .SH "DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST"
493     .rs
494     .sp
495     This section describes the output when the normal matching function,
496     \fBpcre_exec()\fP, is being used.
497     .P
498 nigel 53 When a match succeeds, pcretest outputs the list of captured substrings that
499 nigel 75 \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns, starting with number 0 for the string that matched
500 ph10 435 the whole pattern. Otherwise, it outputs "No match" when the return is
501     PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH, and "Partial match:" followed by the partially matching
502     substring when \fBpcre_exec()\fP returns PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL. For any other
503     returns, it outputs the PCRE negative error number. Here is an example of an
504     interactive \fBpcretest\fP run.
505 nigel 75 .sp
506 nigel 53 $ pcretest
507 nigel 93 PCRE version 7.0 30-Nov-2006
508 nigel 75 .sp
509     re> /^abc(\ed+)/
510 nigel 53 data> abc123
511     0: abc123
512     1: 123
513     data> xyz
514     No match
515 nigel 75 .sp
516 ph10 286 Note that unset capturing substrings that are not followed by one that is set
517 ph10 273 are not returned by \fBpcre_exec()\fP, and are not shown by \fBpcretest\fP. In
518     the following example, there are two capturing substrings, but when the first
519 ph10 286 data line is matched, the second, unset substring is not shown. An "internal"
520 ph10 273 unset substring is shown as "<unset>", as for the second data line.
521     .sp
522     re> /(a)|(b)/
523     data> a
524     0: a
525     1: a
526     data> b
527     0: b
528     1: <unset>
529 ph10 286 2: b
530 ph10 273 .sp
531 nigel 75 If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output as \e0x
532     escapes, or as \ex{...} escapes if the \fB/8\fP modifier was present on the
533 nigel 93 pattern. See below for the definition of non-printing characters. If the
534     pattern has the \fB/+\fP modifier, the output for substring 0 is followed by
535     the the rest of the subject string, identified by "0+" like this:
536 nigel 75 .sp
537 nigel 53 re> /cat/+
538     data> cataract
539     0: cat
540     0+ aract
541 nigel 75 .sp
542     If the pattern has the \fB/g\fP or \fB/G\fP modifier, the results of successive
543 nigel 53 matching attempts are output in sequence, like this:
544 nigel 75 .sp
545     re> /\eBi(\ew\ew)/g
546 nigel 53 data> Mississippi
547     0: iss
548     1: ss
549     0: iss
550     1: ss
551     0: ipp
552     1: pp
553 nigel 75 .sp
554 nigel 53 "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails.
555 nigel 75 .P
556     If any of the sequences \fB\eC\fP, \fB\eG\fP, or \fB\eL\fP are present in a
557 nigel 53 data line that is successfully matched, the substrings extracted by the
558     convenience functions are output with C, G, or L after the string number
559     instead of a colon. This is in addition to the normal full list. The string
560     length (that is, the return from the extraction function) is given in
561 nigel 75 parentheses after each string for \fB\eC\fP and \fB\eG\fP.
562     .P
563 nigel 93 Note that whereas patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain ">"
564 nigel 53 prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However newlines can be
565 nigel 93 included in data by means of the \en escape (or \er, \er\en, etc., depending on
566     the newline sequence setting).
567 nigel 75 .
568     .
569 nigel 93 .
570 nigel 77 .SH "OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION"
571     .rs
572     .sp
573     When the alternative matching function, \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, is used (by
574     means of the \eD escape sequence or the \fB-dfa\fP command line option), the
575     output consists of a list of all the matches that start at the first point in
576     the subject where there is at least one match. For example:
577     .sp
578     re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/
579     data> yellow tangerine\eD
580     0: tangerine
581     1: tang
582     2: tan
583     .sp
584     (Using the normal matching function on this data finds only "tang".) The
585 ph10 428 longest matching string is always given first (and numbered zero). After a
586 ph10 461 PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL return, the output is "Partial match:", followed by the
587 ph10 428 partially matching substring.
588 nigel 77 .P
589 nigel 93 If \fB/g\fP is present on the pattern, the search for further matches resumes
590 nigel 77 at the end of the longest match. For example:
591     .sp
592     re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/g
593     data> yellow tangerine and tangy sultana\eD
594     0: tangerine
595     1: tang
596     2: tan
597     0: tang
598     1: tan
599     0: tan
600     .sp
601     Since the matching function does not support substring capture, the escape
602     sequences that are concerned with captured substrings are not relevant.
603     .
604     .
605     .SH "RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH"
606     .rs
607     .sp
608     When the alternative matching function has given the PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL return,
609     indicating that the subject partially matched the pattern, you can restart the
610     match with additional subject data by means of the \eR escape sequence. For
611     example:
612     .sp
613 ph10 155 re> /^\ed?\ed(jan|feb|mar|apr|may|jun|jul|aug|sep|oct|nov|dec)\ed\ed$/
614 nigel 77 data> 23ja\eP\eD
615     Partial match: 23ja
616     data> n05\eR\eD
617     0: n05
618     .sp
619     For further information about partial matching, see the
620     .\" HREF
621     \fBpcrepartial\fP
622     .\"
623     documentation.
624     .
625     .
626 nigel 75 .SH CALLOUTS
627     .rs
628     .sp
629     If the pattern contains any callout requests, \fBpcretest\fP's callout function
630 nigel 77 is called during matching. This works with both matching functions. By default,
631     the called function displays the callout number, the start and current
632     positions in the text at the callout time, and the next pattern item to be
633     tested. For example, the output
634 nigel 75 .sp
635     --->pqrabcdef
636     0 ^ ^ \ed
637     .sp
638     indicates that callout number 0 occurred for a match attempt starting at the
639     fourth character of the subject string, when the pointer was at the seventh
640     character of the data, and when the next pattern item was \ed. Just one
641     circumflex is output if the start and current positions are the same.
642     .P
643     Callouts numbered 255 are assumed to be automatic callouts, inserted as a
644     result of the \fB/C\fP pattern modifier. In this case, instead of showing the
645     callout number, the offset in the pattern, preceded by a plus, is output. For
646     example:
647     .sp
648     re> /\ed?[A-E]\e*/C
649     data> E*
650     --->E*
651     +0 ^ \ed?
652     +3 ^ [A-E]
653     +8 ^^ \e*
654     +10 ^ ^
655     0: E*
656     .sp
657     The callout function in \fBpcretest\fP returns zero (carry on matching) by
658 nigel 77 default, but you can use a \eC item in a data line (as described above) to
659 nigel 75 change this.
660     .P
661     Inserting callouts can be helpful when using \fBpcretest\fP to check
662     complicated regular expressions. For further information about callouts, see
663     the
664     .\" HREF
665     \fBpcrecallout\fP
666     .\"
667     documentation.
668     .
669     .
670 nigel 93 .
671     .SH "NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS"
672     .rs
673     .sp
674     When \fBpcretest\fP is outputting text in the compiled version of a pattern,
675     bytes other than 32-126 are always treated as non-printing characters are are
676     therefore shown as hex escapes.
677     .P
678     When \fBpcretest\fP is outputting text that is a matched part of a subject
679     string, it behaves in the same way, unless a different locale has been set for
680     the pattern (using the \fB/L\fP modifier). In this case, the \fBisprint()\fP
681     function to distinguish printing and non-printing characters.
682     .
683     .
684     .
685 nigel 75 .SH "SAVING AND RELOADING COMPILED PATTERNS"
686     .rs
687     .sp
688     The facilities described in this section are not available when the POSIX
689     inteface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the \fB/P\fP pattern modifier is
690     specified.
691     .P
692     When the POSIX interface is not in use, you can cause \fBpcretest\fP to write a
693     compiled pattern to a file, by following the modifiers with > and a file name.
694     For example:
695     .sp
696     /pattern/im >/some/file
697     .sp
698     See the
699     .\" HREF
700     \fBpcreprecompile\fP
701     .\"
702     documentation for a discussion about saving and re-using compiled patterns.
703     .P
704     The data that is written is binary. The first eight bytes are the length of the
705     compiled pattern data followed by the length of the optional study data, each
706     written as four bytes in big-endian order (most significant byte first). If
707     there is no study data (either the pattern was not studied, or studying did not
708     return any data), the second length is zero. The lengths are followed by an
709     exact copy of the compiled pattern. If there is additional study data, this
710     follows immediately after the compiled pattern. After writing the file,
711     \fBpcretest\fP expects to read a new pattern.
712     .P
713     A saved pattern can be reloaded into \fBpcretest\fP by specifing < and a file
714     name instead of a pattern. The name of the file must not contain a < character,
715     as otherwise \fBpcretest\fP will interpret the line as a pattern delimited by <
716     characters.
717     For example:
718     .sp
719     re> </some/file
720     Compiled regex loaded from /some/file
721     No study data
722     .sp
723     When the pattern has been loaded, \fBpcretest\fP proceeds to read data lines in
724     the usual way.
725     .P
726     You can copy a file written by \fBpcretest\fP to a different host and reload it
727     there, even if the new host has opposite endianness to the one on which the
728     pattern was compiled. For example, you can compile on an i86 machine and run on
729     a SPARC machine.
730     .P
731     File names for saving and reloading can be absolute or relative, but note that
732     the shell facility of expanding a file name that starts with a tilde (~) is not
733     available.
734     .P
735     The ability to save and reload files in \fBpcretest\fP is intended for testing
736     and experimentation. It is not intended for production use because only a
737     single pattern can be written to a file. Furthermore, there is no facility for
738     supplying custom character tables for use with a reloaded pattern. If the
739     original pattern was compiled with custom tables, an attempt to match a subject
740     string using a reloaded pattern is likely to cause \fBpcretest\fP to crash.
741     Finally, if you attempt to load a file that is not in the correct format, the
742     result is undefined.
743     .
744     .
745 nigel 93 .SH "SEE ALSO"
746     .rs
747     .sp
748     \fBpcre\fP(3), \fBpcreapi\fP(3), \fBpcrecallout\fP(3), \fBpcrematching\fP(3),
749 ph10 148 \fBpcrepartial\fP(d), \fBpcrepattern\fP(3), \fBpcreprecompile\fP(3).
750 nigel 93 .
751     .
752 nigel 53 .SH AUTHOR
753 nigel 63 .rs
754     .sp
755 ph10 99 .nf
756 nigel 77 Philip Hazel
757 ph10 99 University Computing Service
758 nigel 93 Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
759 ph10 99 .fi
760     .
761     .
762     .SH REVISION
763     .rs
764     .sp
765     .nf
766 ph10 541 Last updated: 14 June 2010
767 ph10 510 Copyright (c) 1997-2010 University of Cambridge.
768 ph10 99 .fi

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