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1 PCRETEST(1) PCRETEST(1)
2
3
4 NAME
5 pcretest - a program for testing Perl-compatible regular expressions.
6
7
8 SYNOPSIS
9
10 pcretest [options] [source] [destination]
11
12 pcretest was written as a test program for the PCRE regular expression
13 library itself, but it can also be used for experimenting with regular
14 expressions. This document describes the features of the test program;
15 for details of the regular expressions themselves, see the pcrepattern
16 documentation. For details of the PCRE library function calls and their
17 options, see the pcreapi documentation.
18
19
20 OPTIONS
21
22 -b Behave as if each regex has the /B (show bytecode) modifier;
23 the internal form is output after compilation.
24
25 -C Output the version number of the PCRE library, and all avail-
26 able information about the optional features that are
27 included, and then exit.
28
29 -d Behave as if each regex has the /D (debug) modifier; the
30 internal form and information about the compiled pattern is
31 output after compilation; -d is equivalent to -b -i.
32
33 -dfa Behave as if each data line contains the \D escape sequence;
34 this causes the alternative matching function,
35 pcre_dfa_exec(), to be used instead of the standard
36 pcre_exec() function (more detail is given below).
37
38 -help Output a brief summary these options and then exit.
39
40 -i Behave as if each regex has the /I modifier; information
41 about the compiled pattern is given after compilation.
42
43 -M Behave as if each data line contains the \M escape sequence;
44 this causes PCRE to discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and
45 MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings by calling pcre_exec() repeat-
46 edly with different limits.
47
48 -m Output the size of each compiled pattern after it has been
49 compiled. This is equivalent to adding /M to each regular
50 expression. For compatibility with earlier versions of
51 pcretest, -s is a synonym for -m.
52
53 -o osize Set the number of elements in the output vector that is used
54 when calling pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec() to be osize. The
55 default value is 45, which is enough for 14 capturing subex-
56 pressions for pcre_exec() or 22 different matches for
57 pcre_dfa_exec(). The vector size can be changed for individ-
58 ual matching calls by including \O in the data line (see
59 below).
60
61 -p Behave as if each regex has the /P modifier; the POSIX wrap-
62 per API is used to call PCRE. None of the other options has
63 any effect when -p is set.
64
65 -q Do not output the version number of pcretest at the start of
66 execution.
67
68 -S size On Unix-like systems, set the size of the runtime stack to
69 size megabytes.
70
71 -t Run each compile, study, and match many times with a timer,
72 and output resulting time per compile or match (in millisec-
73 onds). Do not set -m with -t, because you will then get the
74 size output a zillion times, and the timing will be dis-
75 torted. You can control the number of iterations that are
76 used for timing by following -t with a number (as a separate
77 item on the command line). For example, "-t 1000" would iter-
78 ate 1000 times. The default is to iterate 500000 times.
79
80 -tm This is like -t except that it times only the matching phase,
81 not the compile or study phases.
82
83
84 DESCRIPTION
85
86 If pcretest is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first
87 and writes to the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it
88 reads from that file and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from
89 stdin and writes to stdout, and prompts for each line of input, using
90 "re>" to prompt for regular expressions, and "data>" to prompt for data
91 lines.
92
93 When pcretest is built, a configuration option can specify that it
94 should be linked with the libreadline library. When this is done, if
95 the input is from a terminal, it is read using the readline() function.
96 This provides line-editing and history facilities. The output from the
97 -help option states whether or not readline() will be used.
98
99 The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file.
100 Each set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any num-
101 ber of data lines to be matched against the pattern.
102
103 Each data line is matched separately and independently. If you want to
104 do multi-line matches, you have to use the \n escape sequence (or \r or
105 \r\n, etc., depending on the newline setting) in a single line of input
106 to encode the newline sequences. There is no limit on the length of
107 data lines; the input buffer is automatically extended if it is too
108 small.
109
110 An empty line signals the end of the data lines, at which point a new
111 regular expression is read. The regular expressions are given enclosed
112 in any non-alphanumeric delimiters other than backslash, for example:
113
114 /(a|bc)x+yz/
115
116 White space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expres-
117 sion may be continued over several input lines, in which case the new-
118 line characters are included within it. It is possible to include the
119 delimiter within the pattern by escaping it, for example
120
121 /abc\/def/
122
123 If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern,
124 but since delimiters are always non-alphanumeric, this does not affect
125 its interpretation. If the terminating delimiter is immediately fol-
126 lowed by a backslash, for example,
127
128 /abc/\
129
130 then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This is done to
131 provide a way of testing the error condition that arises if a pattern
132 finishes with a backslash, because
133
134 /abc\/
135
136 is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/",
137 causing pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular
138 expression.
139
140
141 PATTERN MODIFIERS
142
143 A pattern may be followed by any number of modifiers, which are mostly
144 single characters. Following Perl usage, these are referred to below
145 as, for example, "the /i modifier", even though the delimiter of the
146 pattern need not always be a slash, and no slash is used when writing
147 modifiers. Whitespace may appear between the final pattern delimiter
148 and the first modifier, and between the modifiers themselves.
149
150 The /i, /m, /s, and /x modifiers set the PCRE_CASELESS, PCRE_MULTILINE,
151 PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively, when pcre_com-
152 pile() is called. These four modifier letters have the same effect as
153 they do in Perl. For example:
154
155 /caseless/i
156
157 The following table shows additional modifiers for setting PCRE options
158 that do not correspond to anything in Perl:
159
160 /A PCRE_ANCHORED
161 /C PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
162 /E PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
163 /f PCRE_FIRSTLINE
164 /J PCRE_DUPNAMES
165 /N PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
166 /U PCRE_UNGREEDY
167 /X PCRE_EXTRA
168 /<JS> PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT
169 /<cr> PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
170 /<lf> PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
171 /<crlf> PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
172 /<anycrlf> PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
173 /<any> PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
174 /<bsr_anycrlf> PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
175 /<bsr_unicode> PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
176
177 Those specifying line ending sequences are literal strings as shown,
178 but the letters can be in either case. This example sets multiline
179 matching with CRLF as the line ending sequence:
180
181 /^abc/m<crlf>
182
183 Details of the meanings of these PCRE options are given in the pcreapi
184 documentation.
185
186 Finding all matches in a string
187
188 Searching for all possible matches within each subject string can be
189 requested by the /g or /G modifier. After finding a match, PCRE is
190 called again to search the remainder of the subject string. The differ-
191 ence between /g and /G is that the former uses the startoffset argument
192 to pcre_exec() to start searching at a new point within the entire
193 string (which is in effect what Perl does), whereas the latter passes
194 over a shortened substring. This makes a difference to the matching
195 process if the pattern begins with a lookbehind assertion (including \b
196 or \B).
197
198 If any call to pcre_exec() in a /g or /G sequence matches an empty
199 string, the next call is done with the PCRE_NOTEMPTY and PCRE_ANCHORED
200 flags set in order to search for another, non-empty, match at the same
201 point. If this second match fails, the start offset is advanced by
202 one, and the normal match is retried. This imitates the way Perl han-
203 dles such cases when using the /g modifier or the split() function.
204
205 Other modifiers
206
207 There are yet more modifiers for controlling the way pcretest operates.
208
209 The /+ modifier requests that as well as outputting the substring that
210 matched the entire pattern, pcretest should in addition output the
211 remainder of the subject string. This is useful for tests where the
212 subject contains multiple copies of the same substring.
213
214 The /B modifier is a debugging feature. It requests that pcretest out-
215 put a representation of the compiled byte code after compilation. Nor-
216 mally this information contains length and offset values; however, if
217 /Z is also present, this data is replaced by spaces. This is a special
218 feature for use in the automatic test scripts; it ensures that the same
219 output is generated for different internal link sizes.
220
221 The /L modifier must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for
222 example,
223
224 /pattern/Lfr_FR
225
226 For this reason, it must be the last modifier. The given locale is set,
227 pcre_maketables() is called to build a set of character tables for the
228 locale, and this is then passed to pcre_compile() when compiling the
229 regular expression. Without an /L modifier, NULL is passed as the
230 tables pointer; that is, /L applies only to the expression on which it
231 appears.
232
233 The /I modifier requests that pcretest output information about the
234 compiled pattern (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character,
235 and so on). It does this by calling pcre_fullinfo() after compiling a
236 pattern. If the pattern is studied, the results of that are also out-
237 put.
238
239 The /D modifier is a PCRE debugging feature, and is equivalent to /BI,
240 that is, both the /B and the /I modifiers.
241
242 The /F modifier causes pcretest to flip the byte order of the fields in
243 the compiled pattern that contain 2-byte and 4-byte numbers. This
244 facility is for testing the feature in PCRE that allows it to execute
245 patterns that were compiled on a host with a different endianness. This
246 feature is not available when the POSIX interface to PCRE is being
247 used, that is, when the /P pattern modifier is specified. See also the
248 section about saving and reloading compiled patterns below.
249
250 The /S modifier causes pcre_study() to be called after the expression
251 has been compiled, and the results used when the expression is matched.
252
253 The /M modifier causes the size of memory block used to hold the com-
254 piled pattern to be output.
255
256 The /P modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper API
257 rather than its native API. When this is done, all other modifiers
258 except /i, /m, and /+ are ignored. REG_ICASE is set if /i is present,
259 and REG_NEWLINE is set if /m is present. The wrapper functions force
260 PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY always, and PCRE_DOTALL unless REG_NEWLINE is set.
261
262 The /8 modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE with the PCRE_UTF8 option
263 set. This turns on support for UTF-8 character handling in PCRE, pro-
264 vided that it was compiled with this support enabled. This modifier
265 also causes any non-printing characters in output strings to be printed
266 using the \x{hh...} notation if they are valid UTF-8 sequences.
267
268 If the /? modifier is used with /8, it causes pcretest to call
269 pcre_compile() with the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option, to suppress the
270 checking of the string for UTF-8 validity.
271
272
273 DATA LINES
274
275 Before each data line is passed to pcre_exec(), leading and trailing
276 whitespace is removed, and it is then scanned for \ escapes. Some of
277 these are pretty esoteric features, intended for checking out some of
278 the more complicated features of PCRE. If you are just testing "ordi-
279 nary" regular expressions, you probably don't need any of these. The
280 following escapes are recognized:
281
282 \a alarm (BEL, \x07)
283 \b backspace (\x08)
284 \e escape (\x27)
285 \f formfeed (\x0c)
286 \n newline (\x0a)
287 \qdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT limit to dd
288 (any number of digits)
289 \r carriage return (\x0d)
290 \t tab (\x09)
291 \v vertical tab (\x0b)
292 \nnn octal character (up to 3 octal digits)
293 \xhh hexadecimal character (up to 2 hex digits)
294 \x{hh...} hexadecimal character, any number of digits
295 in UTF-8 mode
296 \A pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to pcre_exec()
297 or pcre_dfa_exec()
298 \B pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to pcre_exec()
299 or pcre_dfa_exec()
300 \Cdd call pcre_copy_substring() for substring dd
301 after a successful match (number less than 32)
302 \Cname call pcre_copy_named_substring() for substring
303 "name" after a successful match (name termin-
304 ated by next non alphanumeric character)
305 \C+ show the current captured substrings at callout
306 time
307 \C- do not supply a callout function
308 \C!n return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
309 reached
310 \C!n!m return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
311 reached for the nth time
312 \C*n pass the number n (may be negative) as callout
313 data; this is used as the callout return value
314 \D use the pcre_dfa_exec() match function
315 \F only shortest match for pcre_dfa_exec()
316 \Gdd call pcre_get_substring() for substring dd
317 after a successful match (number less than 32)
318 \Gname call pcre_get_named_substring() for substring
319 "name" after a successful match (name termin-
320 ated by next non-alphanumeric character)
321 \L call pcre_get_substringlist() after a
322 successful match
323 \M discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and
324 MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings
325 \N pass the PCRE_NOTEMPTY option to pcre_exec()
326 or pcre_dfa_exec()
327 \Odd set the size of the output vector passed to
328 pcre_exec() to dd (any number of digits)
329 \P pass the PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT option to pcre_exec()
330 or pcre_dfa_exec(); if used twice, pass the
331 PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD option
332 \Qdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION limit to dd
333 (any number of digits)
334 \R pass the PCRE_DFA_RESTART option to pcre_dfa_exec()
335 \S output details of memory get/free calls during matching
336 \Z pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to pcre_exec()
337 or pcre_dfa_exec()
338 \? pass the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option to
339 pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec()
340 \>dd start the match at offset dd (any number of digits);
341 this sets the startoffset argument for pcre_exec()
342 or pcre_dfa_exec()
343 \<cr> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CR option to pcre_exec()
344 or pcre_dfa_exec()
345 \<lf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_LF option to pcre_exec()
346 or pcre_dfa_exec()
347 \<crlf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF option to pcre_exec()
348 or pcre_dfa_exec()
349 \<anycrlf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF option to pcre_exec()
350 or pcre_dfa_exec()
351 \<any> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY option to pcre_exec()
352 or pcre_dfa_exec()
353
354 The escapes that specify line ending sequences are literal strings,
355 exactly as shown. No more than one newline setting should be present in
356 any data line.
357
358 A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the anything else.
359 If the very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a
360 way of passing an empty line as data, since a real empty line termi-
361 nates the data input.
362
363 If \M is present, pcretest calls pcre_exec() several times, with dif-
364 ferent values in the match_limit and match_limit_recursion fields of
365 the pcre_extra data structure, until it finds the minimum numbers for
366 each parameter that allow pcre_exec() to complete. The match_limit num-
367 ber is a measure of the amount of backtracking that takes place, and
368 checking it out can be instructive. For most simple matches, the number
369 is quite small, but for patterns with very large numbers of matching
370 possibilities, it can become large very quickly with increasing length
371 of subject string. The match_limit_recursion number is a measure of how
372 much stack (or, if PCRE is compiled with NO_RECURSE, how much heap)
373 memory is needed to complete the match attempt.
374
375 When \O is used, the value specified may be higher or lower than the
376 size set by the -O command line option (or defaulted to 45); \O applies
377 only to the call of pcre_exec() for the line in which it appears.
378
379 If the /P modifier was present on the pattern, causing the POSIX wrap-
380 per API to be used, the only option-setting sequences that have any
381 effect are \B and \Z, causing REG_NOTBOL and REG_NOTEOL, respectively,
382 to be passed to regexec().
383
384 The use of \x{hh...} to represent UTF-8 characters is not dependent on
385 the use of the /8 modifier on the pattern. It is recognized always.
386 There may be any number of hexadecimal digits inside the braces. The
387 result is from one to six bytes, encoded according to the original
388 UTF-8 rules of RFC 2279. This allows for values in the range 0 to
389 0x7FFFFFFF. Note that not all of those are valid Unicode code points,
390 or indeed valid UTF-8 characters according to the later rules in RFC
391 3629.
392
393
394 THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION
395
396 By default, pcretest uses the standard PCRE matching function,
397 pcre_exec() to match each data line. From release 6.0, PCRE supports an
398 alternative matching function, pcre_dfa_test(), which operates in a
399 different way, and has some restrictions. The differences between the
400 two functions are described in the pcrematching documentation.
401
402 If a data line contains the \D escape sequence, or if the command line
403 contains the -dfa option, the alternative matching function is called.
404 This function finds all possible matches at a given point. If, however,
405 the \F escape sequence is present in the data line, it stops after the
406 first match is found. This is always the shortest possible match.
407
408
409 DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST
410
411 This section describes the output when the normal matching function,
412 pcre_exec(), is being used.
413
414 When a match succeeds, pcretest outputs the list of captured substrings
415 that pcre_exec() returns, starting with number 0 for the string that
416 matched the whole pattern. Otherwise, it outputs "No match" or "Partial
417 match:" followed by the partially matching substring when pcre_exec()
418 returns PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH or PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL, respectively, and
419 otherwise the PCRE negative error number. Here is an example of an
420 interactive pcretest run.
421
422 $ pcretest
423 PCRE version 7.0 30-Nov-2006
424
425 re> /^abc(\d+)/
426 data> abc123
427 0: abc123
428 1: 123
429 data> xyz
430 No match
431
432 Note that unset capturing substrings that are not followed by one that
433 is set are not returned by pcre_exec(), and are not shown by pcretest.
434 In the following example, there are two capturing substrings, but when
435 the first data line is matched, the second, unset substring is not
436 shown. An "internal" unset substring is shown as "<unset>", as for the
437 second data line.
438
439 re> /(a)|(b)/
440 data> a
441 0: a
442 1: a
443 data> b
444 0: b
445 1: <unset>
446 2: b
447
448 If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output as
449 \0x escapes, or as \x{...} escapes if the /8 modifier was present on
450 the pattern. See below for the definition of non-printing characters.
451 If the pattern has the /+ modifier, the output for substring 0 is fol-
452 lowed by the the rest of the subject string, identified by "0+" like
453 this:
454
455 re> /cat/+
456 data> cataract
457 0: cat
458 0+ aract
459
460 If the pattern has the /g or /G modifier, the results of successive
461 matching attempts are output in sequence, like this:
462
463 re> /\Bi(\w\w)/g
464 data> Mississippi
465 0: iss
466 1: ss
467 0: iss
468 1: ss
469 0: ipp
470 1: pp
471
472 "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails.
473
474 If any of the sequences \C, \G, or \L are present in a data line that
475 is successfully matched, the substrings extracted by the convenience
476 functions are output with C, G, or L after the string number instead of
477 a colon. This is in addition to the normal full list. The string length
478 (that is, the return from the extraction function) is given in paren-
479 theses after each string for \C and \G.
480
481 Note that whereas patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain
482 ">" prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However new-
483 lines can be included in data by means of the \n escape (or \r, \r\n,
484 etc., depending on the newline sequence setting).
485
486
487 OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION
488
489 When the alternative matching function, pcre_dfa_exec(), is used (by
490 means of the \D escape sequence or the -dfa command line option), the
491 output consists of a list of all the matches that start at the first
492 point in the subject where there is at least one match. For example:
493
494 re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/
495 data> yellow tangerine\D
496 0: tangerine
497 1: tang
498 2: tan
499
500 (Using the normal matching function on this data finds only "tang".)
501 The longest matching string is always given first (and numbered zero).
502 After a PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL return, the output is "Partial match:", fol-
503 lowed by the partially matching substring.
504
505 If /g is present on the pattern, the search for further matches resumes
506 at the end of the longest match. For example:
507
508 re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/g
509 data> yellow tangerine and tangy sultana\D
510 0: tangerine
511 1: tang
512 2: tan
513 0: tang
514 1: tan
515 0: tan
516
517 Since the matching function does not support substring capture, the
518 escape sequences that are concerned with captured substrings are not
519 relevant.
520
521
522 RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH
523
524 When the alternative matching function has given the PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL
525 return, indicating that the subject partially matched the pattern, you
526 can restart the match with additional subject data by means of the \R
527 escape sequence. For example:
528
529 re> /^\d?\d(jan|feb|mar|apr|may|jun|jul|aug|sep|oct|nov|dec)\d\d$/
530 data> 23ja\P\D
531 Partial match: 23ja
532 data> n05\R\D
533 0: n05
534
535 For further information about partial matching, see the pcrepartial
536 documentation.
537
538
539 CALLOUTS
540
541 If the pattern contains any callout requests, pcretest's callout func-
542 tion is called during matching. This works with both matching func-
543 tions. By default, the called function displays the callout number, the
544 start and current positions in the text at the callout time, and the
545 next pattern item to be tested. For example, the output
546
547 --->pqrabcdef
548 0 ^ ^ \d
549
550 indicates that callout number 0 occurred for a match attempt starting
551 at the fourth character of the subject string, when the pointer was at
552 the seventh character of the data, and when the next pattern item was
553 \d. Just one circumflex is output if the start and current positions
554 are the same.
555
556 Callouts numbered 255 are assumed to be automatic callouts, inserted as
557 a result of the /C pattern modifier. In this case, instead of showing
558 the callout number, the offset in the pattern, preceded by a plus, is
559 output. For example:
560
561 re> /\d?[A-E]\*/C
562 data> E*
563 --->E*
564 +0 ^ \d?
565 +3 ^ [A-E]
566 +8 ^^ \*
567 +10 ^ ^
568 0: E*
569
570 The callout function in pcretest returns zero (carry on matching) by
571 default, but you can use a \C item in a data line (as described above)
572 to change this.
573
574 Inserting callouts can be helpful when using pcretest to check compli-
575 cated regular expressions. For further information about callouts, see
576 the pcrecallout documentation.
577
578
579 NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS
580
581 When pcretest is outputting text in the compiled version of a pattern,
582 bytes other than 32-126 are always treated as non-printing characters
583 are are therefore shown as hex escapes.
584
585 When pcretest is outputting text that is a matched part of a subject
586 string, it behaves in the same way, unless a different locale has been
587 set for the pattern (using the /L modifier). In this case, the
588 isprint() function to distinguish printing and non-printing characters.
589
590
591 SAVING AND RELOADING COMPILED PATTERNS
592
593 The facilities described in this section are not available when the
594 POSIX inteface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the /P pattern mod-
595 ifier is specified.
596
597 When the POSIX interface is not in use, you can cause pcretest to write
598 a compiled pattern to a file, by following the modifiers with > and a
599 file name. For example:
600
601 /pattern/im >/some/file
602
603 See the pcreprecompile documentation for a discussion about saving and
604 re-using compiled patterns.
605
606 The data that is written is binary. The first eight bytes are the
607 length of the compiled pattern data followed by the length of the
608 optional study data, each written as four bytes in big-endian order
609 (most significant byte first). If there is no study data (either the
610 pattern was not studied, or studying did not return any data), the sec-
611 ond length is zero. The lengths are followed by an exact copy of the
612 compiled pattern. If there is additional study data, this follows imme-
613 diately after the compiled pattern. After writing the file, pcretest
614 expects to read a new pattern.
615
616 A saved pattern can be reloaded into pcretest by specifing < and a file
617 name instead of a pattern. The name of the file must not contain a <
618 character, as otherwise pcretest will interpret the line as a pattern
619 delimited by < characters. For example:
620
621 re> </some/file
622 Compiled regex loaded from /some/file
623 No study data
624
625 When the pattern has been loaded, pcretest proceeds to read data lines
626 in the usual way.
627
628 You can copy a file written by pcretest to a different host and reload
629 it there, even if the new host has opposite endianness to the one on
630 which the pattern was compiled. For example, you can compile on an i86
631 machine and run on a SPARC machine.
632
633 File names for saving and reloading can be absolute or relative, but
634 note that the shell facility of expanding a file name that starts with
635 a tilde (~) is not available.
636
637 The ability to save and reload files in pcretest is intended for test-
638 ing and experimentation. It is not intended for production use because
639 only a single pattern can be written to a file. Furthermore, there is
640 no facility for supplying custom character tables for use with a
641 reloaded pattern. If the original pattern was compiled with custom
642 tables, an attempt to match a subject string using a reloaded pattern
643 is likely to cause pcretest to crash. Finally, if you attempt to load
644 a file that is not in the correct format, the result is undefined.
645
646
647 SEE ALSO
648
649 pcre(3), pcreapi(3), pcrecallout(3), pcrematching(3), pcrepartial(d),
650 pcrepattern(3), pcreprecompile(3).
651
652
653 AUTHOR
654
655 Philip Hazel
656 University Computing Service
657 Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
658
659
660 REVISION
661
662 Last updated: 29 August 2009
663 Copyright (c) 1997-2009 University of Cambridge.

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