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Revision 99 - (show annotations)
Tue Mar 6 12:27:42 2007 UTC (14 years, 1 month ago) by ph10
File size: 24494 byte(s)
1. Move the comment about version numbers from pcre.h.in to configure.ac 
because that's where they are now set.
2. Update all the man pages to remove the use of .br and .in because this
causes trouble for some HTML converters. Also standardised the final sections 
giving author information and revision date.
3. Update the maintain/132html man page converter to handle .nf/.fi and to barf 
at .br/.in.
1 README file for PCRE (Perl-compatible regular expression library)
2 -----------------------------------------------------------------
4 The latest release of PCRE is always available from
6 ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/pcre-xxx.tar.gz
8 Please read the NEWS file if you are upgrading from a previous release.
11 The PCRE APIs
12 -------------
14 PCRE is written in C, and it has its own API. The distribution now includes a
15 set of C++ wrapper functions, courtesy of Google Inc. (see the pcrecpp man page
16 for details).
18 Also included are a set of C wrapper functions that are based on the POSIX
19 API. These end up in the library called libpcreposix. Note that this just
20 provides a POSIX calling interface to PCRE: the regular expressions themselves
21 still follow Perl syntax and semantics. The header file for the POSIX-style
22 functions is called pcreposix.h. The official POSIX name is regex.h, but I
23 didn't want to risk possible problems with existing files of that name by
24 distributing it that way. To use it with an existing program that uses the
25 POSIX API, it will have to be renamed or pointed at by a link.
27 If you are using the POSIX interface to PCRE and there is already a POSIX regex
28 library installed on your system, you must take care when linking programs to
29 ensure that they link with PCRE's libpcreposix library. Otherwise they may pick
30 up the "real" POSIX functions of the same name.
33 Documentation for PCRE
34 ----------------------
36 If you install PCRE in the normal way, you will end up with an installed set of
37 man pages whose names all start with "pcre". The one that is just called "pcre"
38 lists all the others. In addition to these man pages, the PCRE documentation is
39 supplied in two other forms; however, as there is no standard place to install
40 them, they are left in the doc directory of the unpacked source distribution.
41 These forms are:
43 1. Files called doc/pcre.txt, doc/pcregrep.txt, and doc/pcretest.txt. The
44 first of these is a concatenation of the text forms of all the section 3
45 man pages except those that summarize individual functions. The other two
46 are the text forms of the section 1 man pages for the pcregrep and
47 pcretest commands. Text forms are provided for ease of scanning with text
48 editors or similar tools.
50 2. A subdirectory called doc/html contains all the documentation in HTML
51 form, hyperlinked in various ways, and rooted in a file called
52 doc/index.html.
55 Contributions by users of PCRE
56 ------------------------------
58 You can find contributions from PCRE users in the directory
60 ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/Contrib
62 where there is also a README file giving brief descriptions of what they are.
63 Several of them provide support for compiling PCRE on various flavours of
64 Windows systems (I myself do not use Windows). Some are complete in themselves;
65 others are pointers to URLs containing relevant files.
68 Building PCRE on a Unix-like system
69 -----------------------------------
71 If you are using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC), please see the special note
72 in the section entitled "Using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC)" below.
74 To build PCRE on a Unix-like system, first run the "configure" command from the
75 PCRE distribution directory, with your current directory set to the directory
76 where you want the files to be created. This command is a standard GNU
77 "autoconf" configuration script, for which generic instructions are supplied in
80 Most commonly, people build PCRE within its own distribution directory, and in
81 this case, on many systems, just running "./configure" is sufficient, but the
82 usual methods of changing standard defaults are available. For example:
84 CFLAGS='-O2 -Wall' ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
86 specifies that the C compiler should be run with the flags '-O2 -Wall' instead
87 of the default, and that "make install" should install PCRE under /opt/local
88 instead of the default /usr/local.
90 If you want to build in a different directory, just run "configure" with that
91 directory as current. For example, suppose you have unpacked the PCRE source
92 into /source/pcre/pcre-xxx, but you want to build it in /build/pcre/pcre-xxx:
94 cd /build/pcre/pcre-xxx
95 /source/pcre/pcre-xxx/configure
97 PCRE is written in C and is normally compiled as a C library. However, it is
98 possible to build it as a C++ library, though the provided building apparatus
99 does not have any features to support this.
101 There are some optional features that can be included or omitted from the PCRE
102 library. You can read more about them in the pcrebuild man page.
104 . If you want to suppress the building of the C++ wrapper library, you can add
105 --disable-cpp to the "configure" command. Otherwise, when "configure" is run,
106 will try to find a C++ compiler and C++ header files, and if it succeeds, it
107 will try to build the C++ wrapper.
109 . If you want to make use of the support for UTF-8 character strings in PCRE,
110 you must add --enable-utf8 to the "configure" command. Without it, the code
111 for handling UTF-8 is not included in the library. (Even when included, it
112 still has to be enabled by an option at run time.)
114 . If, in addition to support for UTF-8 character strings, you want to include
115 support for the \P, \p, and \X sequences that recognize Unicode character
116 properties, you must add --enable-unicode-properties to the "configure"
117 command. This adds about 30K to the size of the library (in the form of a
118 property table); only the basic two-letter properties such as Lu are
119 supported.
121 . You can build PCRE to recognize either CR or LF or the sequence CRLF or any
122 of the Unicode newline sequences as indicating the end of a line. Whatever
123 you specify at build time is the default; the caller of PCRE can change the
124 selection at run time. The default newline indicator is a single LF character
125 (the Unix standard). You can specify the default newline indicator by adding
126 --newline-is-cr or --newline-is-lf or --newline-is-crlf or --newline-is-any
127 to the "configure" command, respectively.
129 If you specify --newline-is-cr or --newline-is-crlf, some of the standard
130 tests will fail, because the lines in the test files end with LF. Even if
131 the files are edited to change the line endings, there are likely to be some
132 failures. With --newline-is-any, many tests should succeed, but there may be
133 some failures.
135 . When called via the POSIX interface, PCRE uses malloc() to get additional
136 storage for processing capturing parentheses if there are more than 10 of
137 them. You can increase this threshold by setting, for example,
139 --with-posix-malloc-threshold=20
141 on the "configure" command.
143 . PCRE has a counter that can be set to limit the amount of resources it uses.
144 If the limit is exceeded during a match, the match fails. The default is ten
145 million. You can change the default by setting, for example,
147 --with-match-limit=500000
149 on the "configure" command. This is just the default; individual calls to
150 pcre_exec() can supply their own value. There is discussion on the pcreapi
151 man page.
153 . There is a separate counter that limits the depth of recursive function calls
154 during a matching process. This also has a default of ten million, which is
155 essentially "unlimited". You can change the default by setting, for example,
157 --with-match-limit-recursion=500000
159 Recursive function calls use up the runtime stack; running out of stack can
160 cause programs to crash in strange ways. There is a discussion about stack
161 sizes in the pcrestack man page.
163 . The default maximum compiled pattern size is around 64K. You can increase
164 this by adding --with-link-size=3 to the "configure" command. You can
165 increase it even more by setting --with-link-size=4, but this is unlikely
166 ever to be necessary. If you build PCRE with an increased link size, test 2
167 (and 5 if you are using UTF-8) will fail. Part of the output of these tests
168 is a representation of the compiled pattern, and this changes with the link
169 size.
171 . You can build PCRE so that its internal match() function that is called from
172 pcre_exec() does not call itself recursively. Instead, it uses blocks of data
173 from the heap via special functions pcre_stack_malloc() and pcre_stack_free()
174 to save data that would otherwise be saved on the stack. To build PCRE like
175 this, use
177 --disable-stack-for-recursion
179 on the "configure" command. PCRE runs more slowly in this mode, but it may be
180 necessary in environments with limited stack sizes. This applies only to the
181 pcre_exec() function; it does not apply to pcre_dfa_exec(), which does not
182 use deeply nested recursion.
184 The "configure" script builds eight files for the basic C library:
186 . Makefile is the makefile that builds the library
187 . config.h contains build-time configuration options for the library
188 . pcre-config is a script that shows the settings of "configure" options
189 . libpcre.pc is data for the pkg-config command
190 . libtool is a script that builds shared and/or static libraries
191 . RunTest is a script for running tests on the library
192 . RunGrepTest is a script for running tests on the pcregrep command
194 In addition, if a C++ compiler is found, the following are also built:
196 . pcrecpp.h is the header file for programs that call PCRE via the C++ wrapper
197 . pcre_stringpiece.h is the header for the C++ "stringpiece" functions
199 The "configure" script also creates config.status, which is an executable
200 script that can be run to recreate the configuration, and config.log, which
201 contains compiler output from tests that "configure" runs.
203 Once "configure" has run, you can run "make". It builds two libraries, called
204 libpcre and libpcreposix, a test program called pcretest, and the pcregrep
205 command. If a C++ compiler was found on your system, it also builds the C++
206 wrapper library, which is called libpcrecpp, and some test programs called
207 pcrecpp_unittest, pcre_scanner_unittest, and pcre_stringpiece_unittest.
209 The command "make test" runs all the appropriate tests. Details of the PCRE
210 tests are given in a separate section of this document, below.
212 You can use "make install" to copy the libraries, the public header files
213 pcre.h, pcreposix.h, pcrecpp.h, and pcre_stringpiece.h (the last two only if
214 the C++ wrapper was built), and the man pages to appropriate live directories
215 on your system, in the normal way.
217 If you want to remove PCRE from your system, you can run "make uninstall".
218 This removes all the files that "make install" installed. However, it does not
219 remove any directories, because these are often shared with other programs.
222 Retrieving configuration information on Unix-like systems
223 ---------------------------------------------------------
225 Running "make install" also installs the command pcre-config, which can be used
226 to recall information about the PCRE configuration and installation. For
227 example:
229 pcre-config --version
231 prints the version number, and
233 pcre-config --libs
235 outputs information about where the library is installed. This command can be
236 included in makefiles for programs that use PCRE, saving the programmer from
237 having to remember too many details.
239 The pkg-config command is another system for saving and retrieving information
240 about installed libraries. Instead of separate commands for each library, a
241 single command is used. For example:
243 pkg-config --cflags pcre
245 The data is held in *.pc files that are installed in a directory called
246 pkgconfig.
249 Shared libraries on Unix-like systems
250 -------------------------------------
252 The default distribution builds PCRE as shared libraries and static libraries,
253 as long as the operating system supports shared libraries. Shared library
254 support relies on the "libtool" script which is built as part of the
255 "configure" process.
257 The libtool script is used to compile and link both shared and static
258 libraries. They are placed in a subdirectory called .libs when they are newly
259 built. The programs pcretest and pcregrep are built to use these uninstalled
260 libraries (by means of wrapper scripts in the case of shared libraries). When
261 you use "make install" to install shared libraries, pcregrep and pcretest are
262 automatically re-built to use the newly installed shared libraries before being
263 installed themselves. However, the versions left in the source directory still
264 use the uninstalled libraries.
266 To build PCRE using static libraries only you must use --disable-shared when
267 configuring it. For example:
269 ./configure --prefix=/usr/gnu --disable-shared
271 Then run "make" in the usual way. Similarly, you can use --disable-static to
272 build only shared libraries.
275 Cross-compiling on a Unix-like system
276 -------------------------------------
278 You can specify CC and CFLAGS in the normal way to the "configure" command, in
279 order to cross-compile PCRE for some other host. However, during the building
280 process, the dftables.c source file is compiled *and run* on the local host, in
281 order to generate the default character tables (the chartables.c file). It
282 therefore needs to be compiled with the local compiler, not the cross compiler.
283 You can do this by specifying CC_FOR_BUILD (and if necessary CFLAGS_FOR_BUILD;
284 there are also CXX_FOR_BUILD and CXXFLAGS_FOR_BUILD for the C++ wrapper)
285 when calling the "configure" command. If they are not specified, they default
286 to the values of CC and CFLAGS.
289 Using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC)
290 ----------------------------------
292 Unless C++ support is disabled by specifying the "--disable-cpp" option of the
293 "configure" script, you *must* include the "-AA" option in the CXXFLAGS
294 environment variable in order for the C++ components to compile correctly.
296 Also, note that the aCC compiler on PA-RISC platforms may have a defect whereby
297 needed libraries fail to get included when specifying the "-AA" compiler
298 option. If you experience unresolved symbols when linking the C++ programs,
299 use the workaround of specifying the following environment variable prior to
300 running the "configure" script:
302 CXXLDFLAGS="-lstd_v2 -lCsup_v2"
305 Building on non-Unix systems
306 ----------------------------
308 For a non-Unix system, read the comments in the file NON-UNIX-USE, though if
309 the system supports the use of "configure" and "make" you may be able to build
310 PCRE in the same way as for Unix systems.
312 PCRE has been compiled on Windows systems and on Macintoshes, but I don't know
313 the details because I don't use those systems. It should be straightforward to
314 build PCRE on any system that has a Standard C compiler and library, because it
315 uses only Standard C functions.
318 Testing PCRE
319 ------------
321 To test PCRE on a Unix system, run the RunTest script that is created by the
322 configuring process. There is also a script called RunGrepTest that tests the
323 options of the pcregrep command. If the C++ wrapper library is build, three
324 test programs called pcrecpp_unittest, pcre_scanner_unittest, and
325 pcre_stringpiece_unittest are provided.
327 Both the scripts and all the program tests are run if you obey "make runtest",
328 "make check", or "make test". For other systems, see the instructions in
331 The RunTest script runs the pcretest test program (which is documented in its
332 own man page) on each of the testinput files (in the testdata directory) in
333 turn, and compares the output with the contents of the corresponding testoutput
334 files. A file called testtry is used to hold the main output from pcretest
335 (testsavedregex is also used as a working file). To run pcretest on just one of
336 the test files, give its number as an argument to RunTest, for example:
338 RunTest 2
340 The first test file can also be fed directly into the perltest script to check
341 that Perl gives the same results. The only difference you should see is in the
342 first few lines, where the Perl version is given instead of the PCRE version.
344 The second set of tests check pcre_fullinfo(), pcre_info(), pcre_study(),
345 pcre_copy_substring(), pcre_get_substring(), pcre_get_substring_list(), error
346 detection, and run-time flags that are specific to PCRE, as well as the POSIX
347 wrapper API. It also uses the debugging flag to check some of the internals of
348 pcre_compile().
350 If you build PCRE with a locale setting that is not the standard C locale, the
351 character tables may be different (see next paragraph). In some cases, this may
352 cause failures in the second set of tests. For example, in a locale where the
353 isprint() function yields TRUE for characters in the range 128-255, the use of
354 [:isascii:] inside a character class defines a different set of characters, and
355 this shows up in this test as a difference in the compiled code, which is being
356 listed for checking. Where the comparison test output contains [\x00-\x7f] the
357 test will contain [\x00-\xff], and similarly in some other cases. This is not a
358 bug in PCRE.
360 The third set of tests checks pcre_maketables(), the facility for building a
361 set of character tables for a specific locale and using them instead of the
362 default tables. The tests make use of the "fr_FR" (French) locale. Before
363 running the test, the script checks for the presence of this locale by running
364 the "locale" command. If that command fails, or if it doesn't include "fr_FR"
365 in the list of available locales, the third test cannot be run, and a comment
366 is output to say why. If running this test produces instances of the error
368 ** Failed to set locale "fr_FR"
370 in the comparison output, it means that locale is not available on your system,
371 despite being listed by "locale". This does not mean that PCRE is broken.
373 The fourth test checks the UTF-8 support. It is not run automatically unless
374 PCRE is built with UTF-8 support. To do this you must set --enable-utf8 when
375 running "configure". This file can be also fed directly to the perltest script,
376 provided you are running Perl 5.8 or higher. (For Perl 5.6, a small patch,
377 commented in the script, can be be used.)
379 The fifth test checks error handling with UTF-8 encoding, and internal UTF-8
380 features of PCRE that are not relevant to Perl.
382 The sixth and test checks the support for Unicode character properties. It it
383 not run automatically unless PCRE is built with Unicode property support. To to
384 this you must set --enable-unicode-properties when running "configure".
386 The seventh, eighth, and ninth tests check the pcre_dfa_exec() alternative
387 matching function, in non-UTF-8 mode, UTF-8 mode, and UTF-8 mode with Unicode
388 property support, respectively. The eighth and ninth tests are not run
389 automatically unless PCRE is build with the relevant support.
392 Character tables
393 ----------------
395 PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters whose values
396 are less than 256. The final argument of the pcre_compile() function is a
397 pointer to a block of memory containing the concatenated tables. A call to
398 pcre_maketables() can be used to generate a set of tables in the current
399 locale. If the final argument for pcre_compile() is passed as NULL, a set of
400 default tables that is built into the binary is used.
402 The source file called chartables.c contains the default set of tables. This is
403 not supplied in the distribution, but is built by the program dftables
404 (compiled from dftables.c), which uses the ANSI C character handling functions
405 such as isalnum(), isalpha(), isupper(), islower(), etc. to build the table
406 sources. This means that the default C locale which is set for your system will
407 control the contents of these default tables. You can change the default tables
408 by editing chartables.c and then re-building PCRE. If you do this, you should
409 probably also edit Makefile to ensure that the file doesn't ever get
410 re-generated.
412 The first two 256-byte tables provide lower casing and case flipping functions,
413 respectively. The next table consists of three 32-byte bit maps which identify
414 digits, "word" characters, and white space, respectively. These are used when
415 building 32-byte bit maps that represent character classes.
417 The final 256-byte table has bits indicating various character types, as
418 follows:
420 1 white space character
421 2 letter
422 4 decimal digit
423 8 hexadecimal digit
424 16 alphanumeric or '_'
425 128 regular expression metacharacter or binary zero
427 You should not alter the set of characters that contain the 128 bit, as that
428 will cause PCRE to malfunction.
431 Manifest
432 --------
434 The distribution should contain the following files:
436 (A) The actual source files of the PCRE library functions and their
437 headers:
439 dftables.c auxiliary program for building chartables.c
441 pcreposix.c )
442 pcre_compile.c )
443 pcre_config.c )
444 pcre_dfa_exec.c )
445 pcre_exec.c )
446 pcre_fullinfo.c )
447 pcre_get.c ) sources for the functions in the library,
448 pcre_globals.c ) and some internal functions that they use
449 pcre_info.c )
450 pcre_maketables.c )
451 pcre_newline.c )
452 pcre_ord2utf8.c )
453 pcre_refcount.c )
454 pcre_study.c )
455 pcre_tables.c )
456 pcre_try_flipped.c )
457 pcre_ucp_searchfuncs.c)
458 pcre_valid_utf8.c )
459 pcre_version.c )
460 pcre_xclass.c )
462 pcre_printint.src ) debugging function that is #included in pcretest, and
463 ) can also be #included in pcre_compile()
465 pcre.h the public PCRE header file
466 pcreposix.h header for the external POSIX wrapper API
467 pcre_internal.h header for internal use
468 ucp.h ) headers concerned with
469 ucpinternal.h ) Unicode property handling
470 ucptable.h ) (this one is the data table)
471 config.in template for config.h, which is built by configure
473 pcrecpp.h the header file for the C++ wrapper
474 pcrecpparg.h.in "source" for another C++ header file
475 pcrecpp.cc )
476 pcre_scanner.cc ) source for the C++ wrapper library
478 pcre_stringpiece.h.in "source" for pcre_stringpiece.h, the header for the
479 C++ stringpiece functions
480 pcre_stringpiece.cc source for the C++ stringpiece functions
482 (B) Auxiliary files:
484 AUTHORS information about the author of PCRE
485 ChangeLog log of changes to the code
486 INSTALL generic installation instructions
487 LICENCE conditions for the use of PCRE
488 COPYING the same, using GNU's standard name
489 Makefile.in template for Unix Makefile, which is built by configure
490 NEWS important changes in this release
491 NON-UNIX-USE notes on building PCRE on non-Unix systems
492 README this file
493 RunTest.in template for a Unix shell script for running tests
494 RunGrepTest.in template for a Unix shell script for pcregrep tests
495 config.guess ) files used by libtool,
496 config.sub ) used only when building a shared library
497 config.h.in "source" for the config.h header file
498 configure a configuring shell script (built by autoconf)
499 configure.ac the autoconf input used to build configure
500 doc/Tech.Notes notes on the encoding
501 doc/*.3 man page sources for the PCRE functions
502 doc/*.1 man page sources for pcregrep and pcretest
503 doc/html/* HTML documentation
504 doc/pcre.txt plain text version of the man pages
505 doc/pcretest.txt plain text documentation of test program
506 doc/perltest.txt plain text documentation of Perl test program
507 install-sh a shell script for installing files
508 libpcre.pc.in "source" for libpcre.pc for pkg-config
509 ltmain.sh file used to build a libtool script
510 mkinstalldirs script for making install directories
511 pcretest.c comprehensive test program
512 pcredemo.c simple demonstration of coding calls to PCRE
513 perltest.pl Perl test program
514 pcregrep.c source of a grep utility that uses PCRE
515 pcre-config.in source of script which retains PCRE information
516 pcrecpp_unittest.c )
517 pcre_scanner_unittest.c ) test programs for the C++ wrapper
518 pcre_stringpiece_unittest.c )
519 testdata/testinput* test data for main library tests
520 testdata/testoutput* expected test results
521 testdata/grep* input and output for pcregrep tests
523 (C) Auxiliary files for Win32 DLL
525 libpcre.def
526 libpcreposix.def
528 (D) Auxiliary file for VPASCAL
530 makevp.bat
532 Philip Hazel
533 Email local part: ph10
534 Email domain: cam.ac.uk
535 March 2007


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