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1  README file for PCRE (Perl-compatible regular expressions)  README file for PCRE (Perl-compatible regular expression library)
2  ----------------------------------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
4  *******************************************************************************  The latest release of PCRE is always available from
 *                                                                             *  
 * Please note that there has been a change in the API such that a larger      *  
 * ovector is required at matching time, to provide some additional workspace. *  
 * The new man page has details. This change was necessary in order to support *  
 * some of the new functionality in Perl 5.005.                                *  
 *                                                                             *  
 *           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.00                   *  
 *                                                                             *  
 * Another (I hope this is the last!) change has been made to the API for the  *  
 * pcre_compile() function. An additional argument has been added to make it   *  
 * possible to pass over a pointer to character tables built in the current    *  
 * locale by pcre_maketables(). To use the default tables, this new arguement  *  
 * should be passed as NULL.                                                   *  
6  The distribution should contain the following files:    ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/pcre-xxx.tar.gz
8    There is a mailing list for discussion about the development of PCRE at
10    ChangeLog         log of changes to the code    pcre-dev@exim.org
11    LICENCE           conditions for the use of PCRE  
12    Makefile          for building PCRE  Please read the NEWS file if you are upgrading from a previous release.
13    README            this file  The contents of this README file are:
14    RunTest           a shell script for running tests  
15    Tech.Notes        notes on the encoding    The PCRE APIs
16    pcre.3            man page for the functions    Documentation for PCRE
17    pcreposix.3       man page for the POSIX wrapper API    Contributions by users of PCRE
18    dftables.c        auxiliary program for building chartables.c    Building PCRE on non-Unix systems
19    get.c             )    Building PCRE on Unix-like systems
20    maketables.c      )    Retrieving configuration information on Unix-like systems
21    study.c           ) source of    Shared libraries on Unix-like systems
22    pcre.c            )   the functions    Cross-compiling on Unix-like systems
23    pcreposix.c       )    Using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC)
24    pcre.h            header for the external API    Making new tarballs
25    pcreposix.h       header for the external POSIX wrapper API    Testing PCRE
26    internal.h        header for internal use    Character tables
27    pcretest.c        test program    File manifest
28    pgrep.1           man page for pgrep  
29    pgrep.c           source of a grep utility that uses PCRE  
30    perltest          Perl test program  The PCRE APIs
31    testinput         test data, compatible with Perl 5.004 and 5.005  -------------
32    testinput2        test data for error messages and non-Perl things  
33    testinput3        test data, compatible with Perl 5.005  PCRE is written in C, and it has its own API. The distribution also includes a
34    testinput4        test data for locale-specific tests  set of C++ wrapper functions (see the pcrecpp man page for details), courtesy
35    testoutput        test results corresponding to testinput  of Google Inc.
36    testoutput2       test results corresponding to testinput2  
37    testoutput3       test results corresponding to testinput3  In addition, there is a set of C wrapper functions that are based on the POSIX
38    testoutput4       test results corresponding to testinput4  regular expression API (see the pcreposix man page). These end up in the
39    library called libpcreposix. Note that this just provides a POSIX calling
40  To build PCRE, edit Makefile for your system (it is a fairly simple make file,  interface to PCRE; the regular expressions themselves still follow Perl syntax
41  and there are some comments at the top) and then run it. It builds two  and semantics. The POSIX API is restricted, and does not give full access to
42  libraries called libpcre.a and libpcreposix.a, a test program called pcretest,  all of PCRE's facilities.
43  and the pgrep command.  
44    The header file for the POSIX-style functions is called pcreposix.h. The
45  To test PCRE, run the RunTest script in the pcre directory. This runs pcretest  official POSIX name is regex.h, but I did not want to risk possible problems
46  on each of the testinput files in turn, and compares the output with the  with existing files of that name by distributing it that way. To use PCRE with
47  contents of the corresponding testoutput file. A file called testtry is used to  an existing program that uses the POSIX API, pcreposix.h will have to be
48  hold the output from pcretest (which is documented below).  renamed or pointed at by a link.
50  To run pcretest on just one of the test files, give its number as an argument  If you are using the POSIX interface to PCRE and there is already a POSIX regex
51  to RunTest, for example:  library installed on your system, as well as worrying about the regex.h header
52    file (as mentioned above), you must also take care when linking programs to
53    RunTest 3  ensure that they link with PCRE's libpcreposix library. Otherwise they may pick
54    up the POSIX functions of the same name from the other library.
55  The first and third test files can also be fed directly into the perltest  
56  program to check that Perl gives the same results. The third file requires the  One way of avoiding this confusion is to compile PCRE with the addition of
57  additional features of release 5.005, which is why it is kept separate from the  -Dregcomp=PCREregcomp (and similarly for the other POSIX functions) to the
58  main test input, which needs only Perl 5.004. In the long run, when 5.005 is  compiler flags (CFLAGS if you are using "configure" -- see below). This has the
59  widespread, these two test files may get amalgamated.  effect of renaming the functions so that the names no longer clash. Of course,
60    you have to do the same thing for your applications, or write them using the
61  The second set of tests check pcre_info(), pcre_study(), pcre_copy_substring(),  new names.
62  pcre_get_substring(), pcre_get_substring_list(), error detection and run-time  
63  flags that are specific to PCRE, as well as the POSIX wrapper API.  
64    Documentation for PCRE
65    ----------------------
67    If you install PCRE in the normal way on a Unix-like system, you will end up
68    with a set of man pages whose names all start with "pcre". The one that is just
69    called "pcre" lists all the others. In addition to these man pages, the PCRE
70    documentation is supplied in two other forms:
72      1. There are files called doc/pcre.txt, doc/pcregrep.txt, and
73         doc/pcretest.txt in the source distribution. The first of these is a
74         concatenation of the text forms of all the section 3 man pages except
75         those that summarize individual functions. The other two are the text
76         forms of the section 1 man pages for the pcregrep and pcretest commands.
77         These text forms are provided for ease of scanning with text editors or
78         similar tools. They are installed in <prefix>/share/doc/pcre, where
79         <prefix> is the installation prefix (defaulting to /usr/local).
81      2. A set of files containing all the documentation in HTML form, hyperlinked
82         in various ways, and rooted in a file called index.html, is distributed in
83         doc/html and installed in <prefix>/share/doc/pcre/html.
86    Contributions by users of PCRE
87    ------------------------------
89    You can find contributions from PCRE users in the directory
91      ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/Contrib
93    There is a README file giving brief descriptions of what they are. Some are
94    complete in themselves; others are pointers to URLs containing relevant files.
95    Some of this material is likely to be well out-of-date. Several of the earlier
96    contributions provided support for compiling PCRE on various flavours of
97    Windows (I myself do not use Windows). Nowadays there is more Windows support
98    in the standard distribution, so these contibutions have been archived.
101    Building PCRE on non-Unix systems
102    ---------------------------------
104    For a non-Unix system, please read the comments in the file NON-UNIX-USE,
105    though if your system supports the use of "configure" and "make" you may be
106    able to build PCRE in the same way as for Unix-like systems. PCRE can also be
107    configured in many platform environments using the GUI facility of CMake's
108    CMakeSetup. It creates Makefiles, solution files, etc.
110    PCRE has been compiled on many different operating systems. It should be
111    straightforward to build PCRE on any system that has a Standard C compiler and
112    library, because it uses only Standard C functions.
115    Building PCRE on Unix-like systems
116    ----------------------------------
118    If you are using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC), please see the special note
119    in the section entitled "Using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC)" below.
121    The following instructions assume the use of the widely used "configure, make,
122    make install" process. There is also some experimental support for "cmake" in
123    the PCRE distribution, but it is incomplete and not documented. However, if you
124    are a "cmake" user, you might want to try it.
126    To build PCRE on a Unix-like system, first run the "configure" command from the
127    PCRE distribution directory, with your current directory set to the directory
128    where you want the files to be created. This command is a standard GNU
129    "autoconf" configuration script, for which generic instructions are supplied in
130    the file INSTALL.
132    Most commonly, people build PCRE within its own distribution directory, and in
133    this case, on many systems, just running "./configure" is sufficient. However,
134    the usual methods of changing standard defaults are available. For example:
136    CFLAGS='-O2 -Wall' ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
138    specifies that the C compiler should be run with the flags '-O2 -Wall' instead
139    of the default, and that "make install" should install PCRE under /opt/local
140    instead of the default /usr/local.
142    If you want to build in a different directory, just run "configure" with that
143    directory as current. For example, suppose you have unpacked the PCRE source
144    into /source/pcre/pcre-xxx, but you want to build it in /build/pcre/pcre-xxx:
146    cd /build/pcre/pcre-xxx
147    /source/pcre/pcre-xxx/configure
149    PCRE is written in C and is normally compiled as a C library. However, it is
150    possible to build it as a C++ library, though the provided building apparatus
151    does not have any features to support this.
153    There are some optional features that can be included or omitted from the PCRE
154    library. You can read more about them in the pcrebuild man page.
156    . If you want to suppress the building of the C++ wrapper library, you can add
157      --disable-cpp to the "configure" command. Otherwise, when "configure" is run,
158      it will try to find a C++ compiler and C++ header files, and if it succeeds,
159      it will try to build the C++ wrapper.
161    . If you want to make use of the support for UTF-8 character strings in PCRE,
162      you must add --enable-utf8 to the "configure" command. Without it, the code
163      for handling UTF-8 is not included in the library. (Even when included, it
164      still has to be enabled by an option at run time.)
166    . If, in addition to support for UTF-8 character strings, you want to include
167      support for the \P, \p, and \X sequences that recognize Unicode character
168      properties, you must add --enable-unicode-properties to the "configure"
169      command. This adds about 30K to the size of the library (in the form of a
170      property table); only the basic two-letter properties such as Lu are
171      supported.
173    . You can build PCRE to recognize either CR or LF or the sequence CRLF or any
174      of the preceding, or any of the Unicode newline sequences as indicating the
175      end of a line. Whatever you specify at build time is the default; the caller
176      of PCRE can change the selection at run time. The default newline indicator
177      is a single LF character (the Unix standard). You can specify the default
178      newline indicator by adding --enable-newline-is-cr or --enable-newline-is-lf
179      or --enable-newline-is-crlf or --enable-newline-is-anycrlf or
180      --enable-newline-is-any to the "configure" command, respectively.
182      If you specify --enable-newline-is-cr or --enable-newline-is-crlf, some of
183      the standard tests will fail, because the lines in the test files end with
184      LF. Even if the files are edited to change the line endings, there are likely
185      to be some failures. With --enable-newline-is-anycrlf or
186      --enable-newline-is-any, many tests should succeed, but there may be some
187      failures.
189    . By default, the sequence \R in a pattern matches any Unicode line ending
190      sequence. This is independent of the option specifying what PCRE considers to
191      be the end of a line (see above). However, the caller of PCRE can restrict \R
192      to match only CR, LF, or CRLF. You can make this the default by adding
193      --enable-bsr-anycrlf to the "configure" command (bsr = "backslash R").
195    . When called via the POSIX interface, PCRE uses malloc() to get additional
196      storage for processing capturing parentheses if there are more than 10 of
197      them in a pattern. You can increase this threshold by setting, for example,
199      --with-posix-malloc-threshold=20
201      on the "configure" command.
203    . PCRE has a counter that can be set to limit the amount of resources it uses.
204      If the limit is exceeded during a match, the match fails. The default is ten
205      million. You can change the default by setting, for example,
207      --with-match-limit=500000
209      on the "configure" command. This is just the default; individual calls to
210      pcre_exec() can supply their own value. There is more discussion on the
211      pcreapi man page.
213    . There is a separate counter that limits the depth of recursive function calls
214      during a matching process. This also has a default of ten million, which is
215      essentially "unlimited". You can change the default by setting, for example,
217      --with-match-limit-recursion=500000
219      Recursive function calls use up the runtime stack; running out of stack can
220      cause programs to crash in strange ways. There is a discussion about stack
221      sizes in the pcrestack man page.
223    . The default maximum compiled pattern size is around 64K. You can increase
224      this by adding --with-link-size=3 to the "configure" command. You can
225      increase it even more by setting --with-link-size=4, but this is unlikely
226      ever to be necessary. Increasing the internal link size will reduce
227      performance.
229    . You can build PCRE so that its internal match() function that is called from
230      pcre_exec() does not call itself recursively. Instead, it uses memory blocks
231      obtained from the heap via the special functions pcre_stack_malloc() and
232      pcre_stack_free() to save data that would otherwise be saved on the stack. To
233      build PCRE like this, use
235      --disable-stack-for-recursion
237      on the "configure" command. PCRE runs more slowly in this mode, but it may be
238      necessary in environments with limited stack sizes. This applies only to the
239      pcre_exec() function; it does not apply to pcre_dfa_exec(), which does not
240      use deeply nested recursion. There is a discussion about stack sizes in the
241      pcrestack man page.
243    . For speed, PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters
244      whose code point values are less than 256. By default, it uses a set of
245      tables for ASCII encoding that is part of the distribution. If you specify
247      --enable-rebuild-chartables
249      a program called dftables is compiled and run in the default C locale when
250      you obey "make". It builds a source file called pcre_chartables.c. If you do
251      not specify this option, pcre_chartables.c is created as a copy of
252      pcre_chartables.c.dist. See "Character tables" below for further information.
254    . It is possible to compile PCRE for use on systems that use EBCDIC as their
255      default character code (as opposed to ASCII) by specifying
257      --enable-ebcdic
259      This automatically implies --enable-rebuild-chartables (see above).
261    The "configure" script builds the following files for the basic C library:
263    . Makefile is the makefile that builds the library
264    . config.h contains build-time configuration options for the library
265    . pcre.h is the public PCRE header file
266    . pcre-config is a script that shows the settings of "configure" options
267    . libpcre.pc is data for the pkg-config command
268    . libtool is a script that builds shared and/or static libraries
269    . RunTest is a script for running tests on the basic C library
270    . RunGrepTest is a script for running tests on the pcregrep command
272    Versions of config.h and pcre.h are distributed in the PCRE tarballs under
273    the names config.h.generic and pcre.h.generic. These are provided for the
274    benefit of those who have to built PCRE without the benefit of "configure". If
275    you use "configure", the .generic versions are not used.
277    If a C++ compiler is found, the following files are also built:
279    . libpcrecpp.pc is data for the pkg-config command
280    . pcrecpparg.h is a header file for programs that call PCRE via the C++ wrapper
281    . pcre_stringpiece.h is the header for the C++ "stringpiece" functions
283    The "configure" script also creates config.status, which is an executable
284    script that can be run to recreate the configuration, and config.log, which
285    contains compiler output from tests that "configure" runs.
287    Once "configure" has run, you can run "make". It builds two libraries, called
288    libpcre and libpcreposix, a test program called pcretest, a demonstration
289    program called pcredemo, and the pcregrep command. If a C++ compiler was found
290    on your system, "make" also builds the C++ wrapper library, which is called
291    libpcrecpp, and some test programs called pcrecpp_unittest,
292    pcre_scanner_unittest, and pcre_stringpiece_unittest. Building the C++ wrapper
293    can be disabled by adding --disable-cpp to the "configure" command.
295    The command "make check" runs all the appropriate tests. Details of the PCRE
296    tests are given below in a separate section of this document.
298    You can use "make install" to install PCRE into live directories on your
299    system. The following are installed (file names are all relative to the
300    <prefix> that is set when "configure" is run):
302      Commands (bin):
303        pcretest
304        pcregrep
305        pcre-config
307      Libraries (lib):
308        libpcre
309        libpcreposix
310        libpcrecpp (if C++ support is enabled)
312      Configuration information (lib/pkgconfig):
313        libpcre.pc
314        libpcrecpp.pc (if C++ support is enabled)
316      Header files (include):
317        pcre.h
318        pcreposix.h
319        pcre_scanner.h      )
320        pcre_stringpiece.h  ) if C++ support is enabled
321        pcrecpp.h           )
322        pcrecpparg.h        )
324      Man pages (share/man/man{1,3}):
325        pcregrep.1
326        pcretest.1
327        pcre.3
328        pcre*.3 (lots more pages, all starting "pcre")
330      HTML documentation (share/doc/pcre/html):
331        index.html
332        *.html (lots more pages, hyperlinked from index.html)
334      Text file documentation (share/doc/pcre):
335        AUTHORS
336        COPYING
337        ChangeLog
338        LICENCE
339        NEWS
340        README
341        pcre.txt       (a concatenation of the man(3) pages)
342        pcretest.txt   the pcretest man page
343        pcregrep.txt   the pcregrep man page
345    Note that the pcredemo program that is built by "configure" is *not* installed
346    anywhere. It is a demonstration for programmers wanting to use PCRE.
348    If you want to remove PCRE from your system, you can run "make uninstall".
349    This removes all the files that "make install" installed. However, it does not
350    remove any directories, because these are often shared with other programs.
353    Retrieving configuration information on Unix-like systems
354    ---------------------------------------------------------
356    Running "make install" installs the command pcre-config, which can be used to
357    recall information about the PCRE configuration and installation. For example:
359      pcre-config --version
361    prints the version number, and
363      pcre-config --libs
365    outputs information about where the library is installed. This command can be
366    included in makefiles for programs that use PCRE, saving the programmer from
367    having to remember too many details.
369    The pkg-config command is another system for saving and retrieving information
370    about installed libraries. Instead of separate commands for each library, a
371    single command is used. For example:
373      pkg-config --cflags pcre
375    The data is held in *.pc files that are installed in a directory called
376    <prefix>/lib/pkgconfig.
379    Shared libraries on Unix-like systems
380    -------------------------------------
382    The default distribution builds PCRE as shared libraries and static libraries,
383    as long as the operating system supports shared libraries. Shared library
384    support relies on the "libtool" script which is built as part of the
385    "configure" process.
387    The libtool script is used to compile and link both shared and static
388    libraries. They are placed in a subdirectory called .libs when they are newly
389    built. The programs pcretest and pcregrep are built to use these uninstalled
390    libraries (by means of wrapper scripts in the case of shared libraries). When
391    you use "make install" to install shared libraries, pcregrep and pcretest are
392    automatically re-built to use the newly installed shared libraries before being
393    installed themselves. However, the versions left in the build directory still
394    use the uninstalled libraries.
396    To build PCRE using static libraries only you must use --disable-shared when
397    configuring it. For example:
399    ./configure --prefix=/usr/gnu --disable-shared
401    Then run "make" in the usual way. Similarly, you can use --disable-static to
402    build only shared libraries.
405    Cross-compiling on Unix-like systems
406    ------------------------------------
408    You can specify CC and CFLAGS in the normal way to the "configure" command, in
409    order to cross-compile PCRE for some other host. However, you should NOT
410    specify --enable-rebuild-chartables, because if you do, the dftables.c source
411    file is compiled and run on the local host, in order to generate the inbuilt
412    character tables (the pcre_chartables.c file). This will probably not work,
413    because dftables.c needs to be compiled with the local compiler, not the cross
414    compiler.
416    When --enable-rebuild-chartables is not specified, pcre_chartables.c is created
417    by making a copy of pcre_chartables.c.dist, which is a default set of tables
418    that assumes ASCII code. Cross-compiling with the default tables should not be
419    a problem.
421    If you need to modify the character tables when cross-compiling, you should
422    move pcre_chartables.c.dist out of the way, then compile dftables.c by hand and
423    run it on the local host to make a new version of pcre_chartables.c.dist.
424    Then when you cross-compile PCRE this new version of the tables will be used.
427    Using HP's ANSI C++ compiler (aCC)
428    ----------------------------------
430    Unless C++ support is disabled by specifying the "--disable-cpp" option of the
431    "configure" script, you must include the "-AA" option in the CXXFLAGS
432    environment variable in order for the C++ components to compile correctly.
434    Also, note that the aCC compiler on PA-RISC platforms may have a defect whereby
435    needed libraries fail to get included when specifying the "-AA" compiler
436    option. If you experience unresolved symbols when linking the C++ programs,
437    use the workaround of specifying the following environment variable prior to
438    running the "configure" script:
440      CXXLDFLAGS="-lstd_v2 -lCsup_v2"
443    Making new tarballs
444    -------------------
446    The command "make dist" creates three PCRE tarballs, in tar.gz, tar.bz2, and
447    zip formats. The command "make distcheck" does the same, but then does a trial
448    build of the new distribution to ensure that it works.
450    If you have modified any of the man page sources in the doc directory, you
451    should first run the PrepareRelease script before making a distribution. This
452    script creates the .txt and HTML forms of the documentation from the man pages.
455    Testing PCRE
456    ------------
458    To test the basic PCRE library on a Unix system, run the RunTest script that is
459    created by the configuring process. There is also a script called RunGrepTest
460    that tests the options of the pcregrep command. If the C++ wrapper library is
461    built, three test programs called pcrecpp_unittest, pcre_scanner_unittest, and
462    pcre_stringpiece_unittest are also built.
464    Both the scripts and all the program tests are run if you obey "make check" or
465    "make test". For other systems, see the instructions in NON-UNIX-USE.
467    The RunTest script runs the pcretest test program (which is documented in its
468    own man page) on each of the testinput files in the testdata directory in
469    turn, and compares the output with the contents of the corresponding testoutput
470    files. A file called testtry is used to hold the main output from pcretest
471    (testsavedregex is also used as a working file). To run pcretest on just one of
472    the test files, give its number as an argument to RunTest, for example:
474      RunTest 2
476    The first test file can also be fed directly into the perltest.pl script to
477    check that Perl gives the same results. The only difference you should see is
478    in the first few lines, where the Perl version is given instead of the PCRE
479    version.
481    The second set of tests check pcre_fullinfo(), pcre_info(), pcre_study(),
482    pcre_copy_substring(), pcre_get_substring(), pcre_get_substring_list(), error
483    detection, and run-time flags that are specific to PCRE, as well as the POSIX
484    wrapper API. It also uses the debugging flags to check some of the internals of
485    pcre_compile().
487    If you build PCRE with a locale setting that is not the standard C locale, the
488    character tables may be different (see next paragraph). In some cases, this may
489    cause failures in the second set of tests. For example, in a locale where the
490    isprint() function yields TRUE for characters in the range 128-255, the use of
491    [:isascii:] inside a character class defines a different set of characters, and
492    this shows up in this test as a difference in the compiled code, which is being
493    listed for checking. Where the comparison test output contains [\x00-\x7f] the
494    test will contain [\x00-\xff], and similarly in some other cases. This is not a
495    bug in PCRE.
497  The fourth set of tests checks pcre_maketables(), the facility for building a  The third set of tests checks pcre_maketables(), the facility for building a
498  set of character tables for a specific locale and using them instead of the  set of character tables for a specific locale and using them instead of the
499  default tables. The tests make use of the "fr" (French) locale. Before running  default tables. The tests make use of the "fr_FR" (French) locale. Before
500  the test, the script checks for the presence of this locale by running the  running the test, the script checks for the presence of this locale by running
501  "locale" command. If that command fails, or if it doesn't include "fr" in the  the "locale" command. If that command fails, or if it doesn't include "fr_FR"
502  list of available locales, the fourth test cannot be run, and a comment is  in the list of available locales, the third test cannot be run, and a comment
503  output to say why. If running this test produces instances of the error  is output to say why. If running this test produces instances of the error
505    ** Failed to set locale "fr"    ** Failed to set locale "fr_FR"
507  in the comparison output, it means that locale is not available on your system,  in the comparison output, it means that locale is not available on your system,
508  despite being listed by "locale". This does not mean that PCRE is broken.  despite being listed by "locale". This does not mean that PCRE is broken.
510  To install PCRE, copy libpcre.a to any suitable library directory (e.g.  [If you are trying to run this test on Windows, you may be able to get it to
511  /usr/local/lib), pcre.h to any suitable include directory (e.g.  work by changing "fr_FR" to "french" everywhere it occurs. Alternatively, use
512  /usr/local/include), and pcre.3 to any suitable man directory (e.g.  RunTest.bat. The version of RunTest.bat included with PCRE 7.4 and above uses
513  /usr/local/man/man3).  Windows versions of test 2. More info on using RunTest.bat is included in the
514    document entitled NON-UNIX-USE.]
515  To install the pgrep command, copy it to any suitable binary directory, (e.g.  
516  /usr/local/bin) and pgrep.1 to any suitable man directory (e.g.  The fourth test checks the UTF-8 support. It is not run automatically unless
517  /usr/local/man/man1).  PCRE is built with UTF-8 support. To do this you must set --enable-utf8 when
518    running "configure". This file can be also fed directly to the perltest script,
519  PCRE has its own native API, but a set of "wrapper" functions that are based on  provided you are running Perl 5.8 or higher. (For Perl 5.6, a small patch,
520  the POSIX API are also supplied in the library libpcreposix.a. Note that this  commented in the script, can be be used.)
521  just provides a POSIX calling interface to PCRE: the regular expressions  
522  themselves still follow Perl syntax and semantics. The header file  The fifth test checks error handling with UTF-8 encoding, and internal UTF-8
523  for the POSIX-style functions is called pcreposix.h. The official POSIX name is  features of PCRE that are not relevant to Perl.
524  regex.h, but I didn't want to risk possible problems with existing files of  
525  that name by distributing it that way. To use it with an existing program that  The sixth test checks the support for Unicode character properties. It it not
526  uses the POSIX API, it will have to be renamed or pointed at by a link.  run automatically unless PCRE is built with Unicode property support. To to
527    this you must set --enable-unicode-properties when running "configure".
529    The seventh, eighth, and ninth tests check the pcre_dfa_exec() alternative
530    matching function, in non-UTF-8 mode, UTF-8 mode, and UTF-8 mode with Unicode
531    property support, respectively. The eighth and ninth tests are not run
532    automatically unless PCRE is build with the relevant support.
535  Character tables  Character tables
536  ----------------  ----------------
538  PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters. The final  For speed, PCRE uses four tables for manipulating and identifying characters
539  argument of the pcre_compile() function is a pointer to a block of memory  whose code point values are less than 256. The final argument of the
540  containing the concatenated tables. A call to pcre_maketables() is used to  pcre_compile() function is a pointer to a block of memory containing the
541  generate a set of tables in the current locale. However, if the final argument  concatenated tables. A call to pcre_maketables() can be used to generate a set
542  is passed as NULL, a set of default tables that is built into the binary is  of tables in the current locale. If the final argument for pcre_compile() is
543  used.  passed as NULL, a set of default tables that is built into the binary is used.
545  The source file called chartables.c contains the default set of tables. This is  The source file called pcre_chartables.c contains the default set of tables. By
546  not supplied in the distribution, but is built by the program dftables  default, this is created as a copy of pcre_chartables.c.dist, which contains
547  (compiled from dftables.c), which uses the ANSI C character handling functions  tables for ASCII coding. However, if --enable-rebuild-chartables is specified
548  such as isalnum(), isalpha(), isupper(), islower(), etc. to build the table  for ./configure, a different version of pcre_chartables.c is built by the
549  sources. This means that the default C locale set your system will control the  program dftables (compiled from dftables.c), which uses the ANSI C character
550  contents of the tables. You can change the default tables by editing  handling functions such as isalnum(), isalpha(), isupper(), islower(), etc. to
551  chartables.c and then re-building PCRE. If you do this, you should probably  build the table sources. This means that the default C locale which is set for
552  also edit Makefile to ensure that the file doesn't ever get re-generated.  your system will control the contents of these default tables. You can change
553    the default tables by editing pcre_chartables.c and then re-building PCRE. If
554    you do this, you should take care to ensure that the file does not get
555    automatically re-generated. The best way to do this is to move
556    pcre_chartables.c.dist out of the way and replace it with your customized
557    tables.
559    When the dftables program is run as a result of --enable-rebuild-chartables,
560    it uses the default C locale that is set on your system. It does not pay
561    attention to the LC_xxx environment variables. In other words, it uses the
562    system's default locale rather than whatever the compiling user happens to have
563    set. If you really do want to build a source set of character tables in a
564    locale that is specified by the LC_xxx variables, you can run the dftables
565    program by hand with the -L option. For example:
567      ./dftables -L pcre_chartables.c.special
569  The first two 256-byte tables provide lower casing and case flipping functions,  The first two 256-byte tables provide lower casing and case flipping functions,
570  respectively. The next table consists of three 32-byte bit maps which identify  respectively. The next table consists of three 32-byte bit maps which identify
571  digits, "word" characters, and white space, respectively. These are used when  digits, "word" characters, and white space, respectively. These are used when
572  building 32-byte bit maps that represent character classes.  building 32-byte bit maps that represent character classes for code points less
573    than 256.
575  The final 256-byte table has bits indicating various character types, as  The final 256-byte table has bits indicating various character types, as
576  follows:  follows:
# Line 145  You should not alter the set of characte Line 586  You should not alter the set of characte
586  will cause PCRE to malfunction.  will cause PCRE to malfunction.
589  The pcretest program  File manifest
590  --------------------  -------------
592    The distribution should contain the following files:
594  This program is intended for testing PCRE, but it can also be used for  (A) Source files of the PCRE library functions and their headers:
 experimenting with regular expressions.  
596  If it is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first and writes to    dftables.c              auxiliary program for building pcre_chartables.c
597  the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it reads from that file                              when --enable-rebuild-chartables is specified
 and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and writes to stdout, and  
 prompts for each line of input.  
 The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file. Each  
 set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any number of data  
 lines to be matched against the pattern. An empty line signals the end of the  
 set. The regular expressions are given enclosed in any non-alphameric  
 delimiters other than backslash, for example  
 White space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expression may  
 be continued over several input lines, in which case the newline characters are  
 included within it. See the testinput files for many examples. It is possible  
 to include the delimiter within the pattern by escaping it, for example  
 If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern, but since  
 delimiters are always non-alphameric, this does not affect its interpretation.  
 If the terminating delimiter is immediately followed by a backslash, for  
 then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This provides a way of  
 testing the error condition that arises if a pattern finishes with a backslash,  
 is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/", causing  
 pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular expression.  
 The pattern may be followed by i, m, s, or x to set the PCRE_CASELESS,  
 PCRE_MULTILINE, PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively. These  
 options have the same effect as they do in Perl.  
 There are also some upper case options that do not match Perl options: /A, /E,  
 and /X set PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY, and PCRE_EXTRA respectively.  
 The /L option must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for example,  
 For this reason, it must be the last option letter. The given locale is set,  
 pcre_maketables() is called to build a set of character tables for the locale,  
 and this is then passed to pcre_compile() when compiling the regular  
 expression. Without an /L option, NULL is passed as the tables pointer; that  
 is, /L applies only to the expression on which it appears.  
 The /I option requests that pcretest output information about the compiled  
 expression (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and so on). It  
 does this by calling pcre_info() after compiling an expression, and outputting  
 the information it gets back. If the pattern is studied, the results of that  
 are also output.  
 The /D option is a PCRE debugging feature, which also assumes /I. It causes the  
 internal form of compiled regular expressions to be output after compilation.  
 The /S option causes pcre_study() to be called after the expression has been  
 compiled, and the results used when the expression is matched.  
 The /M option causes information about the size of memory block used to hold  
 the compile pattern to be output.  
 Finally, the /P option causes pcretest to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper API  
 rather than its native API. When this is done, all other options except /i and  
 /m are ignored. REG_ICASE is set if /i is present, and REG_NEWLINE is set if /m  
 is present. The wrapper functions force PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY always, and  
 PCRE_DOTALL unless REG_NEWLINE is set.  
 Before each data line is passed to pcre_exec(), leading and trailing whitespace  
 is removed, and it is then scanned for \ escapes. The following are recognized:  
   \a     alarm (= BEL)  
   \b     backspace  
   \e     escape  
   \f     formfeed  
   \n     newline  
   \r     carriage return  
   \t     tab  
   \v     vertical tab  
   \nnn   octal character (up to 3 octal digits)  
   \xhh   hexadecimal character (up to 2 hex digits)  
   \A     pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to pcre_exec()  
   \B     pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to pcre_exec()  
   \Cdd   call pcre_copy_substring() for substring dd after a successful match  
            (any decimal number less than 32)  
   \Gdd   call pcre_get_substring() for substring dd after a successful match  
            (any decimal number less than 32)  
   \L     call pcre_get_substringlist() after a successful match  
   \Odd   set the size of the output vector passed to pcre_exec() to dd  
            (any number of decimal digits)  
   \Z     pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to pcre_exec()  
 A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the anything else. If the  
 very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a way of passing  
 an empty line as data, since a real empty line terminates the data input.  
 If /P was present on the regex, causing the POSIX wrapper API to be used, only  
 \B, and \Z have any effect, causing REG_NOTBOL and REG_NOTEOL to be passed to  
 regexec() respectively.  
 When a match succeeds, pcretest outputs the list of captured substrings that  
 pcre_exec() returns, starting with number 0 for the string that matched the  
 whole pattern. Here is an example of an interactive pcretest run.  
   $ pcretest  
   Testing Perl-Compatible Regular Expressions  
   PCRE version 0.90 08-Sep-1997  
     re> /^abc(\d+)/  
   data> abc123  
     0: abc123  
     1: 123  
   data> xyz  
   No match  
 If any of \C, \G, or \L are present in a data line that is successfully  
 matched, the substrings extracted by the convenience functions are output with  
 C, G, or L after the string number instead of a colon. This is in addition to  
 the normal full list. The string length (that is, the return from the  
 extraction function) is given in parentheses after each string for \C and \G.  
 Note that while patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain ">"  
 prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However newlines can be  
 included in data by means of the \n escape.  
 If the -p option is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /P to each  
 regular expression: the POSIX wrapper API is used to call PCRE. None of the  
 following flags has any effect in this case.  
 If the option -d is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /D to each  
 regular expression: the internal form is output after compilation.  
 If the option -i is given to pcretest, it is equivalent to adding /I to each  
 regular expression: information about the compiled pattern is given after  
 If the option -m is given to pcretest, it outputs the size of each compiled  
 pattern after it has been compiled. It is equivalent to adding /M to each  
 regular expression. For compatibility with earlier versions of pcretest, -s is  
 a synonym for -m.  
 If the -t option is given, each compile, study, and match is run 20000 times  
 while being timed, and the resulting time per compile or match is output in  
 milliseconds. Do not set -t with -s, because you will then get the size output  
 20000 times and the timing will be distorted. If you want to change the number  
 of repetitions used for timing, edit the definition of LOOPREPEAT at the top of  
 The perltest program  
 The perltest program tests Perl's regular expressions; it has the same  
 specification as pcretest, and so can be given identical input, except that  
 input patterns can be followed only by Perl's lower case options. The contents  
 of testinput and testinput3 meet this condition.  
 The data lines are processed as Perl strings, so if they contain $ or @  
 characters, these have to be escaped. For this reason, all such characters in  
 the testinput file are escaped so that it can be used for perltest as well as  
 for pcretest, and the special upper case options such as /A that pcretest  
 recognizes are not used in this file. The output should be identical, apart  
 from the initial identifying banner.  
 The testinput2 and testinput4 files are not suitable for feeding to Perltest,  
 since they do make use of the special upper case options and escapes that  
 pcretest uses to test some features of PCRE. The first of these files also  
 contains malformed regular expressions, in order to check that PCRE diagnoses  
 them correctly.  
599  Philip Hazel <ph10@cam.ac.uk>    pcre_chartables.c.dist  a default set of character tables that assume ASCII
600  February 1999                              coding; used, unless --enable-rebuild-chartables is
601                                specified, by copying to pcre_chartables.c
603      pcreposix.c             )
604      pcre_compile.c          )
605      pcre_config.c           )
606      pcre_dfa_exec.c         )
607      pcre_exec.c             )
608      pcre_fullinfo.c         )
609      pcre_get.c              ) sources for the functions in the library,
610      pcre_globals.c          )   and some internal functions that they use
611      pcre_info.c             )
612      pcre_maketables.c       )
613      pcre_newline.c          )
614      pcre_ord2utf8.c         )
615      pcre_refcount.c         )
616      pcre_study.c            )
617      pcre_tables.c           )
618      pcre_try_flipped.c      )
619      pcre_ucp_searchfuncs.c  )
620      pcre_valid_utf8.c       )
621      pcre_version.c          )
622      pcre_xclass.c           )
623      pcre_printint.src       ) debugging function that is #included in pcretest,
624                              )   and can also be #included in pcre_compile()
625      pcre.h.in               template for pcre.h when built by "configure"
626      pcreposix.h             header for the external POSIX wrapper API
627      pcre_internal.h         header for internal use
628      ucp.h                   ) headers concerned with
629      ucpinternal.h           )   Unicode property handling
630      ucptable.h              ) (this one is the data table)
632      config.h.in             template for config.h, which is built by "configure"
634      pcrecpp.h               public header file for the C++ wrapper
635      pcrecpparg.h.in         template for another C++ header file
636      pcre_scanner.h          public header file for C++ scanner functions
637      pcrecpp.cc              )
638      pcre_scanner.cc         ) source for the C++ wrapper library
640      pcre_stringpiece.h.in   template for pcre_stringpiece.h, the header for the
641                                C++ stringpiece functions
642      pcre_stringpiece.cc     source for the C++ stringpiece functions
644    (B) Source files for programs that use PCRE:
646      pcredemo.c              simple demonstration of coding calls to PCRE
647      pcregrep.c              source of a grep utility that uses PCRE
648      pcretest.c              comprehensive test program
650    (C) Auxiliary files:
652      132html                 script to turn "man" pages into HTML
653      AUTHORS                 information about the author of PCRE
654      ChangeLog               log of changes to the code
655      CleanTxt                script to clean nroff output for txt man pages
656      Detrail                 script to remove trailing spaces
657      HACKING                 some notes about the internals of PCRE
658      INSTALL                 generic installation instructions
659      LICENCE                 conditions for the use of PCRE
660      COPYING                 the same, using GNU's standard name
661      Makefile.in             ) template for Unix Makefile, which is built by
662                              )   "configure"
663      Makefile.am             ) the automake input that was used to create
664                              )   Makefile.in
665      NEWS                    important changes in this release
666      NON-UNIX-USE            notes on building PCRE on non-Unix systems
667      PrepareRelease          script to make preparations for "make dist"
668      README                  this file
669      RunTest                 a Unix shell script for running tests
670      RunGrepTest             a Unix shell script for pcregrep tests
671      aclocal.m4              m4 macros (generated by "aclocal")
672      config.guess            ) files used by libtool,
673      config.sub              )   used only when building a shared library
674      configure               a configuring shell script (built by autoconf)
675      configure.ac            ) the autoconf input that was used to build
676                              )   "configure" and config.h
677      depcomp                 ) script to find program dependencies, generated by
678                              )   automake
679      doc/*.3                 man page sources for the PCRE functions
680      doc/*.1                 man page sources for pcregrep and pcretest
681      doc/index.html.src      the base HTML page
682      doc/html/*              HTML documentation
683      doc/pcre.txt            plain text version of the man pages
684      doc/pcretest.txt        plain text documentation of test program
685      doc/perltest.txt        plain text documentation of Perl test program
686      install-sh              a shell script for installing files
687      libpcre.pc.in           template for libpcre.pc for pkg-config
688      libpcrecpp.pc.in        template for libpcrecpp.pc for pkg-config
689      ltmain.sh               file used to build a libtool script
690      missing                 ) common stub for a few missing GNU programs while
691                              )   installing, generated by automake
692      mkinstalldirs           script for making install directories
693      perltest.pl             Perl test program
694      pcre-config.in          source of script which retains PCRE information
695      pcrecpp_unittest.cc          )
696      pcre_scanner_unittest.cc     ) test programs for the C++ wrapper
697      pcre_stringpiece_unittest.cc )
698      testdata/testinput*     test data for main library tests
699      testdata/testoutput*    expected test results
700      testdata/grep*          input and output for pcregrep tests
702    (D) Auxiliary files for cmake support
704      CMakeLists.txt
705      config-cmake.h.in
707    (E) Auxiliary files for VPASCAL
709      makevp.bat
710      makevp_c.txt
711      makevp_l.txt
712      pcregexp.pas
714    (F) Auxiliary files for building PCRE "by hand"
716      pcre.h.generic          ) a version of the public PCRE header file
717                              )   for use in non-"configure" environments
718      config.h.generic        ) a version of config.h for use in non-"configure"
719                              )   environments
721    (F) Miscellaneous
723      RunTest.bat            a script for running tests under Windows
725    Philip Hazel
726    Email local part: ph10
727    Email domain: cam.ac.uk
728    Last updated: 21 September 2007

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