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1 <html>
2 <head>
3 <title>pcretest specification</title>
4 </head>
5 <body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" text="#00005A" link="#0066FF" alink="#3399FF" vlink="#2222BB">
6 <h1>pcretest man page</h1>
7 <p>
8 Return to the <a href="index.html">PCRE index page</a>.
9 </p>
10 <p>
11 This page is part of the PCRE HTML documentation. It was generated automatically
12 from the original man page. If there is any nonsense in it, please consult the
13 man page, in case the conversion went wrong.
14 <br>
15 <ul>
16 <li><a name="TOC1" href="#SEC1">SYNOPSIS</a>
17 <li><a name="TOC2" href="#SEC2">INPUT DATA FORMAT</a>
18 <li><a name="TOC3" href="#SEC3">PCRE's 8-BIT, 16-BIT AND 32-BIT LIBRARIES</a>
19 <li><a name="TOC4" href="#SEC4">COMMAND LINE OPTIONS</a>
20 <li><a name="TOC5" href="#SEC5">DESCRIPTION</a>
21 <li><a name="TOC6" href="#SEC6">PATTERN MODIFIERS</a>
22 <li><a name="TOC7" href="#SEC7">DATA LINES</a>
23 <li><a name="TOC8" href="#SEC8">THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION</a>
24 <li><a name="TOC9" href="#SEC9">DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST</a>
25 <li><a name="TOC10" href="#SEC10">OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION</a>
26 <li><a name="TOC11" href="#SEC11">RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH</a>
27 <li><a name="TOC12" href="#SEC12">CALLOUTS</a>
28 <li><a name="TOC13" href="#SEC13">NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS</a>
29 <li><a name="TOC14" href="#SEC14">SAVING AND RELOADING COMPILED PATTERNS</a>
30 <li><a name="TOC15" href="#SEC15">SEE ALSO</a>
31 <li><a name="TOC16" href="#SEC16">AUTHOR</a>
32 <li><a name="TOC17" href="#SEC17">REVISION</a>
33 </ul>
34 <br><a name="SEC1" href="#TOC1">SYNOPSIS</a><br>
35 <P>
36 <b>pcretest [options] [input file [output file]]</b>
37 <br>
38 <br>
39 <b>pcretest</b> was written as a test program for the PCRE regular expression
40 library itself, but it can also be used for experimenting with regular
41 expressions. This document describes the features of the test program; for
42 details of the regular expressions themselves, see the
43 <a href="pcrepattern.html"><b>pcrepattern</b></a>
44 documentation. For details of the PCRE library function calls and their
45 options, see the
46 <a href="pcreapi.html"><b>pcreapi</b></a>
47 ,
48 <a href="pcre16.html"><b>pcre16</b></a>
49 and
50 <a href="pcre32.html"><b>pcre32</b></a>
51 documentation.
52 </P>
53 <P>
54 The input for <b>pcretest</b> is a sequence of regular expression patterns and
55 strings to be matched, as described below. The output shows the result of each
56 match. Options on the command line and the patterns control PCRE options and
57 exactly what is output.
58 </P>
59 <P>
60 As PCRE has evolved, it has acquired many different features, and as a result,
61 <b>pcretest</b> now has rather a lot of obscure options for testing every
62 possible feature. Some of these options are specifically designed for use in
63 conjunction with the test script and data files that are distributed as part of
64 PCRE, and are unlikely to be of use otherwise. They are all documented here,
65 but without much justification.
66 </P>
67 <br><a name="SEC2" href="#TOC1">INPUT DATA FORMAT</a><br>
68 <P>
69 Input to <b>pcretest</b> is processed line by line, either by calling the C
70 library's <b>fgets()</b> function, or via the <b>libreadline</b> library (see
71 below). In Unix-like environments, <b>fgets()</b> treats any bytes other than
72 newline as data characters. However, in some Windows environments character 26
73 (hex 1A) causes an immediate end of file, and no further data is read. For
74 maximum portability, therefore, it is safest to use only ASCII characters in
75 <b>pcretest</b> input files.
76 </P>
77 <br><a name="SEC3" href="#TOC1">PCRE's 8-BIT, 16-BIT AND 32-BIT LIBRARIES</a><br>
78 <P>
79 From release 8.30, two separate PCRE libraries can be built. The original one
80 supports 8-bit character strings, whereas the newer 16-bit library supports
81 character strings encoded in 16-bit units. From release 8.32, a third library
82 can be built, supporting character strings encoded in 32-bit units. The
83 <b>pcretest</b> program can be used to test all three libraries. However, it is
84 itself still an 8-bit program, reading 8-bit input and writing 8-bit output.
85 When testing the 16-bit or 32-bit library, the patterns and data strings are
86 converted to 16- or 32-bit format before being passed to the PCRE library
87 functions. Results are converted to 8-bit for output.
88 </P>
89 <P>
90 References to functions and structures of the form <b>pcre[16|32]_xx</b> below
91 mean "<b>pcre_xx</b> when using the 8-bit library, <b>pcre16_xx</b> when using
92 the 16-bit library, or <b>pcre32_xx</b> when using the 32-bit library".
93 </P>
94 <br><a name="SEC4" href="#TOC1">COMMAND LINE OPTIONS</a><br>
95 <P>
96 <b>-8</b>
97 If both the 8-bit library has been built, this option causes the 8-bit library
98 to be used (which is the default); if the 8-bit library has not been built,
99 this option causes an error.
100 </P>
101 <P>
102 <b>-16</b>
103 If both the 8-bit or the 32-bit, and the 16-bit libraries have been built, this
104 option causes the 16-bit library to be used. If only the 16-bit library has been
105 built, this is the default (so has no effect). If only the 8-bit or the 32-bit
106 library has been built, this option causes an error.
107 </P>
108 <P>
109 <b>-32</b>
110 If both the 8-bit or the 16-bit, and the 32-bit libraries have been built, this
111 option causes the 32-bit library to be used. If only the 32-bit library has been
112 built, this is the default (so has no effect). If only the 8-bit or the 16-bit
113 library has been built, this option causes an error.
114 </P>
115 <P>
116 <b>-b</b>
117 Behave as if each pattern has the <b>/B</b> (show byte code) modifier; the
118 internal form is output after compilation.
119 </P>
120 <P>
121 <b>-C</b>
122 Output the version number of the PCRE library, and all available information
123 about the optional features that are included, and then exit with zero exit
124 code. All other options are ignored.
125 </P>
126 <P>
127 <b>-C</b> <i>option</i>
128 Output information about a specific build-time option, then exit. This
129 functionality is intended for use in scripts such as <b>RunTest</b>. The
130 following options output the value and set the exit code as indicated:
131 <pre>
132 ebcdic-nl the code for LF (= NL) in an EBCDIC environment:
133 0x15 or 0x25
134 0 if used in an ASCII environment
135 exit code is always 0
136 linksize the configured internal link size (2, 3, or 4)
137 exit code is set to the link size
138 newline the default newline setting:
139 CR, LF, CRLF, ANYCRLF, or ANY
140 exit code is always 0
141 </pre>
142 The following options output 1 for true or 0 for false, and set the exit code
143 to the same value:
144 <pre>
145 ebcdic compiled for an EBCDIC environment
146 jit just-in-time support is available
147 pcre16 the 16-bit library was built
148 pcre32 the 32-bit library was built
149 pcre8 the 8-bit library was built
150 ucp Unicode property support is available
151 utf UTF-8 and/or UTF-16 and/or UTF-32 support
152 is available
153 </pre>
154 If an unknown option is given, an error message is output; the exit code is 0.
155 </P>
156 <P>
157 <b>-d</b>
158 Behave as if each pattern has the <b>/D</b> (debug) modifier; the internal
159 form and information about the compiled pattern is output after compilation;
160 <b>-d</b> is equivalent to <b>-b -i</b>.
161 </P>
162 <P>
163 <b>-dfa</b>
164 Behave as if each data line contains the \D escape sequence; this causes the
165 alternative matching function, <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>, to be used instead
166 of the standard <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> function (more detail is given below).
167 </P>
168 <P>
169 <b>-help</b>
170 Output a brief summary these options and then exit.
171 </P>
172 <P>
173 <b>-i</b>
174 Behave as if each pattern has the <b>/I</b> modifier; information about the
175 compiled pattern is given after compilation.
176 </P>
177 <P>
178 <b>-M</b>
179 Behave as if each data line contains the \M escape sequence; this causes
180 PCRE to discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings by
181 calling <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> repeatedly with different limits.
182 </P>
183 <P>
184 <b>-m</b>
185 Output the size of each compiled pattern after it has been compiled. This is
186 equivalent to adding <b>/M</b> to each regular expression. The size is given in
187 bytes for both libraries.
188 </P>
189 <P>
190 <b>-o</b> <i>osize</i>
191 Set the number of elements in the output vector that is used when calling
192 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b> to be <i>osize</i>. The
193 default value is 45, which is enough for 14 capturing subexpressions for
194 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or 22 different matches for
195 <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>.
196 The vector size can be changed for individual matching calls by including \O
197 in the data line (see below).
198 </P>
199 <P>
200 <b>-p</b>
201 Behave as if each pattern has the <b>/P</b> modifier; the POSIX wrapper API is
202 used to call PCRE. None of the other options has any effect when <b>-p</b> is
203 set. This option can be used only with the 8-bit library.
204 </P>
205 <P>
206 <b>-q</b>
207 Do not output the version number of <b>pcretest</b> at the start of execution.
208 </P>
209 <P>
210 <b>-S</b> <i>size</i>
211 On Unix-like systems, set the size of the run-time stack to <i>size</i>
212 megabytes.
213 </P>
214 <P>
215 <b>-s</b> or <b>-s+</b>
216 Behave as if each pattern has the <b>/S</b> modifier; in other words, force each
217 pattern to be studied. If <b>-s+</b> is used, all the JIT compile options are
218 passed to <b>pcre[16|32]_study()</b>, causing just-in-time optimization to be set
219 up if it is available, for both full and partial matching. Specific JIT compile
220 options can be selected by following <b>-s+</b> with a digit in the range 1 to
221 7, which selects the JIT compile modes as follows:
222 <pre>
223 1 normal match only
224 2 soft partial match only
225 3 normal match and soft partial match
226 4 hard partial match only
227 6 soft and hard partial match
228 7 all three modes (default)
229 </pre>
230 If <b>-s++</b> is used instead of <b>-s+</b> (with or without a following digit),
231 the text "(JIT)" is added to the first output line after a match or no match
232 when JIT-compiled code was actually used.
233 <br>
234 <br>
235 Note that there are pattern options that can override <b>-s</b>, either
236 specifying no studying at all, or suppressing JIT compilation.
237 <br>
238 <br>
239 If the <b>/I</b> or <b>/D</b> option is present on a pattern (requesting output
240 about the compiled pattern), information about the result of studying is not
241 included when studying is caused only by <b>-s</b> and neither <b>-i</b> nor
242 <b>-d</b> is present on the command line. This behaviour means that the output
243 from tests that are run with and without <b>-s</b> should be identical, except
244 when options that output information about the actual running of a match are
245 set.
246 <br>
247 <br>
248 The <b>-M</b>, <b>-t</b>, and <b>-tm</b> options, which give information about
249 resources used, are likely to produce different output with and without
250 <b>-s</b>. Output may also differ if the <b>/C</b> option is present on an
251 individual pattern. This uses callouts to trace the the matching process, and
252 this may be different between studied and non-studied patterns. If the pattern
253 contains (*MARK) items there may also be differences, for the same reason. The
254 <b>-s</b> command line option can be overridden for specific patterns that
255 should never be studied (see the <b>/S</b> pattern modifier below).
256 </P>
257 <P>
258 <b>-t</b>
259 Run each compile, study, and match many times with a timer, and output
260 resulting time per compile or match (in milliseconds). Do not set <b>-m</b> with
261 <b>-t</b>, because you will then get the size output a zillion times, and the
262 timing will be distorted. You can control the number of iterations that are
263 used for timing by following <b>-t</b> with a number (as a separate item on the
264 command line). For example, "-t 1000" would iterate 1000 times. The default is
265 to iterate 500000 times.
266 </P>
267 <P>
268 <b>-tm</b>
269 This is like <b>-t</b> except that it times only the matching phase, not the
270 compile or study phases.
271 </P>
272 <br><a name="SEC5" href="#TOC1">DESCRIPTION</a><br>
273 <P>
274 If <b>pcretest</b> is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first and
275 writes to the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it reads from
276 that file and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and writes to
277 stdout, and prompts for each line of input, using "re&#62;" to prompt for regular
278 expressions, and "data&#62;" to prompt for data lines.
279 </P>
280 <P>
281 When <b>pcretest</b> is built, a configuration option can specify that it should
282 be linked with the <b>libreadline</b> library. When this is done, if the input
283 is from a terminal, it is read using the <b>readline()</b> function. This
284 provides line-editing and history facilities. The output from the <b>-help</b>
285 option states whether or not <b>readline()</b> will be used.
286 </P>
287 <P>
288 The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file. Each
289 set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any number of data
290 lines to be matched against the pattern.
291 </P>
292 <P>
293 Each data line is matched separately and independently. If you want to do
294 multi-line matches, you have to use the \n escape sequence (or \r or \r\n,
295 etc., depending on the newline setting) in a single line of input to encode the
296 newline sequences. There is no limit on the length of data lines; the input
297 buffer is automatically extended if it is too small.
298 </P>
299 <P>
300 An empty line signals the end of the data lines, at which point a new regular
301 expression is read. The regular expressions are given enclosed in any
302 non-alphanumeric delimiters other than backslash, for example:
303 <pre>
304 /(a|bc)x+yz/
305 </pre>
306 White space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expression may
307 be continued over several input lines, in which case the newline characters are
308 included within it. It is possible to include the delimiter within the pattern
309 by escaping it, for example
310 <pre>
311 /abc\/def/
312 </pre>
313 If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern, but since
314 delimiters are always non-alphanumeric, this does not affect its interpretation.
315 If the terminating delimiter is immediately followed by a backslash, for
316 example,
317 <pre>
318 /abc/\
319 </pre>
320 then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This is done to provide a
321 way of testing the error condition that arises if a pattern finishes with a
322 backslash, because
323 <pre>
324 /abc\/
325 </pre>
326 is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/", causing
327 pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular expression.
328 </P>
329 <br><a name="SEC6" href="#TOC1">PATTERN MODIFIERS</a><br>
330 <P>
331 A pattern may be followed by any number of modifiers, which are mostly single
332 characters, though some of these can be qualified by further characters.
333 Following Perl usage, these are referred to below as, for example, "the
334 <b>/i</b> modifier", even though the delimiter of the pattern need not always be
335 a slash, and no slash is used when writing modifiers. White space may appear
336 between the final pattern delimiter and the first modifier, and between the
337 modifiers themselves. For reference, here is a complete list of modifiers. They
338 fall into several groups that are described in detail in the following
339 sections.
340 <pre>
341 <b>/8</b> set UTF mode
342 <b>/9</b> set PCRE_NEVER_UTF (locks out UTF mode)
343 <b>/?</b> disable UTF validity check
344 <b>/+</b> show remainder of subject after match
345 <b>/=</b> show all captures (not just those that are set)
346
347 <b>/A</b> set PCRE_ANCHORED
348 <b>/B</b> show compiled code
349 <b>/C</b> set PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
350 <b>/D</b> same as <b>/B</b> plus <b>/I</b>
351 <b>/E</b> set PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
352 <b>/F</b> flip byte order in compiled pattern
353 <b>/f</b> set PCRE_FIRSTLINE
354 <b>/G</b> find all matches (shorten string)
355 <b>/g</b> find all matches (use startoffset)
356 <b>/I</b> show information about pattern
357 <b>/i</b> set PCRE_CASELESS
358 <b>/J</b> set PCRE_DUPNAMES
359 <b>/K</b> show backtracking control names
360 <b>/L</b> set locale
361 <b>/M</b> show compiled memory size
362 <b>/m</b> set PCRE_MULTILINE
363 <b>/N</b> set PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
364 <b>/P</b> use the POSIX wrapper
365 <b>/S</b> study the pattern after compilation
366 <b>/s</b> set PCRE_DOTALL
367 <b>/T</b> select character tables
368 <b>/U</b> set PCRE_UNGREEDY
369 <b>/W</b> set PCRE_UCP
370 <b>/X</b> set PCRE_EXTRA
371 <b>/x</b> set PCRE_EXTENDED
372 <b>/Y</b> set PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE
373 <b>/Z</b> don't show lengths in <b>/B</b> output
374
375 <b>/&#60;any&#62;</b> set PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
376 <b>/&#60;anycrlf&#62;</b> set PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
377 <b>/&#60;cr&#62;</b> set PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
378 <b>/&#60;crlf&#62;</b> set PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
379 <b>/&#60;lf&#62;</b> set PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
380 <b>/&#60;bsr_anycrlf&#62;</b> set PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
381 <b>/&#60;bsr_unicode&#62;</b> set PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
382 <b>/&#60;JS&#62;</b> set PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT
383
384 </PRE>
385 </P>
386 <br><b>
387 Perl-compatible modifiers
388 </b><br>
389 <P>
390 The <b>/i</b>, <b>/m</b>, <b>/s</b>, and <b>/x</b> modifiers set the PCRE_CASELESS,
391 PCRE_MULTILINE, PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively, when
392 <b>pcre[16|32]_compile()</b> is called. These four modifier letters have the same
393 effect as they do in Perl. For example:
394 <pre>
395 /caseless/i
396
397 </PRE>
398 </P>
399 <br><b>
400 Modifiers for other PCRE options
401 </b><br>
402 <P>
403 The following table shows additional modifiers for setting PCRE compile-time
404 options that do not correspond to anything in Perl:
405 <pre>
406 <b>/8</b> PCRE_UTF8 ) when using the 8-bit
407 <b>/?</b> PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK ) library
408
409 <b>/8</b> PCRE_UTF16 ) when using the 16-bit
410 <b>/?</b> PCRE_NO_UTF16_CHECK ) library
411
412 <b>/8</b> PCRE_UTF32 ) when using the 32-bit
413 <b>/?</b> PCRE_NO_UTF32_CHECK ) library
414
415 <b>/9</b> PCRE_NEVER_UTF
416 <b>/A</b> PCRE_ANCHORED
417 <b>/C</b> PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
418 <b>/E</b> PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
419 <b>/f</b> PCRE_FIRSTLINE
420 <b>/J</b> PCRE_DUPNAMES
421 <b>/N</b> PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
422 <b>/U</b> PCRE_UNGREEDY
423 <b>/W</b> PCRE_UCP
424 <b>/X</b> PCRE_EXTRA
425 <b>/Y</b> PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE
426 <b>/&#60;any&#62;</b> PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
427 <b>/&#60;anycrlf&#62;</b> PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
428 <b>/&#60;cr&#62;</b> PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
429 <b>/&#60;crlf&#62;</b> PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
430 <b>/&#60;lf&#62;</b> PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
431 <b>/&#60;bsr_anycrlf&#62;</b> PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
432 <b>/&#60;bsr_unicode&#62;</b> PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
433 <b>/&#60;JS&#62;</b> PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT
434 </pre>
435 The modifiers that are enclosed in angle brackets are literal strings as shown,
436 including the angle brackets, but the letters within can be in either case.
437 This example sets multiline matching with CRLF as the line ending sequence:
438 <pre>
439 /^abc/m&#60;CRLF&#62;
440 </pre>
441 As well as turning on the PCRE_UTF8/16/32 option, the <b>/8</b> modifier causes
442 all non-printing characters in output strings to be printed using the
443 \x{hh...} notation. Otherwise, those less than 0x100 are output in hex without
444 the curly brackets.
445 </P>
446 <P>
447 Full details of the PCRE options are given in the
448 <a href="pcreapi.html"><b>pcreapi</b></a>
449 documentation.
450 </P>
451 <br><b>
452 Finding all matches in a string
453 </b><br>
454 <P>
455 Searching for all possible matches within each subject string can be requested
456 by the <b>/g</b> or <b>/G</b> modifier. After finding a match, PCRE is called
457 again to search the remainder of the subject string. The difference between
458 <b>/g</b> and <b>/G</b> is that the former uses the <i>startoffset</i> argument to
459 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> to start searching at a new point within the entire
460 string (which is in effect what Perl does), whereas the latter passes over a
461 shortened substring. This makes a difference to the matching process if the
462 pattern begins with a lookbehind assertion (including \b or \B).
463 </P>
464 <P>
465 If any call to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> in a <b>/g</b> or <b>/G</b> sequence matches
466 an empty string, the next call is done with the PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART and
467 PCRE_ANCHORED flags set in order to search for another, non-empty, match at the
468 same point. If this second match fails, the start offset is advanced, and the
469 normal match is retried. This imitates the way Perl handles such cases when
470 using the <b>/g</b> modifier or the <b>split()</b> function. Normally, the start
471 offset is advanced by one character, but if the newline convention recognizes
472 CRLF as a newline, and the current character is CR followed by LF, an advance
473 of two is used.
474 </P>
475 <br><b>
476 Other modifiers
477 </b><br>
478 <P>
479 There are yet more modifiers for controlling the way <b>pcretest</b>
480 operates.
481 </P>
482 <P>
483 The <b>/+</b> modifier requests that as well as outputting the substring that
484 matched the entire pattern, <b>pcretest</b> should in addition output the
485 remainder of the subject string. This is useful for tests where the subject
486 contains multiple copies of the same substring. If the <b>+</b> modifier appears
487 twice, the same action is taken for captured substrings. In each case the
488 remainder is output on the following line with a plus character following the
489 capture number. Note that this modifier must not immediately follow the /S
490 modifier because /S+ and /S++ have other meanings.
491 </P>
492 <P>
493 The <b>/=</b> modifier requests that the values of all potential captured
494 parentheses be output after a match. By default, only those up to the highest
495 one actually used in the match are output (corresponding to the return code
496 from <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b>). Values in the offsets vector corresponding to
497 higher numbers should be set to -1, and these are output as "&#60;unset&#62;". This
498 modifier gives a way of checking that this is happening.
499 </P>
500 <P>
501 The <b>/B</b> modifier is a debugging feature. It requests that <b>pcretest</b>
502 output a representation of the compiled code after compilation. Normally this
503 information contains length and offset values; however, if <b>/Z</b> is also
504 present, this data is replaced by spaces. This is a special feature for use in
505 the automatic test scripts; it ensures that the same output is generated for
506 different internal link sizes.
507 </P>
508 <P>
509 The <b>/D</b> modifier is a PCRE debugging feature, and is equivalent to
510 <b>/BI</b>, that is, both the <b>/B</b> and the <b>/I</b> modifiers.
511 </P>
512 <P>
513 The <b>/F</b> modifier causes <b>pcretest</b> to flip the byte order of the
514 2-byte and 4-byte fields in the compiled pattern. This facility is for testing
515 the feature in PCRE that allows it to execute patterns that were compiled on a
516 host with a different endianness. This feature is not available when the POSIX
517 interface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the <b>/P</b> pattern modifier is
518 specified. See also the section about saving and reloading compiled patterns
519 below.
520 </P>
521 <P>
522 The <b>/I</b> modifier requests that <b>pcretest</b> output information about the
523 compiled pattern (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and
524 so on). It does this by calling <b>pcre[16|32]_fullinfo()</b> after compiling a
525 pattern. If the pattern is studied, the results of that are also output.
526 </P>
527 <P>
528 The <b>/K</b> modifier requests <b>pcretest</b> to show names from backtracking
529 control verbs that are returned from calls to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b>. It causes
530 <b>pcretest</b> to create a <b>pcre[16|32]_extra</b> block if one has not already
531 been created by a call to <b>pcre[16|32]_study()</b>, and to set the
532 PCRE_EXTRA_MARK flag and the <b>mark</b> field within it, every time that
533 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> is called. If the variable that the <b>mark</b> field
534 points to is non-NULL for a match, non-match, or partial match, <b>pcretest</b>
535 prints the string to which it points. For a match, this is shown on a line by
536 itself, tagged with "MK:". For a non-match it is added to the message.
537 </P>
538 <P>
539 The <b>/L</b> modifier must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for
540 example,
541 <pre>
542 /pattern/Lfr_FR
543 </pre>
544 For this reason, it must be the last modifier. The given locale is set,
545 <b>pcre[16|32]_maketables()</b> is called to build a set of character tables for
546 the locale, and this is then passed to <b>pcre[16|32]_compile()</b> when compiling
547 the regular expression. Without an <b>/L</b> (or <b>/T</b>) modifier, NULL is
548 passed as the tables pointer; that is, <b>/L</b> applies only to the expression
549 on which it appears.
550 </P>
551 <P>
552 The <b>/M</b> modifier causes the size in bytes of the memory block used to hold
553 the compiled pattern to be output. This does not include the size of the
554 <b>pcre[16|32]</b> block; it is just the actual compiled data. If the pattern is
555 successfully studied with the PCRE_STUDY_JIT_COMPILE option, the size of the
556 JIT compiled code is also output.
557 </P>
558 <P>
559 The <b>/S</b> modifier causes <b>pcre[16|32]_study()</b> to be called after the
560 expression has been compiled, and the results used when the expression is
561 matched. There are a number of qualifying characters that may follow <b>/S</b>.
562 They may appear in any order.
563 </P>
564 <P>
565 If <b>S</b> is followed by an exclamation mark, <b>pcre[16|32]_study()</b> is called
566 with the PCRE_STUDY_EXTRA_NEEDED option, causing it always to return a
567 <b>pcre_extra</b> block, even when studying discovers no useful information.
568 </P>
569 <P>
570 If <b>/S</b> is followed by a second S character, it suppresses studying, even
571 if it was requested externally by the <b>-s</b> command line option. This makes
572 it possible to specify that certain patterns are always studied, and others are
573 never studied, independently of <b>-s</b>. This feature is used in the test
574 files in a few cases where the output is different when the pattern is studied.
575 </P>
576 <P>
577 If the <b>/S</b> modifier is followed by a + character, the call to
578 <b>pcre[16|32]_study()</b> is made with all the JIT study options, requesting
579 just-in-time optimization support if it is available, for both normal and
580 partial matching. If you want to restrict the JIT compiling modes, you can
581 follow <b>/S+</b> with a digit in the range 1 to 7:
582 <pre>
583 1 normal match only
584 2 soft partial match only
585 3 normal match and soft partial match
586 4 hard partial match only
587 6 soft and hard partial match
588 7 all three modes (default)
589 </pre>
590 If <b>/S++</b> is used instead of <b>/S+</b> (with or without a following digit),
591 the text "(JIT)" is added to the first output line after a match or no match
592 when JIT-compiled code was actually used.
593 </P>
594 <P>
595 Note that there is also an independent <b>/+</b> modifier; it must not be given
596 immediately after <b>/S</b> or <b>/S+</b> because this will be misinterpreted.
597 </P>
598 <P>
599 If JIT studying is successful, the compiled JIT code will automatically be used
600 when <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> is run, except when incompatible run-time options
601 are specified. For more details, see the
602 <a href="pcrejit.html"><b>pcrejit</b></a>
603 documentation. See also the <b>\J</b> escape sequence below for a way of
604 setting the size of the JIT stack.
605 </P>
606 <P>
607 Finally, if <b>/S</b> is followed by a minus character, JIT compilation is
608 suppressed, even if it was requested externally by the <b>-s</b> command line
609 option. This makes it possible to specify that JIT is never to be used for
610 certain patterns.
611 </P>
612 <P>
613 The <b>/T</b> modifier must be followed by a single digit. It causes a specific
614 set of built-in character tables to be passed to <b>pcre[16|32]_compile()</b>. It
615 is used in the standard PCRE tests to check behaviour with different character
616 tables. The digit specifies the tables as follows:
617 <pre>
618 0 the default ASCII tables, as distributed in
619 pcre_chartables.c.dist
620 1 a set of tables defining ISO 8859 characters
621 </pre>
622 In table 1, some characters whose codes are greater than 128 are identified as
623 letters, digits, spaces, etc.
624 </P>
625 <br><b>
626 Using the POSIX wrapper API
627 </b><br>
628 <P>
629 The <b>/P</b> modifier causes <b>pcretest</b> to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper
630 API rather than its native API. This supports only the 8-bit library. When
631 <b>/P</b> is set, the following modifiers set options for the <b>regcomp()</b>
632 function:
633 <pre>
634 /i REG_ICASE
635 /m REG_NEWLINE
636 /N REG_NOSUB
637 /s REG_DOTALL )
638 /U REG_UNGREEDY ) These options are not part of
639 /W REG_UCP ) the POSIX standard
640 /8 REG_UTF8 )
641 </pre>
642 The <b>/+</b> modifier works as described above. All other modifiers are
643 ignored.
644 </P>
645 <br><a name="SEC7" href="#TOC1">DATA LINES</a><br>
646 <P>
647 Before each data line is passed to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b>, leading and trailing
648 white space is removed, and it is then scanned for \ escapes. Some of these
649 are pretty esoteric features, intended for checking out some of the more
650 complicated features of PCRE. If you are just testing "ordinary" regular
651 expressions, you probably don't need any of these. The following escapes are
652 recognized:
653 <pre>
654 \a alarm (BEL, \x07)
655 \b backspace (\x08)
656 \e escape (\x27)
657 \f form feed (\x0c)
658 \n newline (\x0a)
659 \qdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT limit to dd (any number of digits)
660 \r carriage return (\x0d)
661 \t tab (\x09)
662 \v vertical tab (\x0b)
663 \nnn octal character (up to 3 octal digits); always
664 a byte unless &#62; 255 in UTF-8 or 16-bit or 32-bit mode
665 \xhh hexadecimal byte (up to 2 hex digits)
666 \x{hh...} hexadecimal character (any number of hex digits)
667 \A pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
668 \B pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
669 \Cdd call pcre[16|32]_copy_substring() for substring dd after a successful match (number less than 32)
670 \Cname call pcre[16|32]_copy_named_substring() for substring "name" after a successful match (name termin-
671 ated by next non alphanumeric character)
672 \C+ show the current captured substrings at callout time
673 \C- do not supply a callout function
674 \C!n return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is reached
675 \C!n!m return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is reached for the nth time
676 \C*n pass the number n (may be negative) as callout data; this is used as the callout return value
677 \D use the <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b> match function
678 \F only shortest match for <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
679 \Gdd call pcre[16|32]_get_substring() for substring dd after a successful match (number less than 32)
680 \Gname call pcre[16|32]_get_named_substring() for substring "name" after a successful match (name termin-
681 ated by next non-alphanumeric character)
682 \Jdd set up a JIT stack of dd kilobytes maximum (any number of digits)
683 \L call pcre[16|32]_get_substringlist() after a successful match
684 \M discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings
685 \N pass the PCRE_NOTEMPTY option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>; if used twice, pass the
686 PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART option
687 \Odd set the size of the output vector passed to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> to dd (any number of digits)
688 \P pass the PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>; if used twice, pass the
689 PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD option
690 \Qdd set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION limit to dd (any number of digits)
691 \R pass the PCRE_DFA_RESTART option to <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
692 \S output details of memory get/free calls during matching
693 \Y pass the PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
694 \Z pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
695 \? pass the PCRE_NO_UTF[8|16|32]_CHECK option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
696 \&#62;dd start the match at offset dd (optional "-"; then any number of digits); this sets the <i>startoffset</i>
697 argument for <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
698 \&#60;cr&#62; pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CR option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
699 \&#60;lf&#62; pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_LF option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
700 \&#60;crlf&#62; pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
701 \&#60;anycrlf&#62; pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
702 \&#60;any&#62; pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY option to <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> or <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>
703 </pre>
704 The use of \x{hh...} is not dependent on the use of the <b>/8</b> modifier on
705 the pattern. It is recognized always. There may be any number of hexadecimal
706 digits inside the braces; invalid values provoke error messages.
707 </P>
708 <P>
709 Note that \xhh specifies one byte rather than one character in UTF-8 mode;
710 this makes it possible to construct invalid UTF-8 sequences for testing
711 purposes. On the other hand, \x{hh} is interpreted as a UTF-8 character in
712 UTF-8 mode, generating more than one byte if the value is greater than 127.
713 When testing the 8-bit library not in UTF-8 mode, \x{hh} generates one byte
714 for values less than 256, and causes an error for greater values.
715 </P>
716 <P>
717 In UTF-16 mode, all 4-digit \x{hhhh} values are accepted. This makes it
718 possible to construct invalid UTF-16 sequences for testing purposes.
719 </P>
720 <P>
721 In UTF-32 mode, all 4- to 8-digit \x{...} values are accepted. This makes it
722 possible to construct invalid UTF-32 sequences for testing purposes.
723 </P>
724 <P>
725 The escapes that specify line ending sequences are literal strings, exactly as
726 shown. No more than one newline setting should be present in any data line.
727 </P>
728 <P>
729 A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the anything else. If
730 the very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a way of
731 passing an empty line as data, since a real empty line terminates the data
732 input.
733 </P>
734 <P>
735 The <b>\J</b> escape provides a way of setting the maximum stack size that is
736 used by the just-in-time optimization code. It is ignored if JIT optimization
737 is not being used. Providing a stack that is larger than the default 32K is
738 necessary only for very complicated patterns.
739 </P>
740 <P>
741 If \M is present, <b>pcretest</b> calls <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> several times,
742 with different values in the <i>match_limit</i> and <i>match_limit_recursion</i>
743 fields of the <b>pcre[16|32]_extra</b> data structure, until it finds the minimum
744 numbers for each parameter that allow <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> to complete without
745 error. Because this is testing a specific feature of the normal interpretive
746 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> execution, the use of any JIT optimization that might
747 have been set up by the <b>/S+</b> qualifier of <b>-s+</b> option is disabled.
748 </P>
749 <P>
750 The <i>match_limit</i> number is a measure of the amount of backtracking
751 that takes place, and checking it out can be instructive. For most simple
752 matches, the number is quite small, but for patterns with very large numbers of
753 matching possibilities, it can become large very quickly with increasing length
754 of subject string. The <i>match_limit_recursion</i> number is a measure of how
755 much stack (or, if PCRE is compiled with NO_RECURSE, how much heap) memory is
756 needed to complete the match attempt.
757 </P>
758 <P>
759 When \O is used, the value specified may be higher or lower than the size set
760 by the <b>-O</b> command line option (or defaulted to 45); \O applies only to
761 the call of <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> for the line in which it appears.
762 </P>
763 <P>
764 If the <b>/P</b> modifier was present on the pattern, causing the POSIX wrapper
765 API to be used, the only option-setting sequences that have any effect are \B,
766 \N, and \Z, causing REG_NOTBOL, REG_NOTEMPTY, and REG_NOTEOL, respectively,
767 to be passed to <b>regexec()</b>.
768 </P>
769 <br><a name="SEC8" href="#TOC1">THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION</a><br>
770 <P>
771 By default, <b>pcretest</b> uses the standard PCRE matching function,
772 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> to match each data line. PCRE also supports an
773 alternative matching function, <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_test()</b>, which operates in a
774 different way, and has some restrictions. The differences between the two
775 functions are described in the
776 <a href="pcrematching.html"><b>pcrematching</b></a>
777 documentation.
778 </P>
779 <P>
780 If a data line contains the \D escape sequence, or if the command line
781 contains the <b>-dfa</b> option, the alternative matching function is used.
782 This function finds all possible matches at a given point. If, however, the \F
783 escape sequence is present in the data line, it stops after the first match is
784 found. This is always the shortest possible match.
785 </P>
786 <br><a name="SEC9" href="#TOC1">DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST</a><br>
787 <P>
788 This section describes the output when the normal matching function,
789 <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b>, is being used.
790 </P>
791 <P>
792 When a match succeeds, <b>pcretest</b> outputs the list of captured substrings
793 that <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> returns, starting with number 0 for the string that
794 matched the whole pattern. Otherwise, it outputs "No match" when the return is
795 PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH, and "Partial match:" followed by the partially matching
796 substring when <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b> returns PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL. (Note that
797 this is the entire substring that was inspected during the partial match; it
798 may include characters before the actual match start if a lookbehind assertion,
799 \K, \b, or \B was involved.) For any other return, <b>pcretest</b> outputs
800 the PCRE negative error number and a short descriptive phrase. If the error is
801 a failed UTF string check, the offset of the start of the failing character and
802 the reason code are also output, provided that the size of the output vector is
803 at least two. Here is an example of an interactive <b>pcretest</b> run.
804 <pre>
805 $ pcretest
806 PCRE version 8.13 2011-04-30
807
808 re&#62; /^abc(\d+)/
809 data&#62; abc123
810 0: abc123
811 1: 123
812 data&#62; xyz
813 No match
814 </pre>
815 Unset capturing substrings that are not followed by one that is set are not
816 returned by <b>pcre[16|32]_exec()</b>, and are not shown by <b>pcretest</b>. In the
817 following example, there are two capturing substrings, but when the first data
818 line is matched, the second, unset substring is not shown. An "internal" unset
819 substring is shown as "&#60;unset&#62;", as for the second data line.
820 <pre>
821 re&#62; /(a)|(b)/
822 data&#62; a
823 0: a
824 1: a
825 data&#62; b
826 0: b
827 1: &#60;unset&#62;
828 2: b
829 </pre>
830 If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output as \xhh
831 escapes if the value is less than 256 and UTF mode is not set. Otherwise they
832 are output as \x{hh...} escapes. See below for the definition of non-printing
833 characters. If the pattern has the <b>/+</b> modifier, the output for substring
834 0 is followed by the the rest of the subject string, identified by "0+" like
835 this:
836 <pre>
837 re&#62; /cat/+
838 data&#62; cataract
839 0: cat
840 0+ aract
841 </pre>
842 If the pattern has the <b>/g</b> or <b>/G</b> modifier, the results of successive
843 matching attempts are output in sequence, like this:
844 <pre>
845 re&#62; /\Bi(\w\w)/g
846 data&#62; Mississippi
847 0: iss
848 1: ss
849 0: iss
850 1: ss
851 0: ipp
852 1: pp
853 </pre>
854 "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails. Here is an example
855 of a failure message (the offset 4 that is specified by \&#62;4 is past the end of
856 the subject string):
857 <pre>
858 re&#62; /xyz/
859 data&#62; xyz\&#62;4
860 Error -24 (bad offset value)
861 </PRE>
862 </P>
863 <P>
864 If any of the sequences <b>\C</b>, <b>\G</b>, or <b>\L</b> are present in a
865 data line that is successfully matched, the substrings extracted by the
866 convenience functions are output with C, G, or L after the string number
867 instead of a colon. This is in addition to the normal full list. The string
868 length (that is, the return from the extraction function) is given in
869 parentheses after each string for <b>\C</b> and <b>\G</b>.
870 </P>
871 <P>
872 Note that whereas patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain "&#62;"
873 prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However newlines can be
874 included in data by means of the \n escape (or \r, \r\n, etc., depending on
875 the newline sequence setting).
876 </P>
877 <br><a name="SEC10" href="#TOC1">OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION</a><br>
878 <P>
879 When the alternative matching function, <b>pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec()</b>, is used (by
880 means of the \D escape sequence or the <b>-dfa</b> command line option), the
881 output consists of a list of all the matches that start at the first point in
882 the subject where there is at least one match. For example:
883 <pre>
884 re&#62; /(tang|tangerine|tan)/
885 data&#62; yellow tangerine\D
886 0: tangerine
887 1: tang
888 2: tan
889 </pre>
890 (Using the normal matching function on this data finds only "tang".) The
891 longest matching string is always given first (and numbered zero). After a
892 PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL return, the output is "Partial match:", followed by the
893 partially matching substring. (Note that this is the entire substring that was
894 inspected during the partial match; it may include characters before the actual
895 match start if a lookbehind assertion, \K, \b, or \B was involved.)
896 </P>
897 <P>
898 If <b>/g</b> is present on the pattern, the search for further matches resumes
899 at the end of the longest match. For example:
900 <pre>
901 re&#62; /(tang|tangerine|tan)/g
902 data&#62; yellow tangerine and tangy sultana\D
903 0: tangerine
904 1: tang
905 2: tan
906 0: tang
907 1: tan
908 0: tan
909 </pre>
910 Since the matching function does not support substring capture, the escape
911 sequences that are concerned with captured substrings are not relevant.
912 </P>
913 <br><a name="SEC11" href="#TOC1">RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH</a><br>
914 <P>
915 When the alternative matching function has given the PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL return,
916 indicating that the subject partially matched the pattern, you can restart the
917 match with additional subject data by means of the \R escape sequence. For
918 example:
919 <pre>
920 re&#62; /^\d?\d(jan|feb|mar|apr|may|jun|jul|aug|sep|oct|nov|dec)\d\d$/
921 data&#62; 23ja\P\D
922 Partial match: 23ja
923 data&#62; n05\R\D
924 0: n05
925 </pre>
926 For further information about partial matching, see the
927 <a href="pcrepartial.html"><b>pcrepartial</b></a>
928 documentation.
929 </P>
930 <br><a name="SEC12" href="#TOC1">CALLOUTS</a><br>
931 <P>
932 If the pattern contains any callout requests, <b>pcretest</b>'s callout function
933 is called during matching. This works with both matching functions. By default,
934 the called function displays the callout number, the start and current
935 positions in the text at the callout time, and the next pattern item to be
936 tested. For example:
937 <pre>
938 ---&#62;pqrabcdef
939 0 ^ ^ \d
940 </pre>
941 This output indicates that callout number 0 occurred for a match attempt
942 starting at the fourth character of the subject string, when the pointer was at
943 the seventh character of the data, and when the next pattern item was \d. Just
944 one circumflex is output if the start and current positions are the same.
945 </P>
946 <P>
947 Callouts numbered 255 are assumed to be automatic callouts, inserted as a
948 result of the <b>/C</b> pattern modifier. In this case, instead of showing the
949 callout number, the offset in the pattern, preceded by a plus, is output. For
950 example:
951 <pre>
952 re&#62; /\d?[A-E]\*/C
953 data&#62; E*
954 ---&#62;E*
955 +0 ^ \d?
956 +3 ^ [A-E]
957 +8 ^^ \*
958 +10 ^ ^
959 0: E*
960 </pre>
961 If a pattern contains (*MARK) items, an additional line is output whenever
962 a change of latest mark is passed to the callout function. For example:
963 <pre>
964 re&#62; /a(*MARK:X)bc/C
965 data&#62; abc
966 ---&#62;abc
967 +0 ^ a
968 +1 ^^ (*MARK:X)
969 +10 ^^ b
970 Latest Mark: X
971 +11 ^ ^ c
972 +12 ^ ^
973 0: abc
974 </pre>
975 The mark changes between matching "a" and "b", but stays the same for the rest
976 of the match, so nothing more is output. If, as a result of backtracking, the
977 mark reverts to being unset, the text "&#60;unset&#62;" is output.
978 </P>
979 <P>
980 The callout function in <b>pcretest</b> returns zero (carry on matching) by
981 default, but you can use a \C item in a data line (as described above) to
982 change this and other parameters of the callout.
983 </P>
984 <P>
985 Inserting callouts can be helpful when using <b>pcretest</b> to check
986 complicated regular expressions. For further information about callouts, see
987 the
988 <a href="pcrecallout.html"><b>pcrecallout</b></a>
989 documentation.
990 </P>
991 <br><a name="SEC13" href="#TOC1">NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS</a><br>
992 <P>
993 When <b>pcretest</b> is outputting text in the compiled version of a pattern,
994 bytes other than 32-126 are always treated as non-printing characters are are
995 therefore shown as hex escapes.
996 </P>
997 <P>
998 When <b>pcretest</b> is outputting text that is a matched part of a subject
999 string, it behaves in the same way, unless a different locale has been set for
1000 the pattern (using the <b>/L</b> modifier). In this case, the <b>isprint()</b>
1001 function to distinguish printing and non-printing characters.
1002 </P>
1003 <br><a name="SEC14" href="#TOC1">SAVING AND RELOADING COMPILED PATTERNS</a><br>
1004 <P>
1005 The facilities described in this section are not available when the POSIX
1006 interface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the <b>/P</b> pattern modifier is
1007 specified.
1008 </P>
1009 <P>
1010 When the POSIX interface is not in use, you can cause <b>pcretest</b> to write a
1011 compiled pattern to a file, by following the modifiers with &#62; and a file name.
1012 For example:
1013 <pre>
1014 /pattern/im &#62;/some/file
1015 </pre>
1016 See the
1017 <a href="pcreprecompile.html"><b>pcreprecompile</b></a>
1018 documentation for a discussion about saving and re-using compiled patterns.
1019 Note that if the pattern was successfully studied with JIT optimization, the
1020 JIT data cannot be saved.
1021 </P>
1022 <P>
1023 The data that is written is binary. The first eight bytes are the length of the
1024 compiled pattern data followed by the length of the optional study data, each
1025 written as four bytes in big-endian order (most significant byte first). If
1026 there is no study data (either the pattern was not studied, or studying did not
1027 return any data), the second length is zero. The lengths are followed by an
1028 exact copy of the compiled pattern. If there is additional study data, this
1029 (excluding any JIT data) follows immediately after the compiled pattern. After
1030 writing the file, <b>pcretest</b> expects to read a new pattern.
1031 </P>
1032 <P>
1033 A saved pattern can be reloaded into <b>pcretest</b> by specifying &#60; and a file
1034 name instead of a pattern. The name of the file must not contain a &#60; character,
1035 as otherwise <b>pcretest</b> will interpret the line as a pattern delimited by &#60;
1036 characters.
1037 For example:
1038 <pre>
1039 re&#62; &#60;/some/file
1040 Compiled pattern loaded from /some/file
1041 No study data
1042 </pre>
1043 If the pattern was previously studied with the JIT optimization, the JIT
1044 information cannot be saved and restored, and so is lost. When the pattern has
1045 been loaded, <b>pcretest</b> proceeds to read data lines in the usual way.
1046 </P>
1047 <P>
1048 You can copy a file written by <b>pcretest</b> to a different host and reload it
1049 there, even if the new host has opposite endianness to the one on which the
1050 pattern was compiled. For example, you can compile on an i86 machine and run on
1051 a SPARC machine. When a pattern is reloaded on a host with different
1052 endianness, the confirmation message is changed to:
1053 <pre>
1054 Compiled pattern (byte-inverted) loaded from /some/file
1055 </pre>
1056 The test suite contains some saved pre-compiled patterns with different
1057 endianness. These are reloaded using "&#60;!" instead of just "&#60;". This suppresses
1058 the "(byte-inverted)" text so that the output is the same on all hosts. It also
1059 forces debugging output once the pattern has been reloaded.
1060 </P>
1061 <P>
1062 File names for saving and reloading can be absolute or relative, but note that
1063 the shell facility of expanding a file name that starts with a tilde (~) is not
1064 available.
1065 </P>
1066 <P>
1067 The ability to save and reload files in <b>pcretest</b> is intended for testing
1068 and experimentation. It is not intended for production use because only a
1069 single pattern can be written to a file. Furthermore, there is no facility for
1070 supplying custom character tables for use with a reloaded pattern. If the
1071 original pattern was compiled with custom tables, an attempt to match a subject
1072 string using a reloaded pattern is likely to cause <b>pcretest</b> to crash.
1073 Finally, if you attempt to load a file that is not in the correct format, the
1074 result is undefined.
1075 </P>
1076 <br><a name="SEC15" href="#TOC1">SEE ALSO</a><br>
1077 <P>
1078 <b>pcre</b>(3), <b>pcre16</b>(3), <b>pcre32</b>(3), <b>pcreapi</b>(3),
1079 <b>pcrecallout</b>(3),
1080 <b>pcrejit</b>, <b>pcrematching</b>(3), <b>pcrepartial</b>(d),
1081 <b>pcrepattern</b>(3), <b>pcreprecompile</b>(3).
1082 </P>
1083 <br><a name="SEC16" href="#TOC1">AUTHOR</a><br>
1084 <P>
1085 Philip Hazel
1086 <br>
1087 University Computing Service
1088 <br>
1089 Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
1090 <br>
1091 </P>
1092 <br><a name="SEC17" href="#TOC1">REVISION</a><br>
1093 <P>
1094 Last updated: 26 April 2013
1095 <br>
1096 Copyright &copy; 1997-2013 University of Cambridge.
1097 <br>
1098 <p>
1099 Return to the <a href="index.html">PCRE index page</a>.
1100 </p>

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