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1  The pcretest program  PCRETEST(1)                                                        PCRETEST(1)
 --------------------  
2    
 This program is intended for testing PCRE, but it can also be used for  
 experimenting with regular expressions.  
3    
4  If it is given two filename arguments, it reads from the first and writes to  NAME
5  the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it reads from that file         pcretest - a program for testing Perl-compatible regular expressions.
 and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and writes to stdout, and  
 prompts for each line of input, using "re>" to prompt for regular expressions,  
 and "data>" to prompt for data lines.  
   
 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  
 data lines, at which point a new regular expression is read. The regular  
 expressions are given enclosed in any non-alphameric delimiters other than  
 backslash, for example  
   
   /(a|bc)x+yz/  
   
 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 test input files in the testdata directory for many  
 examples. It is possible to include the delimiter within the pattern by  
 escaping it, for example  
   
   /abc\/def/  
   
 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  
 example,  
   
   /abc/\  
   
 then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This is done to provide a  
 way of testing the error condition that arises if a pattern finishes with a  
 backslash, because  
6    
   /abc\/  
7    
8  is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/", causing  SYNOPSIS
9  pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular expression.  
10           pcretest [options] [source] [destination]
11    
12           pcretest  was written as a test program for the PCRE regular expression
13           library itself, but it can also be used for experimenting with  regular
14           expressions.  This document describes the features of the test program;
15           for details of the regular expressions themselves, see the  pcrepattern
16           documentation. For details of the PCRE library function calls and their
17           options, see the pcreapi documentation.
18    
19    
20    OPTIONS
21    
22           -b        Behave as if each regex has the /B (show bytecode)  modifier;
23                     the internal form is output after compilation.
24    
25           -C        Output the version number of the PCRE library, and all avail-
26                     able  information  about  the  optional  features  that   are
27                     included, and then exit.
28    
29           -d        Behave  as  if  each  regex  has the /D (debug) modifier; the
30                     internal form and information about the compiled  pattern  is
31                     output after compilation; -d is equivalent to -b -i.
32    
33           -dfa      Behave  as if each data line contains the \D escape sequence;
34                     this    causes    the    alternative    matching    function,
35                     pcre_dfa_exec(),   to   be   used  instead  of  the  standard
36                     pcre_exec() function (more detail is given below).
37    
38           -help     Output a brief summary these options and then exit.
39    
40           -i        Behave as if each regex  has  the  /I  modifier;  information
41                     about the compiled pattern is given after compilation.
42    
43           -M        Behave  as if each data line contains the \M escape sequence;
44                     this causes PCRE to  discover  the  minimum  MATCH_LIMIT  and
45                     MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings by calling pcre_exec() repeat-
46                     edly with different limits.
47    
48           -m        Output the size of each compiled pattern after  it  has  been
49                     compiled.  This  is  equivalent  to adding /M to each regular
50                     expression.  For  compatibility  with  earlier  versions   of
51                     pcretest, -s is a synonym for -m.
52    
53           -o osize  Set  the number of elements in the output vector that is used
54                     when calling pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec() to be osize.  The
55                     default  value is 45, which is enough for 14 capturing subex-
56                     pressions  for  pcre_exec()  or  22  different  matches   for
57                     pcre_dfa_exec().  The vector size can be changed for individ-
58                     ual matching calls by including \O  in  the  data  line  (see
59                     below).
60    
61           -p        Behave  as if each regex has the /P modifier; the POSIX wrap-
62                     per API is used to call PCRE. None of the other  options  has
63                     any effect when -p is set.
64    
65           -q        Do  not output the version number of pcretest at the start of
66                     execution.
67    
68           -S size   On Unix-like systems, set the size of the  runtime  stack  to
69                     size megabytes.
70    
71           -t        Run  each  compile, study, and match many times with a timer,
72                     and output resulting time per compile or match (in  millisec-
73                     onds).  Do  not set -m with -t, because you will then get the
74                     size output a zillion times, and  the  timing  will  be  dis-
75                     torted.  You  can  control  the number of iterations that are
76                     used for timing by following -t with a number (as a  separate
77                     item on the command line). For example, "-t 1000" would iter-
78                     ate 1000 times. The default is to iterate 500000 times.
79    
80           -tm       This is like -t except that it times only the matching phase,
81                     not the compile or study phases.
82    
83    
84    DESCRIPTION
85    
86           If  pcretest  is  given two filename arguments, it reads from the first
87           and writes to the second. If it is given only one filename argument, it
88           reads  from  that  file  and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from
89           stdin and writes to stdout, and prompts for each line of  input,  using
90           "re>" to prompt for regular expressions, and "data>" to prompt for data
91           lines.
92    
93           When pcretest is built, a configuration  option  can  specify  that  it
94           should  be  linked  with the libreadline library. When this is done, if
95           the input is from a terminal, it is read using the readline() function.
96           This  provides line-editing and history facilities. The output from the
97           -help option states whether or not readline() will be used.
98    
99           The program handles any number of sets of input on a single input file.
100           Each  set starts with a regular expression, and continues with any num-
101           ber of data lines to be matched against the pattern.
102    
103           Each data line is matched separately and independently. If you want  to
104           do multi-line matches, you have to use the \n escape sequence (or \r or
105           \r\n, etc., depending on the newline setting) in a single line of input
106           to  encode  the  newline  sequences. There is no limit on the length of
107           data lines; the input buffer is automatically extended  if  it  is  too
108           small.
109    
110           An  empty  line signals the end of the data lines, at which point a new
111           regular expression is read. The regular expressions are given  enclosed
112           in any non-alphanumeric delimiters other than backslash, for example:
113    
114             /(a|bc)x+yz/
115    
116           White  space before the initial delimiter is ignored. A regular expres-
117           sion may be continued over several input lines, in which case the  new-
118           line  characters  are included within it. It is possible to include the
119           delimiter within the pattern by escaping it, for example
120    
121             /abc\/def/
122    
123           If you do so, the escape and the delimiter form part  of  the  pattern,
124           but  since delimiters are always non-alphanumeric, this does not affect
125           its interpretation.  If the terminating delimiter is  immediately  fol-
126           lowed by a backslash, for example,
127    
128             /abc/\
129    
130           then  a  backslash  is added to the end of the pattern. This is done to
131           provide a way of testing the error condition that arises if  a  pattern
132           finishes with a backslash, because
133    
134             /abc\/
135    
136           is  interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with "abc/",
137           causing pcretest to read the next line as a continuation of the regular
138           expression.
139    
140    
141  PATTERN MODIFIERS  PATTERN MODIFIERS
 -----------------  
142    
143  The pattern may be followed by i, m, s, or x to set the PCRE_CASELESS,         A  pattern may be followed by any number of modifiers, which are mostly
144  PCRE_MULTILINE, PCRE_DOTALL, or PCRE_EXTENDED options, respectively. For         single characters. Following Perl usage, these are  referred  to  below
145  example:         as,  for  example,  "the /i modifier", even though the delimiter of the
146           pattern need not always be a slash, and no slash is used  when  writing
147    /caseless/i         modifiers.  Whitespace  may  appear between the final pattern delimiter
148           and the first modifier, and between the modifiers themselves.
149  These modifier letters have the same effect as they do in Perl. There are  
150  others which set PCRE options that do not correspond to anything in Perl: /A,         The /i, /m, /s, and /x modifiers set the PCRE_CASELESS, PCRE_MULTILINE,
151  /E, and /X set PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY, and PCRE_EXTRA respectively.         PCRE_DOTALL,  or  PCRE_EXTENDED  options,  respectively, when pcre_com-
152           pile() is called. These four modifier letters have the same  effect  as
153  Searching for all possible matches within each subject string can be requested         they do in Perl. For example:
154  by the /g or /G modifier. After finding a match, PCRE is called again to search  
155  the remainder of the subject string. The difference between /g and /G is that           /caseless/i
156  the former uses the startoffset argument to pcre_exec() to start searching at  
157  a new point within the entire string (which is in effect what Perl does),         The following table shows additional modifiers for setting PCRE options
158  whereas the latter passes over a shortened substring. This makes a difference         that do not correspond to anything in Perl:
159  to the matching process if the pattern begins with a lookbehind assertion  
160  (including \b or \B).           /A              PCRE_ANCHORED
161             /C              PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT
162  If any call to pcre_exec() in a /g or /G sequence matches an empty string, the           /E              PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
163  next call is done with the PCRE_NOTEMPTY and PCRE_ANCHORED flags set in order           /f              PCRE_FIRSTLINE
164  to search for another, non-empty, match at the same point. If this second match           /J              PCRE_DUPNAMES
165  fails, the start offset is advanced by one, and the normal match is retried.           /N              PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
166  This imitates the way Perl handles such cases when using the /g modifier or the           /U              PCRE_UNGREEDY
167  split() function.           /X              PCRE_EXTRA
168             /<JS>           PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT
169  There are a number of other modifiers for controlling the way pcretest           /<cr>           PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
170  operates.           /<lf>           PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
171             /<crlf>         PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
172  The /+ modifier requests that as well as outputting the substring that matched           /<anycrlf>      PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
173  the entire pattern, pcretest should in addition output the remainder of the           /<any>          PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY
174  subject string. This is useful for tests where the subject contains multiple           /<bsr_anycrlf>  PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
175  copies of the same substring.           /<bsr_unicode>  PCRE_BSR_UNICODE
176    
177  The /L modifier must be followed directly by the name of a locale, for example,         Those specifying line ending sequences are literal  strings  as  shown,
178           but  the  letters  can  be  in either case. This example sets multiline
179    /pattern/Lfr         matching with CRLF as the line ending sequence:
180    
181  For this reason, it must be the last modifier letter. The given locale is set,           /^abc/m<crlf>
182  pcre_maketables() is called to build a set of character tables for the locale,  
183  and this is then passed to pcre_compile() when compiling the regular         Details of the meanings of these PCRE options are given in the  pcreapi
184  expression. Without an /L modifier, NULL is passed as the tables pointer; that         documentation.
185  is, /L applies only to the expression on which it appears.  
186       Finding all matches in a string
187  The /I modifier requests that pcretest output information about the compiled  
188  expression (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and so on). It         Searching  for  all  possible matches within each subject string can be
189  does this by calling pcre_fullinfo() after compiling an expression, and         requested by the /g or /G modifier. After  finding  a  match,  PCRE  is
190  outputting the information it gets back. If the pattern is studied, the results         called again to search the remainder of the subject string. The differ-
191  of that are also output.         ence between /g and /G is that the former uses the startoffset argument
192           to  pcre_exec()  to  start  searching  at a new point within the entire
193  The /D modifier is a PCRE debugging feature, which also assumes /I. It causes         string (which is in effect what Perl does), whereas the  latter  passes
194  the internal form of compiled regular expressions to be output after         over  a  shortened  substring.  This makes a difference to the matching
195  compilation.         process if the pattern begins with a lookbehind assertion (including \b
196           or \B).
197  The /S modifier causes pcre_study() to be called after the expression has been  
198  compiled, and the results used when the expression is matched.         If  any  call  to  pcre_exec()  in a /g or /G sequence matches an empty
199           string, the next call is done with the PCRE_NOTEMPTY and  PCRE_ANCHORED
200  The /M modifier causes the size of memory block used to hold the compiled         flags  set in order to search for another, non-empty, match at the same
201  pattern to be output.         point.  If this second match fails, the start  offset  is  advanced  by
202           one,  and  the normal match is retried. This imitates the way Perl han-
203  The /P modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper API rather         dles such cases when using the /g modifier or the split() function.
204  than its native API. When this is done, all other modifiers except /i, /m, and  
205  /+ are ignored. REG_ICASE is set if /i is present, and REG_NEWLINE is set if /m     Other modifiers
206  is present. The wrapper functions force PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY always, and  
207  PCRE_DOTALL unless REG_NEWLINE is set.         There are yet more modifiers for controlling the way pcretest operates.
208    
209  The /8 modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE with the PCRE_UTF8 option set.         The /+ modifier requests that as well as outputting the substring  that
210  This turns on the (currently incomplete) support for UTF-8 character handling         matched  the  entire  pattern,  pcretest  should in addition output the
211  in PCRE, provided that it was compiled with this support enabled. This modifier         remainder of the subject string. This is useful  for  tests  where  the
212  also causes any non-printing characters in output strings to be printed using         subject contains multiple copies of the same substring.
213  the \x{hh...} notation if they are valid UTF-8 sequences.  
214           The  /B modifier is a debugging feature. It requests that pcretest out-
215           put a representation of the compiled byte code after compilation.  Nor-
216           mally  this  information contains length and offset values; however, if
217           /Z is also present, this data is replaced by spaces. This is a  special
218           feature for use in the automatic test scripts; it ensures that the same
219           output is generated for different internal link sizes.
220    
221           The /L modifier must be followed directly by the name of a locale,  for
222           example,
223    
224             /pattern/Lfr_FR
225    
226           For this reason, it must be the last modifier. The given locale is set,
227           pcre_maketables() is called to build a set of character tables for  the
228           locale,  and  this  is then passed to pcre_compile() when compiling the
229           regular expression. Without an /L  modifier,  NULL  is  passed  as  the
230           tables  pointer; that is, /L applies only to the expression on which it
231           appears.
232    
233           The /I modifier requests that pcretest  output  information  about  the
234           compiled  pattern (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character,
235           and so on). It does this by calling pcre_fullinfo() after  compiling  a
236           pattern.  If  the pattern is studied, the results of that are also out-
237           put.
238    
239           The /D modifier is a PCRE debugging feature, and is equivalent to  /BI,
240           that is, both the /B and the /I modifiers.
241    
242           The /F modifier causes pcretest to flip the byte order of the fields in
243           the compiled pattern that  contain  2-byte  and  4-byte  numbers.  This
244           facility  is  for testing the feature in PCRE that allows it to execute
245           patterns that were compiled on a host with a different endianness. This
246           feature  is  not  available  when  the POSIX interface to PCRE is being
247           used, that is, when the /P pattern modifier is specified. See also  the
248           section about saving and reloading compiled patterns below.
249    
250           The  /S  modifier causes pcre_study() to be called after the expression
251           has been compiled, and the results used when the expression is matched.
252    
253           The /M modifier causes the size of memory block used to hold  the  com-
254           piled pattern to be output.
255    
256           The  /P modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE via the POSIX wrapper API
257           rather than its native API. When this  is  done,  all  other  modifiers
258           except  /i,  /m, and /+ are ignored. REG_ICASE is set if /i is present,
259           and REG_NEWLINE is set if /m is present. The  wrapper  functions  force
260           PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY always, and PCRE_DOTALL unless REG_NEWLINE is set.
261    
262           The  /8 modifier causes pcretest to call PCRE with the PCRE_UTF8 option
263           set. This turns on support for UTF-8 character handling in  PCRE,  pro-
264           vided  that  it  was  compiled with this support enabled. This modifier
265           also causes any non-printing characters in output strings to be printed
266           using the \x{hh...} notation if they are valid UTF-8 sequences.
267    
268           If  the  /?  modifier  is  used  with  /8,  it  causes pcretest to call
269           pcre_compile() with the  PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK  option,  to  suppress  the
270           checking of the string for UTF-8 validity.
271    
272    
273  DATA LINES  DATA LINES
 ----------  
274    
275  Before each data line is passed to pcre_exec(), leading and trailing whitespace         Before  each  data  line is passed to pcre_exec(), leading and trailing
276  is removed, and it is then scanned for \ escapes. The following are recognized:         whitespace is removed, and it is then scanned for \  escapes.  Some  of
277           these  are  pretty esoteric features, intended for checking out some of
278           the more complicated features of PCRE. If you are just  testing  "ordi-
279           nary"  regular  expressions,  you probably don't need any of these. The
280           following escapes are recognized:
281    
282             \a         alarm (BEL, \x07)
283             \b         backspace (\x08)
284             \e         escape (\x27)
285             \f         formfeed (\x0c)
286             \n         newline (\x0a)
287             \qdd       set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT limit to dd
288                          (any number of digits)
289             \r         carriage return (\x0d)
290             \t         tab (\x09)
291             \v         vertical tab (\x0b)
292             \nnn       octal character (up to 3 octal digits)
293             \xhh       hexadecimal character (up to 2 hex digits)
294             \x{hh...}  hexadecimal character, any number of digits
295                          in UTF-8 mode
296             \A         pass the PCRE_ANCHORED option to pcre_exec()
297                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
298             \B         pass the PCRE_NOTBOL option to pcre_exec()
299                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
300             \Cdd       call pcre_copy_substring() for substring dd
301                          after a successful match (number less than 32)
302             \Cname     call pcre_copy_named_substring() for substring
303                          "name" after a successful match (name termin-
304                          ated by next non alphanumeric character)
305             \C+        show the current captured substrings at callout
306                          time
307             \C-        do not supply a callout function
308             \C!n       return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
309                          reached
310             \C!n!m     return 1 instead of 0 when callout number n is
311                          reached for the nth time
312             \C*n       pass the number n (may be negative) as callout
313                          data; this is used as the callout return value
314             \D         use the pcre_dfa_exec() match function
315             \F         only shortest match for pcre_dfa_exec()
316             \Gdd       call pcre_get_substring() for substring dd
317                          after a successful match (number less than 32)
318             \Gname     call pcre_get_named_substring() for substring
319                          "name" after a successful match (name termin-
320                          ated by next non-alphanumeric character)
321             \L         call pcre_get_substringlist() after a
322                          successful match
323             \M         discover the minimum MATCH_LIMIT and
324                          MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION settings
325             \N         pass the PCRE_NOTEMPTY option to pcre_exec()
326                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
327             \Odd       set the size of the output vector passed to
328                          pcre_exec() to dd (any number of digits)
329             \P         pass the PCRE_PARTIAL option to pcre_exec()
330                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
331             \Qdd       set the PCRE_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION limit to dd
332                          (any number of digits)
333             \R         pass the PCRE_DFA_RESTART option to pcre_dfa_exec()
334             \S         output details of memory get/free calls during matching
335             \Z         pass the PCRE_NOTEOL option to pcre_exec()
336                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
337             \?         pass the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option to
338                          pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec()
339             \>dd       start the match at offset dd (any number of digits);
340                          this sets the startoffset argument for pcre_exec()
341                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
342             \<cr>      pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CR option to pcre_exec()
343                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
344             \<lf>      pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_LF option to pcre_exec()
345                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
346             \<crlf>    pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF option to pcre_exec()
347                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
348             \<anycrlf> pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF option to pcre_exec()
349                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
350             \<any>     pass the PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY option to pcre_exec()
351                          or pcre_dfa_exec()
352    
353           The escapes that specify line ending  sequences  are  literal  strings,
354           exactly as shown. No more than one newline setting should be present in
355           any data line.
356    
357           A backslash followed by anything else just escapes the  anything  else.
358           If  the very last character is a backslash, it is ignored. This gives a
359           way of passing an empty line as data, since a real  empty  line  termi-
360           nates the data input.
361    
362           If  \M  is present, pcretest calls pcre_exec() several times, with dif-
363           ferent values in the match_limit and  match_limit_recursion  fields  of
364           the  pcre_extra  data structure, until it finds the minimum numbers for
365           each parameter that allow pcre_exec() to complete. The match_limit num-
366           ber  is  a  measure of the amount of backtracking that takes place, and
367           checking it out can be instructive. For most simple matches, the number
368           is  quite  small,  but for patterns with very large numbers of matching
369           possibilities, it can become large very quickly with increasing  length
370           of subject string. The match_limit_recursion number is a measure of how
371           much stack (or, if PCRE is compiled with  NO_RECURSE,  how  much  heap)
372           memory is needed to complete the match attempt.
373    
374           When  \O  is  used, the value specified may be higher or lower than the
375           size set by the -O command line option (or defaulted to 45); \O applies
376           only to the call of pcre_exec() for the line in which it appears.
377    
378           If  the /P modifier was present on the pattern, causing the POSIX wrap-
379           per API to be used, the only option-setting  sequences  that  have  any
380           effect  are \B and \Z, causing REG_NOTBOL and REG_NOTEOL, respectively,
381           to be passed to regexec().
382    
383           The use of \x{hh...} to represent UTF-8 characters is not dependent  on
384           the  use  of  the  /8 modifier on the pattern. It is recognized always.
385           There may be any number of hexadecimal digits inside  the  braces.  The
386           result  is  from  one  to  six bytes, encoded according to the original
387           UTF-8 rules of RFC 2279. This allows for  values  in  the  range  0  to
388           0x7FFFFFFF.  Note  that not all of those are valid Unicode code points,
389           or indeed valid UTF-8 characters according to the later  rules  in  RFC
390           3629.
391    
392    
393    THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION
394    
395           By   default,  pcretest  uses  the  standard  PCRE  matching  function,
396           pcre_exec() to match each data line. From release 6.0, PCRE supports an
397           alternative  matching  function,  pcre_dfa_test(),  which operates in a
398           different way, and has some restrictions. The differences  between  the
399           two functions are described in the pcrematching documentation.
400    
401           If  a data line contains the \D escape sequence, or if the command line
402           contains the -dfa option, the alternative matching function is  called.
403           This function finds all possible matches at a given point. If, however,
404           the \F escape sequence is present in the data line, it stops after  the
405           first match is found. This is always the shortest possible match.
406    
407    
408    DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST
409    
410           This  section  describes  the output when the normal matching function,
411           pcre_exec(), is being used.
412    
413           When a match succeeds, pcretest outputs the list of captured substrings
414           that  pcre_exec()  returns,  starting with number 0 for the string that
415           matched the whole pattern. Otherwise, it outputs "No match" or "Partial
416           match"  when  pcre_exec() returns PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH or PCRE_ERROR_PAR-
417           TIAL, respectively, and otherwise the PCRE negative error number.  Here
418           is an example of an interactive pcretest run.
419    
420             $ pcretest
421             PCRE version 7.0 30-Nov-2006
422    
423               re> /^abc(\d+)/
424             data> abc123
425              0: abc123
426              1: 123
427             data> xyz
428             No match
429    
430           Note  that unset capturing substrings that are not followed by one that
431           is set are not returned by pcre_exec(), and are not shown by  pcretest.
432           In  the following example, there are two capturing substrings, but when
433           the first data line is matched, the  second,  unset  substring  is  not
434           shown.  An "internal" unset substring is shown as "<unset>", as for the
435           second data line.
436    
437               re> /(a)|(b)/
438             data> a
439              0: a
440              1: a
441             data> b
442              0: b
443              1: <unset>
444              2: b
445    
446           If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output  as
447           \0x  escapes,  or  as \x{...} escapes if the /8 modifier was present on
448           the pattern. See below for the definition of  non-printing  characters.
449           If  the pattern has the /+ modifier, the output for substring 0 is fol-
450           lowed by the the rest of the subject string, identified  by  "0+"  like
451           this:
452    
453               re> /cat/+
454             data> cataract
455              0: cat
456              0+ aract
457    
458           If  the  pattern  has  the /g or /G modifier, the results of successive
459           matching attempts are output in sequence, like this:
460    
461               re> /\Bi(\w\w)/g
462             data> Mississippi
463              0: iss
464              1: ss
465              0: iss
466              1: ss
467              0: ipp
468              1: pp
469    
470           "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails.
471    
472           If any of the sequences \C, \G, or \L are present in a data  line  that
473           is  successfully  matched,  the substrings extracted by the convenience
474           functions are output with C, G, or L after the string number instead of
475           a colon. This is in addition to the normal full list. The string length
476           (that is, the return from the extraction function) is given  in  paren-
477           theses after each string for \C and \G.
478    
479           Note that whereas patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain
480           ">" prompt is used for continuations), data lines may not. However new-
481           lines  can  be included in data by means of the \n escape (or \r, \r\n,
482           etc., depending on the newline sequence setting).
483    
484    
485    OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION
486    
487           When the alternative matching function, pcre_dfa_exec(),  is  used  (by
488           means  of  the \D escape sequence or the -dfa command line option), the
489           output consists of a list of all the matches that start  at  the  first
490           point in the subject where there is at least one match. For example:
491    
492               re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/
493             data> yellow tangerine\D
494              0: tangerine
495              1: tang
496              2: tan
497    
498           (Using  the  normal  matching function on this data finds only "tang".)
499           The longest matching string is always given first (and numbered zero).
500    
501           If /g is present on the pattern, the search for further matches resumes
502           at the end of the longest match. For example:
503    
504               re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/g
505             data> yellow tangerine and tangy sultana\D
506              0: tangerine
507              1: tang
508              2: tan
509              0: tang
510              1: tan
511              0: tan
512    
513           Since  the  matching  function  does not support substring capture, the
514           escape sequences that are concerned with captured  substrings  are  not
515           relevant.
516    
517    
518    RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH
519    
520           When the alternative matching function has given the PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL
521           return, indicating that the subject partially matched the pattern,  you
522           can  restart  the match with additional subject data by means of the \R
523           escape sequence. For example:
524    
525               re> /^\d?\d(jan|feb|mar|apr|may|jun|jul|aug|sep|oct|nov|dec)\d\d$/
526             data> 23ja\P\D
527             Partial match: 23ja
528             data> n05\R\D
529              0: n05
530    
531           For further information about partial  matching,  see  the  pcrepartial
532           documentation.
533    
534    
535    CALLOUTS
536    
537           If  the pattern contains any callout requests, pcretest's callout func-
538           tion is called during matching. This works  with  both  matching  func-
539           tions. By default, the called function displays the callout number, the
540           start and current positions in the text at the callout  time,  and  the
541           next pattern item to be tested. For example, the output
542    
543             --->pqrabcdef
544               0    ^  ^     \d
545    
546           indicates  that  callout number 0 occurred for a match attempt starting
547           at the fourth character of the subject string, when the pointer was  at
548           the  seventh  character of the data, and when the next pattern item was
549           \d. Just one circumflex is output if the start  and  current  positions
550           are the same.
551    
552           Callouts numbered 255 are assumed to be automatic callouts, inserted as
553           a result of the /C pattern modifier. In this case, instead  of  showing
554           the  callout  number, the offset in the pattern, preceded by a plus, is
555           output. For example:
556    
557               re> /\d?[A-E]\*/C
558             data> E*
559             --->E*
560              +0 ^      \d?
561              +3 ^      [A-E]
562              +8 ^^     \*
563             +10 ^ ^
564              0: E*
565    
566           The callout function in pcretest returns zero (carry  on  matching)  by
567           default,  but you can use a \C item in a data line (as described above)
568           to change this.
569    
570           Inserting callouts can be helpful when using pcretest to check  compli-
571           cated  regular expressions. For further information about callouts, see
572           the pcrecallout documentation.
573    
574    
575    NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS
576    
577           When pcretest is outputting text in the compiled version of a  pattern,
578           bytes  other  than 32-126 are always treated as non-printing characters
579           are are therefore shown as hex escapes.
580    
581           When pcretest is outputting text that is a matched part  of  a  subject
582           string,  it behaves in the same way, unless a different locale has been
583           set for the  pattern  (using  the  /L  modifier).  In  this  case,  the
584           isprint() function to distinguish printing and non-printing characters.
585    
586    
587    SAVING AND RELOADING COMPILED PATTERNS
588    
589           The  facilities  described  in  this section are not available when the
590           POSIX inteface to PCRE is being used, that is, when the /P pattern mod-
591           ifier is specified.
592    
593           When the POSIX interface is not in use, you can cause pcretest to write
594           a compiled pattern to a file, by following the modifiers with >  and  a
595           file name.  For example:
596    
597             /pattern/im >/some/file
598    
599           See  the pcreprecompile documentation for a discussion about saving and
600           re-using compiled patterns.
601    
602           The data that is written is binary.  The  first  eight  bytes  are  the
603           length  of  the  compiled  pattern  data  followed by the length of the
604           optional study data, each written as four  bytes  in  big-endian  order
605           (most  significant  byte  first). If there is no study data (either the
606           pattern was not studied, or studying did not return any data), the sec-
607           ond  length  is  zero. The lengths are followed by an exact copy of the
608           compiled pattern. If there is additional study data, this follows imme-
609           diately  after  the  compiled pattern. After writing the file, pcretest
610           expects to read a new pattern.
611    
612           A saved pattern can be reloaded into pcretest by specifing < and a file
613           name  instead  of  a pattern. The name of the file must not contain a <
614           character, as otherwise pcretest will interpret the line as  a  pattern
615           delimited by < characters.  For example:
616    
617              re> </some/file
618             Compiled regex loaded from /some/file
619             No study data
620    
621           When  the pattern has been loaded, pcretest proceeds to read data lines
622           in the usual way.
623    
624           You can copy a file written by pcretest to a different host and  reload
625           it  there,  even  if the new host has opposite endianness to the one on
626           which the pattern was compiled. For example, you can compile on an  i86
627           machine and run on a SPARC machine.
628    
629           File  names  for  saving and reloading can be absolute or relative, but
630           note that the shell facility of expanding a file name that starts  with
631           a tilde (~) is not available.
632    
633           The  ability to save and reload files in pcretest is intended for test-
634           ing and experimentation. It is not intended for production use  because
635           only  a  single pattern can be written to a file. Furthermore, there is
636           no facility for supplying  custom  character  tables  for  use  with  a
637           reloaded  pattern.  If  the  original  pattern was compiled with custom
638           tables, an attempt to match a subject string using a  reloaded  pattern
639           is  likely to cause pcretest to crash.  Finally, if you attempt to load
640           a file that is not in the correct format, the result is undefined.
641    
642    
643    SEE ALSO
644    
645           pcre(3), pcreapi(3), pcrecallout(3),  pcrematching(3),  pcrepartial(d),
646           pcrepattern(3), pcreprecompile(3).
647    
648    
649    AUTHOR
650    
651           Philip Hazel
652           University Computing Service
653           Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
654    
655    
656    \a         alarm (= BEL)  REVISION
   \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)  
   \x{hh...}  hexadecimal UTF-8 character  
   
   \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  
   \N         pass the PCRE_NOTEMPTY option to pcre_exec()  
   \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.  
   
 The use of \x{hh...} to represent UTF-8 characters is not dependent on the use  
 of the /8 modifier on the pattern. It is recognized always. There may be any  
 number of hexadecimal digits inside the braces. The result is from one to six  
 bytes, encoded according to the UTF-8 rules.  
   
   
 OUTPUT FROM PCRETEST  
 --------------------  
   
 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  
   PCRE version 2.06 08-Jun-1999  
   
     re> /^abc(\d+)/  
   data> abc123  
    0: abc123  
    1: 123  
   data> xyz  
   No match  
   
 If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output as \0x  
 escapes, or as \x{...} escapes if the /8 modifier was present on the pattern.  
 If the pattern has the /+ modifier, then the output for substring 0 is followed  
 by the the rest of the subject string, identified by "0+" like this:  
   
     re> /cat/+  
   data> cataract  
    0: cat  
    0+ aract  
   
 If the pattern has the /g or /G modifier, the results of successive matching  
 attempts are output in sequence, like this:  
   
     re> /\Bi(\w\w)/g  
   data> Mississippi  
    0: iss  
    1: ss  
    0: iss  
    1: ss  
    0: ipp  
    1: pp  
   
 "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails.  
   
 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.  
   
   
 COMMAND LINE OPTIONS  
 --------------------  
   
 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  
 compilation.  
   
 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 -m, 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  
 pcretest.c  
657    
658  Philip Hazel <ph10@cam.ac.uk>         Last updated: 10 March 2009
659  August 2000         Copyright (c) 1997-2009 University of Cambridge.

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