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pcreapi (3)

Name

pcreapi - compatible regular expressions #include <pcre.h>

Synopsis

Please see following description for synopsis

Description

PCREAPI(3)                 Library Functions Manual                 PCREAPI(3)



NAME
       PCRE - Perl-compatible regular expressions

       #include <pcre.h>

PCRE NATIVE API BASIC FUNCTIONS

       pcre *pcre_compile(const char *pattern, int options,
            const char **errptr, int *erroffset,
            const unsigned char *tableptr);

       pcre *pcre_compile2(const char *pattern, int options,
            int *errorcodeptr,
            const char **errptr, int *erroffset,
            const unsigned char *tableptr);

       pcre_extra *pcre_study(const pcre *code, int options,
            const char **errptr);

       void pcre_free_study(pcre_extra *extra);

       int pcre_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            const char *subject, int length, int startoffset,
            int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize);

       int pcre_dfa_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            const char *subject, int length, int startoffset,
            int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize,
            int *workspace, int wscount);

PCRE NATIVE API STRING EXTRACTION FUNCTIONS

       int pcre_copy_named_substring(const pcre *code,
            const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, const char *stringname,
            char *buffer, int buffersize);

       int pcre_copy_substring(const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, int stringnumber, char *buffer,
            int buffersize);

       int pcre_get_named_substring(const pcre *code,
            const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, const char *stringname,
            const char **stringptr);

       int pcre_get_stringnumber(const pcre *code,
            const char *name);

       int pcre_get_stringtable_entries(const pcre *code,
            const char *name, char **first, char **last);

       int pcre_get_substring(const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, int stringnumber,
            const char **stringptr);

       int pcre_get_substring_list(const char *subject,
            int *ovector, int stringcount, const char ***listptr);

       void pcre_free_substring(const char *stringptr);

       void pcre_free_substring_list(const char **stringptr);

PCRE NATIVE API AUXILIARY FUNCTIONS

       int pcre_jit_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            const char *subject, int length, int startoffset,
            int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize,
            pcre_jit_stack *jstack);

       pcre_jit_stack *pcre_jit_stack_alloc(int startsize, int maxsize);

       void pcre_jit_stack_free(pcre_jit_stack *stack);

       void pcre_assign_jit_stack(pcre_extra *extra,
            pcre_jit_callback callback, void *data);

       const unsigned char *pcre_maketables(void);

       int pcre_fullinfo(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            int what, void *where);

       int pcre_refcount(pcre *code, int adjust);

       int pcre_config(int what, void *where);

       const char *pcre_version(void);

       int pcre_pattern_to_host_byte_order(pcre *code,
            pcre_extra *extra, const unsigned char *tables);

PCRE NATIVE API INDIRECTED FUNCTIONS

       void *(*pcre_malloc)(size_t);

       void (*pcre_free)(void *);

       void *(*pcre_stack_malloc)(size_t);

       void (*pcre_stack_free)(void *);

       int (*pcre_callout)(pcre_callout_block *);

       int (*pcre_stack_guard)(void);

PCRE 8-BIT, 16-BIT, AND 32-BIT LIBRARIES

       As  well  as  support  for  8-bit character strings, PCRE also supports
       16-bit strings (from release 8.30) and  32-bit  strings  (from  release
       8.32),  by means of two additional libraries. They can be built as well
       as, or instead of, the 8-bit library. To avoid too  much  complication,
       this  document describes the 8-bit versions of the functions, with only
       occasional references to the 16-bit and 32-bit libraries.

       The 16-bit and 32-bit functions operate in the same way as their  8-bit
       counterparts;  they  just  use different data types for their arguments
       and results, and their names start with pcre16_ or pcre32_  instead  of
       pcre_.  For  every  option  that  has  UTF8  in  its name (for example,
       PCRE_UTF8), there are corresponding 16-bit and 32-bit names  with  UTF8
       replaced by UTF16 or UTF32, respectively. This facility is in fact just
       cosmetic; the 16-bit and 32-bit option names define the same  bit  val-
       ues.

       References to bytes and UTF-8 in this document should be read as refer-
       ences to 16-bit data units and UTF-16 when using the 16-bit library, or
       32-bit  data  units  and  UTF-32  when using the 32-bit library, unless
       specified otherwise.  More details of the specific differences for  the
       16-bit and 32-bit libraries are given in the pcre16 and pcre32 pages.

PCRE API OVERVIEW

       PCRE has its own native API, which is described in this document. There
       are also some wrapper functions (for the 8-bit library only) that  cor-
       respond  to  the  POSIX  regular  expression  API, but they do not give
       access to all the functionality. They are described  in  the  pcreposix
       documentation.  Both  of these APIs define a set of C function calls. A
       C++ wrapper (again for the 8-bit library only) is also distributed with
       PCRE. It is documented in the pcrecpp page.

       The  native  API  C  function prototypes are defined in the header file
       pcre.h, and on Unix-like systems the (8-bit) library itself  is  called
       libpcre.  It  can  normally be accessed by adding -lpcre to the command
       for linking an application that uses PCRE. The header file defines  the
       macros PCRE_MAJOR and PCRE_MINOR to contain the major and minor release
       numbers for the library. Applications can use these to include  support
       for different releases of PCRE.

       In a Windows environment, if you want to statically link an application
       program against a non-dll pcre.a  file,  you  must  define  PCRE_STATIC
       before  including  pcre.h or pcrecpp.h, because otherwise the pcre_mal-
       loc()   and   pcre_free()   exported   functions   will   be   declared
       __declspec(dllimport), with unwanted results.

       The   functions   pcre_compile(),  pcre_compile2(),  pcre_study(),  and
       pcre_exec() are used for compiling and matching regular expressions  in
       a  Perl-compatible  manner. A sample program that demonstrates the sim-
       plest way of using them is provided in the file  called  pcredemo.c  in
       the PCRE source distribution. A listing of this program is given in the
       pcredemo documentation, and the pcresample documentation describes  how
       to compile and run it.

       Just-in-time  compiler  support is an optional feature of PCRE that can
       be built in appropriate hardware environments. It greatly speeds up the
       matching  performance  of  many  patterns.  Simple  programs can easily
       request that it be used if available, by  setting  an  option  that  is
       ignored  when  it is not relevant. More complicated programs might need
       to    make    use    of    the    functions     pcre_jit_stack_alloc(),
       pcre_jit_stack_free(),  and pcre_assign_jit_stack() in order to control
       the JIT code's memory usage.

       From release 8.32 there is also a direct interface for  JIT  execution,
       which  gives  improved performance. The JIT-specific functions are dis-
       cussed in the pcrejit documentation.

       A second matching function, pcre_dfa_exec(), which is not Perl-compati-
       ble,  is  also provided. This uses a different algorithm for the match-
       ing. The alternative algorithm finds all possible matches (at  a  given
       point  in  the  subject), and scans the subject just once (unless there
       are lookbehind assertions). However, this  algorithm  does  not  return
       captured  substrings.  A description of the two matching algorithms and
       their advantages and disadvantages is given in the  pcrematching  docu-
       mentation.

       In  addition  to  the  main compiling and matching functions, there are
       convenience functions for extracting captured substrings from a subject
       string that is matched by pcre_exec(). They are:

         pcre_copy_substring()
         pcre_copy_named_substring()
         pcre_get_substring()
         pcre_get_named_substring()
         pcre_get_substring_list()
         pcre_get_stringnumber()
         pcre_get_stringtable_entries()

       pcre_free_substring() and pcre_free_substring_list() are also provided,
       to free the memory used for extracted strings.

       The function pcre_maketables() is used to  build  a  set  of  character
       tables   in   the   current   locale  for  passing  to  pcre_compile(),
       pcre_exec(), or pcre_dfa_exec(). This is an optional facility  that  is
       provided  for  specialist  use.  Most  commonly,  no special tables are
       passed, in which case internal tables that are generated when  PCRE  is
       built are used.

       The  function  pcre_fullinfo()  is used to find out information about a
       compiled pattern. The function pcre_version() returns a  pointer  to  a
       string containing the version of PCRE and its date of release.

       The  function  pcre_refcount()  maintains  a  reference count in a data
       block containing a compiled pattern. This is provided for  the  benefit
       of object-oriented applications.

       The  global  variables  pcre_malloc and pcre_free initially contain the
       entry points of the standard malloc()  and  free()  functions,  respec-
       tively. PCRE calls the memory management functions via these variables,
       so a calling program can replace them if it  wishes  to  intercept  the
       calls. This should be done before calling any PCRE functions.

       The  global  variables  pcre_stack_malloc  and pcre_stack_free are also
       indirections to memory management functions.  These  special  functions
       are  used  only  when  PCRE is compiled to use the heap for remembering
       data, instead of recursive function calls, when running the pcre_exec()
       function.  See  the  pcrebuild  documentation  for details of how to do
       this. It is a non-standard way of building PCRE, for  use  in  environ-
       ments  that  have  limited stacks. Because of the greater use of memory
       management, it runs more slowly. Separate  functions  are  provided  so
       that  special-purpose  external  code  can  be used for this case. When
       used, these functions always allocate memory blocks of the  same  size.
       There  is  a discussion about PCRE's stack usage in the pcrestack docu-
       mentation.

       The global variable pcre_callout initially contains NULL. It can be set
       by  the  caller  to  a "callout" function, which PCRE will then call at
       specified points during a matching operation. Details are given in  the
       pcrecallout documentation.

       The global variable pcre_stack_guard initially contains NULL. It can be
       set by the caller to a function that is  called  by  PCRE  whenever  it
       starts  to  compile a parenthesized part of a pattern. When parentheses
       are nested, PCRE uses recursive function calls, which use up the system
       stack.  This  function is provided so that applications with restricted
       stacks can force a compilation error if the stack runs out.  The  func-
       tion should return zero if all is well, or non-zero to force an error.

NEWLINES

       PCRE  supports five different conventions for indicating line breaks in
       strings: a single CR (carriage return) character, a  single  LF  (line-
       feed) character, the two-character sequence CRLF, any of the three pre-
       ceding, or any Unicode newline sequence. The Unicode newline  sequences
       are  the  three just mentioned, plus the single characters VT (vertical
       tab, U+000B), FF (form feed, U+000C), NEL (next line, U+0085), LS (line
       separator, U+2028), and PS (paragraph separator, U+2029).

       Each  of  the first three conventions is used by at least one operating
       system as its standard newline sequence. When PCRE is built, a  default
       can  be  specified.  The default default is LF, which is the Unix stan-
       dard. When PCRE is run, the default can be overridden,  either  when  a
       pattern is compiled, or when it is matched.

       At compile time, the newline convention can be specified by the options
       argument of pcre_compile(), or it can be specified by special  text  at
       the start of the pattern itself; this overrides any other settings. See
       the pcrepattern page for details of the special character sequences.

       In the PCRE documentation the word "newline" is used to mean "the char-
       acter  or pair of characters that indicate a line break". The choice of
       newline convention affects the handling of  the  dot,  circumflex,  and
       dollar metacharacters, the handling of #-comments in /x mode, and, when
       CRLF is a recognized line ending sequence, the match position  advance-
       ment for a non-anchored pattern. There is more detail about this in the
       section on pcre_exec() options below.

       The choice of newline convention does not affect the interpretation  of
       the  \n  or  \r  escape  sequences, nor does it affect what \R matches,
       which is controlled in a similar way, but by separate options.

MULTITHREADING

       The PCRE functions can be used in  multi-threading  applications,  with
       the  proviso  that  the  memory  management  functions  pointed  to  by
       pcre_malloc, pcre_free, pcre_stack_malloc, and pcre_stack_free, and the
       callout  and  stack-checking  functions  pointed to by pcre_callout and
       pcre_stack_guard, are shared by all threads.

       The compiled form of a regular expression is not altered during  match-
       ing, so the same compiled pattern can safely be used by several threads
       at once.

       If the just-in-time optimization feature is being used, it needs  sepa-
       rate  memory stack areas for each thread. See the pcrejit documentation
       for more details.

SAVING PRECOMPILED PATTERNS FOR LATER USE

       The compiled form of a regular expression can be saved and re-used at a
       later  time,  possibly by a different program, and even on a host other
       than the one on which  it  was  compiled.  Details  are  given  in  the
       pcreprecompile  documentation,  which  includes  a  description  of the
       pcre_pattern_to_host_byte_order() function. However, compiling a  regu-
       lar  expression  with one version of PCRE for use with a different ver-
       sion is not guaranteed to work and may cause crashes.

CHECKING BUILD-TIME OPTIONS

       int pcre_config(int what, void *where);

       The function pcre_config() makes it possible for a PCRE client to  dis-
       cover which optional features have been compiled into the PCRE library.
       The pcrebuild documentation has more details about these optional  fea-
       tures.

       The  first  argument  for pcre_config() is an integer, specifying which
       information is required; the second argument is a pointer to a variable
       into  which  the  information  is placed. The returned value is zero on
       success, or the negative error code PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION if  the  value
       in  the  first argument is not recognized. The following information is
       available:

         PCRE_CONFIG_UTF8

       The output is an integer that is set to one if UTF-8 support is  avail-
       able;  otherwise it is set to zero. This value should normally be given
       to the 8-bit version of this function, pcre_config(). If it is given to
       the   16-bit  or  32-bit  version  of  this  function,  the  result  is
       PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION.

         PCRE_CONFIG_UTF16

       The output is an integer that is set to one if UTF-16 support is avail-
       able;  otherwise it is set to zero. This value should normally be given
       to the 16-bit version of this function, pcre16_config(). If it is given
       to  the  8-bit  or  32-bit  version  of  this  function,  the result is
       PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION.

         PCRE_CONFIG_UTF32

       The output is an integer that is set to one if UTF-32 support is avail-
       able;  otherwise it is set to zero. This value should normally be given
       to the 32-bit version of this function, pcre32_config(). If it is given
       to  the  8-bit  or  16-bit  version  of  this  function,  the result is
       PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION.

         PCRE_CONFIG_UNICODE_PROPERTIES

       The output is an integer that is set to  one  if  support  for  Unicode
       character properties is available; otherwise it is set to zero.

         PCRE_CONFIG_JIT

       The output is an integer that is set to one if support for just-in-time
       compiling is available; otherwise it is set to zero.

         PCRE_CONFIG_JITTARGET

       The output is a pointer to a zero-terminated "const char *" string.  If
       JIT support is available, the string contains the name of the architec-
       ture for which the JIT compiler is configured, for example  "x86  32bit
       (little  endian  +  unaligned)".  If  JIT support is not available, the
       result is NULL.

         PCRE_CONFIG_NEWLINE

       The output is an integer whose value specifies  the  default  character
       sequence  that  is recognized as meaning "newline". The values that are
       supported in ASCII/Unicode environments are: 10 for LF, 13 for CR, 3338
       for  CRLF,  -2 for ANYCRLF, and -1 for ANY. In EBCDIC environments, CR,
       ANYCRLF, and ANY yield the same values. However, the value  for  LF  is
       normally  21, though some EBCDIC environments use 37. The corresponding
       values for CRLF are 3349 and 3365. The default should  normally  corre-
       spond to the standard sequence for your operating system.

         PCRE_CONFIG_BSR

       The output is an integer whose value indicates what character sequences
       the \R escape sequence matches by default. A value of 0 means  that  \R
       matches  any  Unicode  line ending sequence; a value of 1 means that \R
       matches only CR, LF, or CRLF. The default can be overridden when a pat-
       tern is compiled or matched.

         PCRE_CONFIG_LINK_SIZE

       The  output  is  an  integer that contains the number of bytes used for
       internal  linkage  in  compiled  regular  expressions.  For  the  8-bit
       library, the value can be 2, 3, or 4. For the 16-bit library, the value
       is either 2 or 4 and is  still  a  number  of  bytes.  For  the  32-bit
       library, the value is either 2 or 4 and is still a number of bytes. The
       default value of 2 is sufficient for all but the most massive patterns,
       since  it  allows  the compiled pattern to be up to 64K in size. Larger
       values allow larger regular expressions to be compiled, at the  expense
       of slower matching.

         PCRE_CONFIG_POSIX_MALLOC_THRESHOLD

       The  output  is  an integer that contains the threshold above which the
       POSIX interface uses malloc() for output vectors. Further  details  are
       given in the pcreposix documentation.

         PCRE_CONFIG_PARENS_LIMIT

       The output is a long integer that gives the maximum depth of nesting of
       parentheses (of any kind) in a pattern. This limit is  imposed  to  cap
       the amount of system stack used when a pattern is compiled. It is spec-
       ified when PCRE is built; the default is 250. This limit does not  take
       into account the stack that may already be used by the calling applica-
       tion. For finer control over compilation stack usage,  you  can  set  a
       pointer to an external checking function in pcre_stack_guard.

         PCRE_CONFIG_MATCH_LIMIT

       The  output is a long integer that gives the default limit for the num-
       ber of internal matching function calls  in  a  pcre_exec()  execution.
       Further details are given with pcre_exec() below.

         PCRE_CONFIG_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION

       The output is a long integer that gives the default limit for the depth
       of  recursion  when  calling  the  internal  matching  function  in   a
       pcre_exec()  execution.  Further  details  are  given  with pcre_exec()
       below.

         PCRE_CONFIG_STACKRECURSE

       The output is an integer that is set to one if internal recursion  when
       running pcre_exec() is implemented by recursive function calls that use
       the stack to remember their state. This is the usual way that  PCRE  is
       compiled. The output is zero if PCRE was compiled to use blocks of data
       on the  heap  instead  of  recursive  function  calls.  In  this  case,
       pcre_stack_malloc  and  pcre_stack_free  are  called  to  manage memory
       blocks on the heap, thus avoiding the use of the stack.

COMPILING A PATTERN

       pcre *pcre_compile(const char *pattern, int options,
            const char **errptr, int *erroffset,
            const unsigned char *tableptr);

       pcre *pcre_compile2(const char *pattern, int options,
            int *errorcodeptr,
            const char **errptr, int *erroffset,
            const unsigned char *tableptr);

       Either of the functions pcre_compile() or pcre_compile2() can be called
       to compile a pattern into an internal form. The only difference between
       the two interfaces is that pcre_compile2() has an additional  argument,
       errorcodeptr,  via  which  a  numerical  error code can be returned. To
       avoid too much repetition, we refer just to pcre_compile()  below,  but
       the information applies equally to pcre_compile2().

       The pattern is a C string terminated by a binary zero, and is passed in
       the pattern argument. A pointer to a single block  of  memory  that  is
       obtained  via  pcre_malloc is returned. This contains the compiled code
       and related data. The pcre type is defined for the returned block; this
       is a typedef for a structure whose contents are not externally defined.
       It is up to the caller to free the memory (via pcre_free) when it is no
       longer required.

       Although  the compiled code of a PCRE regex is relocatable, that is, it
       does not depend on memory location, the complete pcre data block is not
       fully  relocatable, because it may contain a copy of the tableptr argu-
       ment, which is an address (see below).

       The options argument contains various bit settings that affect the com-
       pilation.  It  should be zero if no options are required. The available
       options are described below. Some of them (in  particular,  those  that
       are  compatible with Perl, but some others as well) can also be set and
       unset from within the pattern (see  the  detailed  description  in  the
       pcrepattern  documentation). For those options that can be different in
       different parts of the pattern, the contents of  the  options  argument
       specifies their settings at the start of compilation and execution. The
       PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_BSR_xxx, PCRE_NEWLINE_xxx, PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK,  and
       PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE  options  can  be set at the time of matching as
       well as at compile time.

       If errptr is NULL, pcre_compile() returns NULL immediately.  Otherwise,
       if  compilation  of  a  pattern fails, pcre_compile() returns NULL, and
       sets the variable pointed to by errptr to point to a textual error mes-
       sage. This is a static string that is part of the library. You must not
       try to free it. Normally, the offset from the start of the  pattern  to
       the data unit that was being processed when the error was discovered is
       placed in the variable pointed to by erroffset, which must not be  NULL
       (if  it is, an immediate error is given). However, for an invalid UTF-8
       or UTF-16 string, the offset is that of the  first  data  unit  of  the
       failing character.

       Some  errors are not detected until the whole pattern has been scanned;
       in these cases, the offset passed back is the length  of  the  pattern.
       Note  that  the  offset is in data units, not characters, even in a UTF
       mode. It may sometimes point into the middle of a UTF-8 or UTF-16 char-
       acter.

       If  pcre_compile2()  is  used instead of pcre_compile(), and the error-
       codeptr argument is not NULL, a non-zero error code number is  returned
       via  this argument in the event of an error. This is in addition to the
       textual error message. Error codes and messages are listed below.

       If the final argument, tableptr, is NULL, PCRE uses a  default  set  of
       character  tables  that  are  built  when  PCRE  is compiled, using the
       default C locale. Otherwise, tableptr must be an address  that  is  the
       result  of  a  call to pcre_maketables(). This value is stored with the
       compiled pattern, and used again  by  pcre_exec()  and  pcre_dfa_exec()
       when  the  pattern  is matched. For more discussion, see the section on
       locale support below.

       This code fragment shows a typical straightforward  call  to  pcre_com-
       pile():

         pcre *re;
         const char *error;
         int erroffset;
         re = pcre_compile(
           "^A.*Z",          /* the pattern */
           0,                /* default options */
           &error,           /* for error message */
           &erroffset,       /* for error offset */
           NULL);            /* use default character tables */

       The  following  names  for option bits are defined in the pcre.h header
       file:

         PCRE_ANCHORED

       If this bit is set, the pattern is forced to be "anchored", that is, it
       is  constrained to match only at the first matching point in the string
       that is being searched (the "subject string"). This effect can also  be
       achieved  by appropriate constructs in the pattern itself, which is the
       only way to do it in Perl.

         PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT

       If this bit is set, pcre_compile() automatically inserts callout items,
       all  with  number  255, before each pattern item. For discussion of the
       callout facility, see the pcrecallout documentation.

         PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
         PCRE_BSR_UNICODE

       These options (which are mutually exclusive) control what the \R escape
       sequence  matches.  The choice is either to match only CR, LF, or CRLF,
       or to match any Unicode newline sequence. The default is specified when
       PCRE is built. It can be overridden from within the pattern, or by set-
       ting an option when a compiled pattern is matched.

         PCRE_CASELESS

       If this bit is set, letters in the pattern match both upper  and  lower
       case  letters.  It  is  equivalent  to  Perl's /i option, and it can be
       changed within a pattern by a (?i) option setting. In UTF-8 mode,  PCRE
       always  understands the concept of case for characters whose values are
       less than 128, so caseless matching is always possible. For  characters
       with  higher  values,  the concept of case is supported if PCRE is com-
       piled with Unicode property support, but not otherwise. If you want  to
       use  caseless  matching  for  characters 128 and above, you must ensure
       that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support  as  well  as  with
       UTF-8 support.

         PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY

       If  this bit is set, a dollar metacharacter in the pattern matches only
       at the end of the subject string. Without this option,  a  dollar  also
       matches  immediately before a newline at the end of the string (but not
       before any other newlines). The PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY option  is  ignored
       if  PCRE_MULTILINE  is  set.   There is no equivalent to this option in
       Perl, and no way to set it within a pattern.

         PCRE_DOTALL

       If this bit is set, a dot metacharacter in the pattern matches a  char-
       acter of any value, including one that indicates a newline. However, it
       only ever matches one character, even if newlines are  coded  as  CRLF.
       Without  this option, a dot does not match when the current position is
       at a newline. This option is equivalent to Perl's /s option, and it can
       be  changed within a pattern by a (?s) option setting. A negative class
       such as [^a] always matches newline characters, independent of the set-
       ting of this option.

         PCRE_DUPNAMES

       If  this  bit is set, names used to identify capturing subpatterns need
       not be unique. This can be helpful for certain types of pattern when it
       is  known  that  only  one instance of the named subpattern can ever be
       matched. There are more details of named subpatterns  below;  see  also
       the pcrepattern documentation.

         PCRE_EXTENDED

       If  this  bit  is  set,  most white space characters in the pattern are
       totally ignored except when escaped or inside a character  class.  How-
       ever,  white  space  is  not  allowed within sequences such as (?> that
       introduce various parenthesized subpatterns,  nor  within  a  numerical
       quantifier  such as {1,3}.  However, ignorable white space is permitted
       between an item and a following quantifier and between a quantifier and
       a following + that indicates possessiveness.

       White space did not used to include the VT character (code 11), because
       Perl did not treat this character as white space. However, Perl changed
       at  release  5.18,  so  PCRE  followed  at  release 8.34, and VT is now
       treated as white space.

       PCRE_EXTENDED also causes characters between an unescaped #  outside  a
       character  class  and  the  next  newline,  inclusive,  to  be ignored.
       PCRE_EXTENDED is equivalent to Perl's /x option, and it can be  changed
       within a pattern by a (?x) option setting.

       Which  characters  are  interpreted  as  newlines  is controlled by the
       options passed to pcre_compile() or by a special sequence at the  start
       of  the  pattern, as described in the section entitled "Newline conven-
       tions" in the pcrepattern documentation. Note that the end of this type
       of  comment  is  a  literal  newline  sequence  in  the pattern; escape
       sequences that happen to represent a newline do not count.

       This option makes it possible to include  comments  inside  complicated
       patterns.   Note,  however,  that this applies only to data characters.
       White space  characters  may  never  appear  within  special  character
       sequences in a pattern, for example within the sequence (?( that intro-
       duces a conditional subpattern.

         PCRE_EXTRA

       This option was invented in order to turn on  additional  functionality
       of  PCRE  that  is  incompatible with Perl, but it is currently of very
       little use. When set, any backslash in a pattern that is followed by  a
       letter  that  has  no  special  meaning causes an error, thus reserving
       these combinations for future expansion. By  default,  as  in  Perl,  a
       backslash  followed by a letter with no special meaning is treated as a
       literal. (Perl can, however, be persuaded to give an error for this, by
       running  it with the -w option.) There are at present no other features
       controlled by this option. It can also be set by a (?X) option  setting
       within a pattern.

         PCRE_FIRSTLINE

       If  this  option  is  set,  an  unanchored pattern is required to match
       before or at the first  newline  in  the  subject  string,  though  the
       matched text may continue over the newline.

         PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT

       If this option is set, PCRE's behaviour is changed in some ways so that
       it is compatible with JavaScript rather than Perl. The changes  are  as
       follows:

       (1)  A  lone  closing square bracket in a pattern causes a compile-time
       error, because this is illegal in JavaScript (by default it is  treated
       as a data character). Thus, the pattern AB]CD becomes illegal when this
       option is set.

       (2) At run time, a back reference to an unset subpattern group  matches
       an  empty  string (by default this causes the current matching alterna-
       tive to fail). A pattern such as (\1)(a) succeeds when this  option  is
       set  (assuming  it can find an "a" in the subject), whereas it fails by
       default, for Perl compatibility.

       (3) \U matches an upper case "U" character; by default \U causes a com-
       pile time error (Perl uses \U to upper case subsequent characters).

       (4) \u matches a lower case "u" character unless it is followed by four
       hexadecimal digits, in which case the hexadecimal  number  defines  the
       code  point  to match. By default, \u causes a compile time error (Perl
       uses it to upper case the following character).

       (5) \x matches a lower case "x" character unless it is followed by  two
       hexadecimal  digits,  in  which case the hexadecimal number defines the
       code point to match. By default, as in Perl, a  hexadecimal  number  is
       always expected after \x, but it may have zero, one, or two digits (so,
       for example, \xz matches a binary zero character followed by z).

         PCRE_MULTILINE

       By default, for the purposes of matching "start of line"  and  "end  of
       line", PCRE treats the subject string as consisting of a single line of
       characters, even if it actually contains newlines. The "start of  line"
       metacharacter (^) matches only at the start of the string, and the "end
       of line" metacharacter ($) matches only at the end of  the  string,  or
       before  a terminating newline (except when PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY is set).
       Note, however, that unless PCRE_DOTALL  is  set,  the  "any  character"
       metacharacter  (.)  does not match at a newline. This behaviour (for ^,
       $, and dot) is the same as Perl.

       When PCRE_MULTILINE it is set, the "start of line" and  "end  of  line"
       constructs  match  immediately following or immediately before internal
       newlines in the subject string, respectively, as well as  at  the  very
       start  and  end.  This is equivalent to Perl's /m option, and it can be
       changed within a pattern by a (?m) option setting. If there are no new-
       lines  in  a  subject string, or no occurrences of ^ or $ in a pattern,
       setting PCRE_MULTILINE has no effect.

         PCRE_NEVER_UTF

       This option locks out interpretation of the pattern as UTF-8 (or UTF-16
       or  UTF-32  in the 16-bit and 32-bit libraries). In particular, it pre-
       vents the creator of the pattern from switching to  UTF  interpretation
       by starting the pattern with (*UTF). This may be useful in applications
       that  process  patterns  from  external  sources.  The  combination  of
       PCRE_UTF8 and PCRE_NEVER_UTF also causes an error.

         PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
         PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY

       These  options  override the default newline definition that was chosen
       when PCRE was built. Setting the first or the second specifies  that  a
       newline  is  indicated  by a single character (CR or LF, respectively).
       Setting PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF specifies that a newline is indicated by  the
       two-character  CRLF  sequence.  Setting  PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF specifies
       that any of the three preceding sequences should be recognized. Setting
       PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY  specifies that any Unicode newline sequence should be
       recognized.

       In an ASCII/Unicode environment, the Unicode newline sequences are  the
       three  just  mentioned,  plus  the  single characters VT (vertical tab,
       U+000B), FF (form feed, U+000C), NEL (next line, U+0085), LS (line sep-
       arator,  U+2028),  and  PS (paragraph separator, U+2029). For the 8-bit
       library, the last two are recognized only in UTF-8 mode.

       When PCRE is compiled to run in an EBCDIC (mainframe) environment,  the
       code for CR is 0x0d, the same as ASCII. However, the character code for
       LF is normally 0x15, though in some EBCDIC environments 0x25  is  used.
       Whichever  of  these  is  not LF is made to correspond to Unicode's NEL
       character. EBCDIC codes are all less than 256. For  more  details,  see
       the pcrebuild documentation.

       The  newline  setting  in  the  options  word  uses three bits that are
       treated as a number, giving eight possibilities. Currently only six are
       used  (default  plus the five values above). This means that if you set
       more than one newline option, the combination may or may not be  sensi-
       ble. For example, PCRE_NEWLINE_CR with PCRE_NEWLINE_LF is equivalent to
       PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF, but other combinations may yield unused numbers  and
       cause an error.

       The  only  time  that a line break in a pattern is specially recognized
       when compiling is when PCRE_EXTENDED is set. CR and LF are white  space
       characters,  and so are ignored in this mode. Also, an unescaped # out-
       side a character class indicates a comment that lasts until  after  the
       next  line break sequence. In other circumstances, line break sequences
       in patterns are treated as literal data.

       The newline option that is set at compile time becomes the default that
       is used for pcre_exec() and pcre_dfa_exec(), but it can be overridden.

         PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE

       If this option is set, it disables the use of numbered capturing paren-
       theses in the pattern. Any opening parenthesis that is not followed  by
       ?  behaves as if it were followed by ?: but named parentheses can still
       be used for capturing (and they acquire  numbers  in  the  usual  way).
       There is no equivalent of this option in Perl.

         PCRE_NO_AUTO_POSSESS

       If  this option is set, it disables "auto-possessification". This is an
       optimization that, for example, turns a+b into a++b in order  to  avoid
       backtracks  into  a+ that can never be successful. However, if callouts
       are in use, auto-possessification means that some  of  them  are  never
       taken. You can set this option if you want the matching functions to do
       a full unoptimized search and run all the callouts, but  it  is  mainly
       provided for testing purposes.

         PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE

       This  is an option that acts at matching time; that is, it is really an
       option for pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec(). If  it  is  set  at  compile
       time,  it is remembered with the compiled pattern and assumed at match-
       ing time. This is necessary if you want to use JIT  execution,  because
       the  JIT  compiler needs to know whether or not this option is set. For
       details see the discussion of PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE below.

         PCRE_UCP

       This option changes the way PCRE processes \B, \b, \D, \d, \S, \s,  \W,
       \w,  and  some  of  the POSIX character classes. By default, only ASCII
       characters are recognized, but if PCRE_UCP is set,  Unicode  properties
       are  used instead to classify characters. More details are given in the
       section on generic character types in the pcrepattern page. If you  set
       PCRE_UCP,  matching  one of the items it affects takes much longer. The
       option is available only if PCRE has been compiled with  Unicode  prop-
       erty support.

         PCRE_UNGREEDY

       This  option  inverts  the "greediness" of the quantifiers so that they
       are not greedy by default, but become greedy if followed by "?". It  is
       not  compatible  with Perl. It can also be set by a (?U) option setting
       within the pattern.

         PCRE_UTF8

       This option causes PCRE to regard both the pattern and the  subject  as
       strings of UTF-8 characters instead of single-byte strings. However, it
       is available only when PCRE is built to include UTF  support.  If  not,
       the  use  of  this option provokes an error. Details of how this option
       changes the behaviour of PCRE are given in the pcreunicode page.

         PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK

       When PCRE_UTF8 is set, the validity of the pattern as a UTF-8 string is
       automatically  checked.  There  is  a  discussion about the validity of
       UTF-8 strings in the pcreunicode page. If an invalid UTF-8 sequence  is
       found,  pcre_compile()  returns an error. If you already know that your
       pattern is valid, and you want to skip this check for performance  rea-
       sons,  you  can set the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option.  When it is set, the
       effect of passing an invalid UTF-8 string as a pattern is undefined. It
       may cause your program to crash or loop. Note that this option can also
       be passed to pcre_exec() and pcre_dfa_exec(), to suppress the  validity
       checking  of  subject strings only. If the same string is being matched
       many times, the option can be safely set for the second and  subsequent
       matchings to improve performance.

COMPILATION ERROR CODES

       The  following  table  lists  the  error  codes than may be returned by
       pcre_compile2(), along with the error messages that may be returned  by
       both  compiling  functions.  Note  that error messages are always 8-bit
       ASCII strings, even in 16-bit or 32-bit mode. As  PCRE  has  developed,
       some  error codes have fallen out of use. To avoid confusion, they have
       not been re-used.

          0  no error
          1  \ at end of pattern
          2  \c at end of pattern
          3  unrecognized character follows \
          4  numbers out of order in {} quantifier
          5  number too big in {} quantifier
          6  missing terminating ] for character class
          7  invalid escape sequence in character class
          8  range out of order in character class
          9  nothing to repeat
         10  [this code is not in use]
         11  internal error: unexpected repeat
         12  unrecognized character after (? or (?-
         13  POSIX named classes are supported only within a class
         14  missing )
         15  reference to non-existent subpattern
         16  erroffset passed as NULL
         17  unknown option bit(s) set
         18  missing ) after comment
         19  [this code is not in use]
         20  regular expression is too large
         21  failed to get memory
         22  unmatched parentheses
         23  internal error: code overflow
         24  unrecognized character after (?<
         25  lookbehind assertion is not fixed length
         26  malformed number or name after (?(
         27  conditional group contains more than two branches
         28  assertion expected after (?(
         29  (?R or (?[+-]digits must be followed by )
         30  unknown POSIX class name
         31  POSIX collating elements are not supported
         32  this version of PCRE is compiled without UTF support
         33  [this code is not in use]
         34  character value in \x{} or \o{} is too large
         35  invalid condition (?(0)
         36  \C not allowed in lookbehind assertion
         37  PCRE does not support \L, \l, \N{name}, \U, or \u
         38  number after (?C is > 255
         39  closing ) for (?C expected
         40  recursive call could loop indefinitely
         41  unrecognized character after (?P
         42  syntax error in subpattern name (missing terminator)
         43  two named subpatterns have the same name
         44  invalid UTF-8 string (specifically UTF-8)
         45  support for \P, \p, and \X has not been compiled
         46  malformed \P or \p sequence
         47  unknown property name after \P or \p
         48  subpattern name is too long (maximum 32 characters)
         49  too many named subpatterns (maximum 10000)
         50  [this code is not in use]
         51  octal value is greater than \377 in 8-bit non-UTF-8 mode
         52  internal error: overran compiling workspace
         53  internal error: previously-checked referenced subpattern
               not found
         54  DEFINE group contains more than one branch
         55  repeating a DEFINE group is not allowed
         56  inconsistent NEWLINE options
         57  \g is not followed by a braced, angle-bracketed, or quoted
               name/number or by a plain number
         58  a numbered reference must not be zero
         59  an argument is not allowed for (*ACCEPT), (*FAIL), or (*COMMIT)
         60  (*VERB) not recognized or malformed
         61  number is too big
         62  subpattern name expected
         63  digit expected after (?+
         64  ] is an invalid data character in JavaScript compatibility mode
         65  different names for subpatterns of the same number are
               not allowed
         66  (*MARK) must have an argument
         67  this version of PCRE is not compiled with Unicode property
               support
         68  \c must be followed by an ASCII character
         69  \k is not followed by a braced, angle-bracketed, or quoted name
         70  internal error: unknown opcode in find_fixedlength()
         71  \N is not supported in a class
         72  too many forward references
         73  disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff)
         74  invalid UTF-16 string (specifically UTF-16)
         75  name is too long in (*MARK), (*PRUNE), (*SKIP), or (*THEN)
         76  character value in \u.... sequence is too large
         77  invalid UTF-32 string (specifically UTF-32)
         78  setting UTF is disabled by the application
         79  non-hex character in \x{} (closing brace missing?)
         80  non-octal character in \o{} (closing brace missing?)
         81  missing opening brace after \o
         82  parentheses are too deeply nested
         83  invalid range in character class
         84  group name must start with a non-digit
         85  parentheses are too deeply nested (stack check)

       The numbers 32 and 10000 in errors 48 and 49  are  defaults;  different
       values may be used if the limits were changed when PCRE was built.

STUDYING A PATTERN

       pcre_extra *pcre_study(const pcre *code, int options,
            const char **errptr);

       If  a  compiled  pattern is going to be used several times, it is worth
       spending more time analyzing it in order to speed up the time taken for
       matching.  The function pcre_study() takes a pointer to a compiled pat-
       tern as its first argument. If studying the pattern produces additional
       information  that  will  help speed up matching, pcre_study() returns a
       pointer to a pcre_extra block, in which the study_data field points  to
       the results of the study.

       The  returned  value  from  pcre_study()  can  be  passed  directly  to
       pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec(). However, a pcre_extra block  also  con-
       tains  other  fields  that can be set by the caller before the block is
       passed; these are described below in the section on matching a pattern.

       If studying the  pattern  does  not  produce  any  useful  information,
       pcre_study()  returns  NULL  by  default.  In that circumstance, if the
       calling program wants to pass any of the other fields to pcre_exec() or
       pcre_dfa_exec(),  it  must set up its own pcre_extra block. However, if
       pcre_study() is called  with  the  PCRE_STUDY_EXTRA_NEEDED  option,  it
       returns a pcre_extra block even if studying did not find any additional
       information. It may still return NULL, however, if an error  occurs  in
       pcre_study().

       The  second  argument  of  pcre_study() contains option bits. There are
       three further options in addition to PCRE_STUDY_EXTRA_NEEDED:

         PCRE_STUDY_JIT_COMPILE
         PCRE_STUDY_JIT_PARTIAL_HARD_COMPILE
         PCRE_STUDY_JIT_PARTIAL_SOFT_COMPILE

       If any of these are set, and the just-in-time  compiler  is  available,
       the  pattern  is  further compiled into machine code that executes much
       faster than the pcre_exec()  interpretive  matching  function.  If  the
       just-in-time  compiler is not available, these options are ignored. All
       undefined bits in the options argument must be zero.

       JIT compilation is a heavyweight optimization. It can  take  some  time
       for  patterns  to  be analyzed, and for one-off matches and simple pat-
       terns the benefit of faster execution might be offset by a much  slower
       study time.  Not all patterns can be optimized by the JIT compiler. For
       those that cannot be handled, matching automatically falls back to  the
       pcre_exec()  interpreter.  For more details, see the pcrejit documenta-
       tion.

       The third argument for pcre_study() is a pointer for an error  message.
       If  studying  succeeds  (even  if no data is returned), the variable it
       points to is set to NULL. Otherwise it is set to  point  to  a  textual
       error message. This is a static string that is part of the library. You
       must not try to free it. You should test the  error  pointer  for  NULL
       after calling pcre_study(), to be sure that it has run successfully.

       When  you are finished with a pattern, you can free the memory used for
       the study data by calling pcre_free_study(). This function was added to
       the  API  for  release  8.20. For earlier versions, the memory could be
       freed with pcre_free(), just like the pattern itself. This  will  still
       work  in  cases where JIT optimization is not used, but it is advisable
       to change to the new function when convenient.

       This is a typical way in which pcre_study() is used (except that  in  a
       real application there should be tests for errors):

         int rc;
         pcre *re;
         pcre_extra *sd;
         re = pcre_compile("pattern", 0, &error, &erroroffset, NULL);
         sd = pcre_study(
           re,             /* result of pcre_compile() */
           0,              /* no options */
           &error);        /* set to NULL or points to a message */
         rc = pcre_exec(   /* see below for details of pcre_exec() options */
           re, sd, "subject", 7, 0, 0, ovector, 30);
         ...
         pcre_free_study(sd);
         pcre_free(re);

       Studying a pattern does two things: first, a lower bound for the length
       of subject string that is needed to match the pattern is computed. This
       does not mean that there are any strings of that length that match, but
       it does guarantee that no shorter strings match. The value is  used  to
       avoid wasting time by trying to match strings that are shorter than the
       lower bound. You can find out the value in a calling  program  via  the
       pcre_fullinfo() function.

       Studying a pattern is also useful for non-anchored patterns that do not
       have a single fixed starting character. A bitmap of  possible  starting
       bytes  is  created. This speeds up finding a position in the subject at
       which to start matching. (In 16-bit mode, the bitmap is used for 16-bit
       values  less  than  256.  In 32-bit mode, the bitmap is used for 32-bit
       values less than 256.)

       These two optimizations apply to both pcre_exec() and  pcre_dfa_exec(),
       and  the  information  is also used by the JIT compiler.  The optimiza-
       tions can be disabled by  setting  the  PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE  option.
       You  might want to do this if your pattern contains callouts or (*MARK)
       and you want to make use of these facilities in  cases  where  matching
       fails.

       PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE  can be specified at either compile time or exe-
       cution  time.  However,  if   PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE   is   passed   to
       pcre_exec(), (that is, after any JIT compilation has happened) JIT exe-
       cution is disabled. For JIT execution to work with  PCRE_NO_START_OPTI-
       MIZE, the option must be set at compile time.

       There is a longer discussion of PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE below.

LOCALE SUPPORT

       PCRE  handles  caseless matching, and determines whether characters are
       letters, digits, or whatever, by reference to a set of tables,  indexed
       by  character  code point. When running in UTF-8 mode, or in the 16- or
       32-bit libraries, this applies only to characters with code points less
       than  256.  By  default,  higher-valued code points never match escapes
       such as \w or \d. However, if PCRE is built with Unicode property  sup-
       port,  all  characters can be tested with \p and \P, or, alternatively,
       the PCRE_UCP option can be set when a pattern is compiled; this  causes
       \w  and friends to use Unicode property support instead of the built-in
       tables.

       The use of locales with Unicode is discouraged.  If  you  are  handling
       characters  with  code  points  greater than 128, you should either use
       Unicode support, or use locales, but not try to mix the two.

       PCRE contains an internal set of tables that are used  when  the  final
       argument  of  pcre_compile()  is  NULL.  These  are sufficient for many
       applications.  Normally, the internal tables recognize only ASCII char-
       acters. However, when PCRE is built, it is possible to cause the inter-
       nal tables to be rebuilt in the default "C" locale of the local system,
       which may cause them to be different.

       The  internal tables can always be overridden by tables supplied by the
       application that calls PCRE. These may be created in a different locale
       from  the  default.  As more and more applications change to using Uni-
       code, the need for this locale support is expected to die away.

       External tables are built by calling  the  pcre_maketables()  function,
       which  has no arguments, in the relevant locale. The result can then be
       passed to pcre_compile() as often as necessary. For example,  to  build
       and  use  tables  that  are  appropriate  for  the French locale (where
       accented characters with values greater than 128 are  treated  as  let-
       ters), the following code could be used:

         setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "fr_FR");
         tables = pcre_maketables();
         re = pcre_compile(..., tables);

       The  locale  name "fr_FR" is used on Linux and other Unix-like systems;
       if you are using Windows, the name for the French locale is "french".

       When pcre_maketables() runs, the tables are built  in  memory  that  is
       obtained  via  pcre_malloc. It is the caller's responsibility to ensure
       that the memory containing the tables remains available for as long  as
       it is needed.

       The pointer that is passed to pcre_compile() is saved with the compiled
       pattern, and the same tables are used via this pointer by  pcre_study()
       and  also by pcre_exec() and pcre_dfa_exec(). Thus, for any single pat-
       tern, compilation, studying and matching all happen in the same locale,
       but different patterns can be processed in different locales.

       It  is  possible to pass a table pointer or NULL (indicating the use of
       the internal tables) to pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec() (see the discus-
       sion below in the section on matching a pattern). This facility is pro-
       vided for use with pre-compiled  patterns  that  have  been  saved  and
       reloaded.   Character  tables are not saved with patterns, so if a non-
       standard table was used at compile time, it must be provided again when
       the  reloaded  pattern  is  matched. Attempting to use this facility to
       match a pattern in a different locale from the one in which it was com-
       piled is likely to lead to anomalous (usually incorrect) results.

INFORMATION ABOUT A PATTERN

       int pcre_fullinfo(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            int what, void *where);

       The  pcre_fullinfo() function returns information about a compiled pat-
       tern. It replaces the pcre_info() function, which was removed from  the
       library at version 8.30, after more than 10 years of obsolescence.

       The  first  argument  for  pcre_fullinfo() is a pointer to the compiled
       pattern. The second argument is the result of pcre_study(), or NULL  if
       the  pattern  was not studied. The third argument specifies which piece
       of information is required, and the fourth argument is a pointer  to  a
       variable  to  receive  the  data. The yield of the function is zero for
       success, or one of the following negative numbers:

         PCRE_ERROR_NULL           the argument code was NULL
                                   the argument where was NULL
         PCRE_ERROR_BADMAGIC       the "magic number" was not found
         PCRE_ERROR_BADENDIANNESS  the pattern was compiled with different
                                   endianness
         PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION      the value of what was invalid
         PCRE_ERROR_UNSET          the requested field is not set

       The "magic number" is placed at the start of each compiled  pattern  as
       an  simple check against passing an arbitrary memory pointer. The endi-
       anness error can occur if a compiled pattern is saved and reloaded on a
       different  host.  Here  is a typical call of pcre_fullinfo(), to obtain
       the length of the compiled pattern:

         int rc;
         size_t length;
         rc = pcre_fullinfo(
           re,               /* result of pcre_compile() */
           sd,               /* result of pcre_study(), or NULL */
           PCRE_INFO_SIZE,   /* what is required */
           &length);         /* where to put the data */

       The possible values for the third argument are defined in  pcre.h,  and
       are as follows:

         PCRE_INFO_BACKREFMAX

       Return  the  number  of  the highest back reference in the pattern. The
       fourth argument should point to an int variable. Zero  is  returned  if
       there are no back references.

         PCRE_INFO_CAPTURECOUNT

       Return  the  number of capturing subpatterns in the pattern. The fourth
       argument should point to an int variable.

         PCRE_INFO_DEFAULT_TABLES

       Return a pointer to the internal default character tables within  PCRE.
       The  fourth  argument should point to an unsigned char * variable. This
       information call is provided for internal use by the pcre_study() func-
       tion.  External  callers  can  cause PCRE to use its internal tables by
       passing a NULL table pointer.

         PCRE_INFO_FIRSTBYTE (deprecated)

       Return information about the first data unit of any matched string, for
       a  non-anchored  pattern.  The  name of this option refers to the 8-bit
       library, where data units are bytes. The fourth argument  should  point
       to  an  int  variable. Negative values are used for special cases. How-
       ever, this means that when the 32-bit library is  in  non-UTF-32  mode,
       the  full  32-bit range of characters cannot be returned. For this rea-
       son, this value is deprecated;  use  PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTERFLAGS  and
       PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTER instead.

       If  there  is  a  fixed first value, for example, the letter "c" from a
       pattern such as (cat|cow|coyote), its value is returned. In  the  8-bit
       library,  the  value is always less than 256. In the 16-bit library the
       value can be up to 0xffff. In the 32-bit library the value can be up to
       0x10ffff.

       If there is no fixed first value, and if either

       (a)  the pattern was compiled with the PCRE_MULTILINE option, and every
       branch starts with "^", or

       (b) every branch of the pattern starts with ".*" and PCRE_DOTALL is not
       set (if it were set, the pattern would be anchored),

       -1  is  returned, indicating that the pattern matches only at the start
       of a subject string or after any newline within the  string.  Otherwise
       -2 is returned. For anchored patterns, -2 is returned.

         PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTER

       Return  the  value  of  the  first data unit (non-UTF character) of any
       matched string in  the  situation  where  PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTERFLAGS
       returns  1;  otherwise return 0. The fourth argument should point to an
       uint_t variable.

       In the 8-bit library, the value is always less than 256. In the  16-bit
       library  the value can be up to 0xffff. In the 32-bit library in UTF-32
       mode the value can be up to 0x10ffff, and up  to  0xffffffff  when  not
       using UTF-32 mode.

         PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTERFLAGS

       Return information about the first data unit of any matched string, for
       a non-anchored pattern. The fourth argument  should  point  to  an  int
       variable.

       If  there  is  a  fixed first value, for example, the letter "c" from a
       pattern such as (cat|cow|coyote), 1  is  returned,  and  the  character
       value  can  be retrieved using PCRE_INFO_FIRSTCHARACTER. If there is no
       fixed first value, and if either

       (a) the pattern was compiled with the PCRE_MULTILINE option, and  every
       branch starts with "^", or

       (b) every branch of the pattern starts with ".*" and PCRE_DOTALL is not
       set (if it were set, the pattern would be anchored),

       2 is returned, indicating that the pattern matches only at the start of
       a subject string or after any newline within the string. Otherwise 0 is
       returned. For anchored patterns, 0 is returned.

         PCRE_INFO_FIRSTTABLE

       If the pattern was studied, and this resulted in the construction of  a
       256-bit  table indicating a fixed set of values for the first data unit
       in any matching string, a pointer to the table is  returned.  Otherwise
       NULL  is returned. The fourth argument should point to an unsigned char
       * variable.

         PCRE_INFO_HASCRORLF

       Return 1 if the pattern contains any explicit  matches  for  CR  or  LF
       characters,  otherwise  0.  The  fourth argument should point to an int
       variable. An explicit match is either a literal CR or LF character,  or
       \r or \n.

         PCRE_INFO_JCHANGED

       Return  1  if  the (?J) or (?-J) option setting is used in the pattern,
       otherwise 0. The fourth argument should point to an int variable.  (?J)
       and (?-J) set and unset the local PCRE_DUPNAMES option, respectively.

         PCRE_INFO_JIT

       Return  1  if  the pattern was studied with one of the JIT options, and
       just-in-time compiling was successful. The fourth argument should point
       to  an  int variable. A return value of 0 means that JIT support is not
       available in this version of PCRE, or that the pattern was not  studied
       with  a JIT option, or that the JIT compiler could not handle this par-
       ticular pattern. See the pcrejit documentation for details of what  can
       and cannot be handled.

         PCRE_INFO_JITSIZE

       If  the  pattern was successfully studied with a JIT option, return the
       size of the JIT compiled code, otherwise return zero. The fourth  argu-
       ment should point to a size_t variable.

         PCRE_INFO_LASTLITERAL

       Return  the value of the rightmost literal data unit that must exist in
       any matched string, other than at its start, if such a value  has  been
       recorded. The fourth argument should point to an int variable. If there
       is no such value, -1 is returned. For anchored patterns, a last literal
       value  is recorded only if it follows something of variable length. For
       example, for the pattern /^a\d+z\d+/ the returned value is "z", but for
       /^a\dz\d/ the returned value is -1.

       Since  for  the 32-bit library using the non-UTF-32 mode, this function
       is unable to return the full 32-bit range of characters, this value  is
       deprecated;     instead     the     PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHARFLAGS     and
       PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHAR values should be used.

         PCRE_INFO_MATCH_EMPTY

       Return 1 if the pattern can match an empty  string,  otherwise  0.  The
       fourth argument should point to an int variable.

         PCRE_INFO_MATCHLIMIT

       If  the  pattern  set  a  match  limit by including an item of the form
       (*LIMIT_MATCH=nnnn) at the start, the value  is  returned.  The  fourth
       argument  should  point to an unsigned 32-bit integer. If no such value
       has  been  set,  the  call  to  pcre_fullinfo()   returns   the   error
       PCRE_ERROR_UNSET.

         PCRE_INFO_MAXLOOKBEHIND

       Return  the  number  of  characters  (NB not data units) in the longest
       lookbehind assertion in the pattern. This information  is  useful  when
       doing  multi-segment  matching  using  the partial matching facilities.
       Note that the simple assertions \b and \B require a one-character look-
       behind.  \A  also  registers a one-character lookbehind, though it does
       not actually inspect the previous character. This is to ensure that  at
       least one character from the old segment is retained when a new segment
       is processed. Otherwise, if there are no lookbehinds in the pattern, \A
       might match incorrectly at the start of a new segment.

         PCRE_INFO_MINLENGTH

       If  the  pattern  was studied and a minimum length for matching subject
       strings was computed, its value is  returned.  Otherwise  the  returned
       value is -1. The value is a number of characters, which in UTF mode may
       be different from the number of data units. The fourth argument  should
       point  to an int variable. A non-negative value is a lower bound to the
       length of any matching string. There may not be  any  strings  of  that
       length  that  do actually match, but every string that does match is at
       least that long.

         PCRE_INFO_NAMECOUNT
         PCRE_INFO_NAMEENTRYSIZE
         PCRE_INFO_NAMETABLE

       PCRE supports the use of named as well as numbered capturing  parenthe-
       ses.  The names are just an additional way of identifying the parenthe-
       ses, which still acquire numbers. Several convenience functions such as
       pcre_get_named_substring()  are  provided  for extracting captured sub-
       strings by name. It is also possible to extract the data  directly,  by
       first  converting  the  name to a number in order to access the correct
       pointers in the output vector (described with pcre_exec() below). To do
       the  conversion,  you  need  to  use  the  name-to-number map, which is
       described by these three values.

       The map consists of a number of fixed-size entries. PCRE_INFO_NAMECOUNT
       gives the number of entries, and PCRE_INFO_NAMEENTRYSIZE gives the size
       of each entry; both of these  return  an  int  value.  The  entry  size
       depends  on the length of the longest name. PCRE_INFO_NAMETABLE returns
       a pointer to the first entry of the table. This is a pointer to char in
       the 8-bit library, where the first two bytes of each entry are the num-
       ber of the capturing parenthesis, most significant byte first.  In  the
       16-bit  library,  the pointer points to 16-bit data units, the first of
       which contains the parenthesis  number.  In  the  32-bit  library,  the
       pointer  points  to  32-bit data units, the first of which contains the
       parenthesis number. The rest of the entry is  the  corresponding  name,
       zero terminated.

       The  names are in alphabetical order. If (?| is used to create multiple
       groups with the same number, as described in the section  on  duplicate
       subpattern numbers in the pcrepattern page, the groups may be given the
       same name, but there is only one entry in the  table.  Different  names
       for  groups  of the same number are not permitted.  Duplicate names for
       subpatterns with different numbers are permitted, but only if PCRE_DUP-
       NAMES  is set. They appear in the table in the order in which they were
       found in the pattern. In the absence  of  (?|  this  is  the  order  of
       increasing  number;  when  (?| is used this is not necessarily the case
       because later subpatterns may have lower numbers.

       As a simple example of the name/number table,  consider  the  following
       pattern after compilation by the 8-bit library (assume PCRE_EXTENDED is
       set, so white space - including newlines - is ignored):

         (?<date> (?<year>(\d\d)?\d\d) -
         (?<month>\d\d) - (?<day>\d\d) )

       There are four named subpatterns, so the table has  four  entries,  and
       each  entry  in the table is eight bytes long. The table is as follows,
       with non-printing bytes shows in hexadecimal, and undefined bytes shown
       as ??:

         00 01 d  a  t  e  00 ??
         00 05 d  a  y  00 ?? ??
         00 04 m  o  n  t  h  00
         00 02 y  e  a  r  00 ??

       When  writing  code  to  extract  data from named subpatterns using the
       name-to-number map, remember that the length of the entries  is  likely
       to be different for each compiled pattern.

         PCRE_INFO_OKPARTIAL

       Return  1  if  the  pattern  can  be  used  for  partial  matching with
       pcre_exec(), otherwise 0. The fourth argument should point  to  an  int
       variable.  From  release  8.00,  this  always  returns  1,  because the
       restrictions that previously applied  to  partial  matching  have  been
       lifted.  The  pcrepartial documentation gives details of partial match-
       ing.

         PCRE_INFO_OPTIONS

       Return a copy of the options with which the pattern was  compiled.  The
       fourth  argument  should  point to an unsigned long int variable. These
       option bits are those specified in the call to pcre_compile(), modified
       by any top-level option settings at the start of the pattern itself. In
       other words, they are the options that will be in force  when  matching
       starts.  For  example, if the pattern /(?im)abc(?-i)d/ is compiled with
       the PCRE_EXTENDED option, the result is PCRE_CASELESS,  PCRE_MULTILINE,
       and PCRE_EXTENDED.

       A  pattern  is  automatically  anchored by PCRE if all of its top-level
       alternatives begin with one of the following:

         ^     unless PCRE_MULTILINE is set
         \A    always
         \G    always
         .*    if PCRE_DOTALL is set and there are no back
                 references to the subpattern in which .* appears

       For such patterns, the PCRE_ANCHORED bit is set in the options returned
       by pcre_fullinfo().

         PCRE_INFO_RECURSIONLIMIT

       If  the  pattern set a recursion limit by including an item of the form
       (*LIMIT_RECURSION=nnnn) at the start, the value is returned. The fourth
       argument  should  point to an unsigned 32-bit integer. If no such value
       has  been  set,  the  call  to  pcre_fullinfo()   returns   the   error
       PCRE_ERROR_UNSET.

         PCRE_INFO_SIZE

       Return  the  size  of  the  compiled  pattern  in  bytes (for all three
       libraries). The fourth argument should point to a size_t variable. This
       value  does not include the size of the pcre structure that is returned
       by pcre_compile().  The  value  that  is  passed  as  the  argument  to
       pcre_malloc()  when  pcre_compile() is getting memory in which to place
       the compiled data is the value returned by this option plus the size of
       the  pcre  structure. Studying a compiled pattern, with or without JIT,
       does not alter the value returned by this option.

         PCRE_INFO_STUDYSIZE

       Return the size in bytes (for all three libraries) of  the  data  block
       pointed to by the study_data field in a pcre_extra block. If pcre_extra
       is NULL, or there is no study data, zero is returned. The fourth  argu-
       ment  should point to a size_t variable. The study_data field is set by
       pcre_study() to record information that will speed up matching (see the
       section  entitled  "Studying  a  pattern"  above).  The  format  of the
       study_data block is private, but its length is made available via  this
       option  so  that  it  can be saved and restored (see the pcreprecompile
       documentation for details).

         PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHARFLAGS

       Returns 1 if there is a rightmost literal data unit that must exist  in
       any matched string, other than at its start. The fourth argument should
       point to an int variable. If there is no such value, 0 is returned.  If
       returning  1,  the  character  value  itself  can  be  retrieved  using
       PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHAR.

       For anchored patterns, a last literal value is recorded only if it fol-
       lows  something  of  variable  length.  For  example,  for  the pattern
       /^a\d+z\d+/  the   returned   value   1   (with   "z"   returned   from
       PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHAR), but for /^a\dz\d/ the returned value is 0.

         PCRE_INFO_REQUIREDCHAR

       Return  the value of the rightmost literal data unit that must exist in
       any matched string, other than at its start, if such a value  has  been
       recorded.  The fourth argument should point to an uint32_t variable. If
       there is no such value, 0 is returned.

REFERENCE COUNTS

       int pcre_refcount(pcre *code, int adjust);

       The pcre_refcount() function is used to maintain a reference  count  in
       the data block that contains a compiled pattern. It is provided for the
       benefit of applications that  operate  in  an  object-oriented  manner,
       where different parts of the application may be using the same compiled
       pattern, but you want to free the block when they are all done.

       When a pattern is compiled, the reference count field is initialized to
       zero.   It is changed only by calling this function, whose action is to
       add the adjust value (which may be positive or  negative)  to  it.  The
       yield of the function is the new value. However, the value of the count
       is constrained to lie between 0 and 65535, inclusive. If the new  value
       is outside these limits, it is forced to the appropriate limit value.

       Except  when it is zero, the reference count is not correctly preserved
       if a pattern is compiled on one host and then  transferred  to  a  host
       whose byte-order is different. (This seems a highly unlikely scenario.)

MATCHING A PATTERN: THE TRADITIONAL FUNCTION

       int pcre_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            const char *subject, int length, int startoffset,
            int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize);

       The  function pcre_exec() is called to match a subject string against a
       compiled pattern, which is passed in the code argument. If the  pattern
       was  studied,  the  result  of  the study should be passed in the extra
       argument. You can call pcre_exec() with the same code and  extra  argu-
       ments  as  many  times as you like, in order to match different subject
       strings with the same pattern.

       This function is the main matching facility  of  the  library,  and  it
       operates  in  a  Perl-like  manner. For specialist use there is also an
       alternative matching function, which is described below in the  section
       about the pcre_dfa_exec() function.

       In  most applications, the pattern will have been compiled (and option-
       ally studied) in the same process that calls pcre_exec().  However,  it
       is possible to save compiled patterns and study data, and then use them
       later in different processes, possibly even on different hosts.  For  a
       discussion about this, see the pcreprecompile documentation.

       Here is an example of a simple call to pcre_exec():

         int rc;
         int ovector[30];
         rc = pcre_exec(
           re,             /* result of pcre_compile() */
           NULL,           /* we didn't study the pattern */
           "some string",  /* the subject string */
           11,             /* the length of the subject string */
           0,              /* start at offset 0 in the subject */
           0,              /* default options */
           ovector,        /* vector of integers for substring information */
           30);            /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */

   Extra data for pcre_exec()

       If  the  extra argument is not NULL, it must point to a pcre_extra data
       block. The pcre_study() function returns such a block (when it  doesn't
       return  NULL), but you can also create one for yourself, and pass addi-
       tional information in it. The pcre_extra block contains  the  following
       fields (not necessarily in this order):

         unsigned long int flags;
         void *study_data;
         void *executable_jit;
         unsigned long int match_limit;
         unsigned long int match_limit_recursion;
         void *callout_data;
         const unsigned char *tables;
         unsigned char **mark;

       In  the  16-bit  version  of  this  structure,  the mark field has type
       "PCRE_UCHAR16 **".

       In the 32-bit version of  this  structure,  the  mark  field  has  type
       "PCRE_UCHAR32 **".

       The  flags  field is used to specify which of the other fields are set.
       The flag bits are:

         PCRE_EXTRA_CALLOUT_DATA
         PCRE_EXTRA_EXECUTABLE_JIT
         PCRE_EXTRA_MARK
         PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT
         PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION
         PCRE_EXTRA_STUDY_DATA
         PCRE_EXTRA_TABLES

       Other flag bits should be set to zero. The study_data field  and  some-
       times  the executable_jit field are set in the pcre_extra block that is
       returned by pcre_study(), together with the appropriate flag bits.  You
       should  not set these yourself, but you may add to the block by setting
       other fields and their corresponding flag bits.

       The match_limit field provides a means of preventing PCRE from using up
       a  vast amount of resources when running patterns that are not going to
       match, but which have a very large number  of  possibilities  in  their
       search  trees. The classic example is a pattern that uses nested unlim-
       ited repeats.

       Internally, pcre_exec() uses a function called match(), which it  calls
       repeatedly  (sometimes  recursively).  The  limit set by match_limit is
       imposed on the number of times this function is called during a  match,
       which  has  the  effect of limiting the amount of backtracking that can
       take place. For patterns that are not anchored, the count restarts from
       zero for each position in the subject string.

       When pcre_exec() is called with a pattern that was successfully studied
       with a JIT option, the way that the matching is  executed  is  entirely
       different.  However, there is still the possibility of runaway matching
       that goes on for a very long time, and so the match_limit value is also
       used in this case (but in a different way) to limit how long the match-
       ing can continue.

       The default value for the limit can be set  when  PCRE  is  built;  the
       default  default  is 10 million, which handles all but the most extreme
       cases. You can override the default  by  suppling  pcre_exec()  with  a
       pcre_extra     block    in    which    match_limit    is    set,    and
       PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT is set in the  flags  field.  If  the  limit  is
       exceeded, pcre_exec() returns PCRE_ERROR_MATCHLIMIT.

       A  value  for  the  match  limit may also be supplied by an item at the
       start of a pattern of the form

         (*LIMIT_MATCH=d)

       where d is a decimal number. However, such a setting is ignored  unless
       d  is  less  than  the limit set by the caller of pcre_exec() or, if no
       such limit is set, less than the default.

       The match_limit_recursion field is similar to match_limit, but  instead
       of limiting the total number of times that match() is called, it limits
       the depth of recursion. The recursion depth is a  smaller  number  than
       the  total number of calls, because not all calls to match() are recur-
       sive.  This limit is of use only if it is set smaller than match_limit.

       Limiting the recursion depth limits the amount of  machine  stack  that
       can  be used, or, when PCRE has been compiled to use memory on the heap
       instead of the stack, the amount of heap memory that can be used.  This
       limit  is not relevant, and is ignored, when matching is done using JIT
       compiled code.

       The default value for match_limit_recursion can be  set  when  PCRE  is
       built;  the  default  default  is  the  same  value  as the default for
       match_limit. You can override the default by suppling pcre_exec()  with
       a   pcre_extra   block  in  which  match_limit_recursion  is  set,  and
       PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION is set in  the  flags  field.  If  the
       limit is exceeded, pcre_exec() returns PCRE_ERROR_RECURSIONLIMIT.

       A  value for the recursion limit may also be supplied by an item at the
       start of a pattern of the form

         (*LIMIT_RECURSION=d)

       where d is a decimal number. However, such a setting is ignored  unless
       d  is  less  than  the limit set by the caller of pcre_exec() or, if no
       such limit is set, less than the default.

       The callout_data field is used in conjunction with the  "callout"  fea-
       ture, and is described in the pcrecallout documentation.

       The  tables field is provided for use with patterns that have been pre-
       compiled using custom character tables, saved to disc or elsewhere, and
       then  reloaded,  because the tables that were used to compile a pattern
       are not saved with it. See the pcreprecompile documentation for a  dis-
       cussion  of  saving  compiled patterns for later use. If NULL is passed
       using this mechanism, it forces PCRE's internal tables to be used.

       Warning: The tables that pcre_exec() uses must be  the  same  as  those
       that  were used when the pattern was compiled. If this is not the case,
       the behaviour of pcre_exec() is undefined. Therefore, when a pattern is
       compiled  and  matched  in the same process, this field should never be
       set. In this (the most common) case, the correct table pointer is auto-
       matically  passed  with  the  compiled  pattern  from pcre_compile() to
       pcre_exec().

       If PCRE_EXTRA_MARK is set in the flags field, the mark  field  must  be
       set  to point to a suitable variable. If the pattern contains any back-
       tracking control verbs such as (*MARK:NAME), and the execution ends  up
       with  a  name  to  pass back, a pointer to the name string (zero termi-
       nated) is placed in the variable pointed to  by  the  mark  field.  The
       names  are  within  the  compiled pattern; if you wish to retain such a
       name you must copy it before freeing the memory of a compiled  pattern.
       If  there  is no name to pass back, the variable pointed to by the mark
       field is set to NULL. For details of the  backtracking  control  verbs,
       see the section entitled "Backtracking control" in the pcrepattern doc-
       umentation.

   Option bits for pcre_exec()

       The unused bits of the options argument for pcre_exec() must  be  zero.
       The  only  bits  that  may  be set are PCRE_ANCHORED, PCRE_NEWLINE_xxx,
       PCRE_NOTBOL,   PCRE_NOTEOL,    PCRE_NOTEMPTY,    PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART,
       PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE,   PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK,   PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD,  and
       PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT.

       If the pattern was successfully studied with one  of  the  just-in-time
       (JIT) compile options, the only supported options for JIT execution are
       PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK,    PCRE_NOTBOL,     PCRE_NOTEOL,     PCRE_NOTEMPTY,
       PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART,  PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD, and PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT. If an
       unsupported option is used, JIT execution is disabled  and  the  normal
       interpretive code in pcre_exec() is run.

         PCRE_ANCHORED

       The  PCRE_ANCHORED  option  limits pcre_exec() to matching at the first
       matching position. If a pattern was  compiled  with  PCRE_ANCHORED,  or
       turned  out to be anchored by virtue of its contents, it cannot be made
       unachored at matching time.

         PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF
         PCRE_BSR_UNICODE

       These options (which are mutually exclusive) control what the \R escape
       sequence  matches.  The choice is either to match only CR, LF, or CRLF,
       or to match any Unicode newline sequence. These  options  override  the
       choice that was made or defaulted when the pattern was compiled.

         PCRE_NEWLINE_CR
         PCRE_NEWLINE_LF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF
         PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY

       These  options  override  the  newline  definition  that  was chosen or
       defaulted when the pattern was compiled. For details, see the  descrip-
       tion  of  pcre_compile()  above.  During  matching,  the newline choice
       affects the behaviour of the dot, circumflex,  and  dollar  metacharac-
       ters.  It may also alter the way the match position is advanced after a
       match failure for an unanchored pattern.

       When PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF, PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF,  or  PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY  is
       set,  and a match attempt for an unanchored pattern fails when the cur-
       rent position is at a  CRLF  sequence,  and  the  pattern  contains  no
       explicit  matches  for  CR  or  LF  characters,  the  match position is
       advanced by two characters instead of one, in other words, to after the
       CRLF.

       The above rule is a compromise that makes the most common cases work as
       expected. For example, if the  pattern  is  .+A  (and  the  PCRE_DOTALL
       option is not set), it does not match the string "\r\nA" because, after
       failing at the start, it skips both the CR and the LF before  retrying.
       However,  the  pattern  [\r\n]A does match that string, because it con-
       tains an explicit CR or LF reference, and so advances only by one char-
       acter after the first failure.

       An explicit match for CR of LF is either a literal appearance of one of
       those characters, or one of the \r or  \n  escape  sequences.  Implicit
       matches  such  as [^X] do not count, nor does \s (which includes CR and
       LF in the characters that it matches).

       Notwithstanding the above, anomalous effects may still occur when  CRLF
       is a valid newline sequence and explicit \r or \n escapes appear in the
       pattern.

         PCRE_NOTBOL

       This option specifies that first character of the subject string is not
       the  beginning  of  a  line, so the circumflex metacharacter should not
       match before it. Setting this without PCRE_MULTILINE (at compile  time)
       causes  circumflex  never to match. This option affects only the behav-
       iour of the circumflex metacharacter. It does not affect \A.

         PCRE_NOTEOL

       This option specifies that the end of the subject string is not the end
       of  a line, so the dollar metacharacter should not match it nor (except
       in multiline mode) a newline immediately before it. Setting this  with-
       out PCRE_MULTILINE (at compile time) causes dollar never to match. This
       option affects only the behaviour of the dollar metacharacter. It  does
       not affect \Z or \z.

         PCRE_NOTEMPTY

       An empty string is not considered to be a valid match if this option is
       set. If there are alternatives in the pattern, they are tried.  If  all
       the  alternatives  match  the empty string, the entire match fails. For
       example, if the pattern

         a?b?

       is applied to a string not beginning with "a" or  "b",  it  matches  an
       empty  string at the start of the subject. With PCRE_NOTEMPTY set, this
       match is not valid, so PCRE searches further into the string for occur-
       rences of "a" or "b".

         PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART

       This  is  like PCRE_NOTEMPTY, except that an empty string match that is
       not at the start of  the  subject  is  permitted.  If  the  pattern  is
       anchored, such a match can occur only if the pattern contains \K.

       Perl     has    no    direct    equivalent    of    PCRE_NOTEMPTY    or
       PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART, but it does make a special  case  of  a  pattern
       match  of  the empty string within its split() function, and when using
       the /g modifier. It is  possible  to  emulate  Perl's  behaviour  after
       matching a null string by first trying the match again at the same off-
       set with PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART and  PCRE_ANCHORED,  and  then  if  that
       fails, by advancing the starting offset (see below) and trying an ordi-
       nary match again. There is some code that demonstrates how to  do  this
       in  the  pcredemo sample program. In the most general case, you have to
       check to see if the newline convention recognizes CRLF  as  a  newline,
       and  if so, and the current character is CR followed by LF, advance the
       starting offset by two characters instead of one.

         PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE

       There are a number of optimizations that pcre_exec() uses at the  start
       of  a  match,  in  order to speed up the process. For example, if it is
       known that an unanchored match must start with a specific character, it
       searches  the  subject  for that character, and fails immediately if it
       cannot find it, without actually running the  main  matching  function.
       This means that a special item such as (*COMMIT) at the start of a pat-
       tern is not considered until after a suitable starting  point  for  the
       match  has been found. Also, when callouts or (*MARK) items are in use,
       these "start-up" optimizations can cause them to be skipped if the pat-
       tern is never actually used. The start-up optimizations are in effect a
       pre-scan of the subject that takes place before the pattern is run.

       The PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option disables the start-up  optimizations,
       possibly  causing  performance  to  suffer,  but ensuring that in cases
       where the result is "no match", the callouts do occur, and  that  items
       such as (*COMMIT) and (*MARK) are considered at every possible starting
       position in the subject string. If  PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE  is  set  at
       compile  time,  it  cannot  be  unset  at  matching  time.  The  use of
       PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE  at  matching  time  (that  is,  passing  it  to
       pcre_exec())  disables  JIT  execution;  in this situation, matching is
       always done using interpretively.

       Setting PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE can change the  outcome  of  a  matching
       operation.  Consider the pattern

         (*COMMIT)ABC

       When  this  is  compiled, PCRE records the fact that a match must start
       with the character "A". Suppose the subject  string  is  "DEFABC".  The
       start-up  optimization  scans along the subject, finds "A" and runs the
       first match attempt from there. The (*COMMIT) item means that the  pat-
       tern  must  match the current starting position, which in this case, it
       does. However, if the same match  is  run  with  PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE
       set,  the  initial  scan  along the subject string does not happen. The
       first match attempt is run starting  from  "D"  and  when  this  fails,
       (*COMMIT)  prevents  any  further  matches  being tried, so the overall
       result is "no match". If the pattern is studied,  more  start-up  opti-
       mizations  may  be  used. For example, a minimum length for the subject
       may be recorded. Consider the pattern

         (*MARK:A)(X|Y)

       The minimum length for a match is one  character.  If  the  subject  is
       "ABC",  there  will  be  attempts  to  match "ABC", "BC", "C", and then
       finally an empty string.  If the pattern is studied, the final  attempt
       does  not take place, because PCRE knows that the subject is too short,
       and so the (*MARK) is never encountered.  In this  case,  studying  the
       pattern  does  not  affect the overall match result, which is still "no
       match", but it does affect the auxiliary information that is returned.

         PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK

       When PCRE_UTF8 is set at compile time, the validity of the subject as a
       UTF-8  string is automatically checked when pcre_exec() is subsequently
       called.  The entire string is checked before any other processing takes
       place.  The  value  of  startoffset  is  also checked to ensure that it
       points to the start of a UTF-8 character. There is a  discussion  about
       the  validity  of  UTF-8 strings in the pcreunicode page. If an invalid
       sequence  of  bytes   is   found,   pcre_exec()   returns   the   error
       PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8 or, if PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD is set and the problem is a
       truncated character at the end of the subject, PCRE_ERROR_SHORTUTF8. In
       both  cases, information about the precise nature of the error may also
       be returned (see the descriptions of these errors in the section  enti-
       tled  Error return values from pcre_exec() below).  If startoffset con-
       tains a value that does not point to the start of a UTF-8 character (or
       to the end of the subject), PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET is returned.

       If  you  already  know that your subject is valid, and you want to skip
       these   checks   for   performance   reasons,   you   can    set    the
       PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK  option  when calling pcre_exec(). You might want to
       do this for the second and subsequent calls to pcre_exec() if  you  are
       making  repeated  calls  to  find  all  the matches in a single subject
       string. However, you should be  sure  that  the  value  of  startoffset
       points  to  the  start of a character (or the end of the subject). When
       PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK is set, the effect of passing an invalid string as a
       subject  or  an invalid value of startoffset is undefined. Your program
       may crash or loop.

         PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD
         PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT

       These options turn on the partial matching feature. For backwards  com-
       patibility,  PCRE_PARTIAL is a synonym for PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT. A partial
       match occurs if the end of the subject string is reached  successfully,
       but  there  are not enough subject characters to complete the match. If
       this happens when PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT (but not PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD) is set,
       matching  continues  by  testing any remaining alternatives. Only if no
       complete match can be found is PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL returned  instead  of
       PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH.  In  other  words,  PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT says that the
       caller is prepared to handle a partial match, but only if  no  complete
       match can be found.

       If  PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD  is  set, it overrides PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT. In this
       case, if a partial match  is  found,  pcre_exec()  immediately  returns
       PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL,  without  considering  any  other  alternatives. In
       other words, when PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD is set, a partial match is  consid-
       ered to be more important that an alternative complete match.

       In  both  cases,  the portion of the string that was inspected when the
       partial match was found is set as the first matching string. There is a
       more  detailed  discussion  of partial and multi-segment matching, with
       examples, in the pcrepartial documentation.

   The string to be matched by pcre_exec()

       The subject string is passed to pcre_exec() as a pointer in subject,  a
       length  in  length, and a starting offset in startoffset. The units for
       length and startoffset are bytes for the  8-bit  library,  16-bit  data
       items  for  the  16-bit  library,  and 32-bit data items for the 32-bit
       library.

       If startoffset is negative or greater than the length of  the  subject,
       pcre_exec()  returns  PCRE_ERROR_BADOFFSET. When the starting offset is
       zero, the search for a match starts at the beginning  of  the  subject,
       and  this  is by far the most common case. In UTF-8 or UTF-16 mode, the
       offset must point to the start of a character, or the end of  the  sub-
       ject  (in  UTF-32 mode, one data unit equals one character, so all off-
       sets are valid). Unlike the pattern string,  the  subject  may  contain
       binary zeroes.

       A  non-zero  starting offset is useful when searching for another match
       in the same subject by calling pcre_exec() again after a previous  suc-
       cess.   Setting  startoffset differs from just passing over a shortened
       string and setting PCRE_NOTBOL in the case of  a  pattern  that  begins
       with any kind of lookbehind. For example, consider the pattern

         \Biss\B

       which  finds  occurrences  of "iss" in the middle of words. (\B matches
       only if the current position in the subject is not  a  word  boundary.)
       When  applied  to the string "Mississipi" the first call to pcre_exec()
       finds the first occurrence. If pcre_exec() is called  again  with  just
       the  remainder  of  the  subject,  namely  "issipi", it does not match,
       because \B is always false at the start of the subject, which is deemed
       to  be  a  word  boundary. However, if pcre_exec() is passed the entire
       string again, but with startoffset set to 4, it finds the second occur-
       rence  of "iss" because it is able to look behind the starting point to
       discover that it is preceded by a letter.

       Finding all the matches in a subject is tricky  when  the  pattern  can
       match an empty string. It is possible to emulate Perl's /g behaviour by
       first  trying  the  match  again  at  the   same   offset,   with   the
       PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART  and  PCRE_ANCHORED  options,  and  then  if that
       fails, advancing the starting  offset  and  trying  an  ordinary  match
       again. There is some code that demonstrates how to do this in the pcre-
       demo sample program. In the most general case, you have to check to see
       if  the newline convention recognizes CRLF as a newline, and if so, and
       the current character is CR followed by LF, advance the starting offset
       by two characters instead of one.

       If  a  non-zero starting offset is passed when the pattern is anchored,
       one attempt to match at the given offset is made. This can only succeed
       if  the  pattern  does  not require the match to be at the start of the
       subject.

   How pcre_exec() returns captured substrings

       In general, a pattern matches a certain portion of the subject, and  in
       addition,  further  substrings  from  the  subject may be picked out by
       parts of the pattern. Following the usage  in  Jeffrey  Friedl's  book,
       this  is  called "capturing" in what follows, and the phrase "capturing
       subpattern" is used for a fragment of a pattern that picks out  a  sub-
       string.  PCRE  supports several other kinds of parenthesized subpattern
       that do not cause substrings to be captured.

       Captured substrings are returned to the caller via a vector of integers
       whose  address is passed in ovector. The number of elements in the vec-
       tor is passed in ovecsize, which must be a non-negative  number.  Note:
       this argument is NOT the size of ovector in bytes.

       The  first  two-thirds of the vector is used to pass back captured sub-
       strings, each substring using a pair of integers. The  remaining  third
       of  the  vector is used as workspace by pcre_exec() while matching cap-
       turing subpatterns, and is not available for passing back  information.
       The  number passed in ovecsize should always be a multiple of three. If
       it is not, it is rounded down.

       When a match is successful, information about  captured  substrings  is
       returned  in  pairs  of integers, starting at the beginning of ovector,
       and continuing up to two-thirds of its length at the  most.  The  first
       element  of  each pair is set to the offset of the first character in a
       substring, and the second is set to the offset of the  first  character
       after  the  end  of a substring. These values are always data unit off-
       sets, even in UTF mode. They are byte offsets  in  the  8-bit  library,
       16-bit  data  item  offsets in the 16-bit library, and 32-bit data item
       offsets in the 32-bit library. Note: they are not character counts.

       The first pair of integers, ovector[0]  and  ovector[1],  identify  the
       portion  of  the subject string matched by the entire pattern. The next
       pair is used for the first capturing subpattern, and so on.  The  value
       returned by pcre_exec() is one more than the highest numbered pair that
       has been set.  For example, if two substrings have been  captured,  the
       returned  value is 3. If there are no capturing subpatterns, the return
       value from a successful match is 1, indicating that just the first pair
       of offsets has been set.

       If a capturing subpattern is matched repeatedly, it is the last portion
       of the string that it matched that is returned.

       If the vector is too small to hold all the captured substring  offsets,
       it is used as far as possible (up to two-thirds of its length), and the
       function returns a value of zero. If neither the actual string  matched
       nor  any captured substrings are of interest, pcre_exec() may be called
       with ovector passed as NULL and ovecsize as zero. However, if the  pat-
       tern  contains  back  references  and  the ovector is not big enough to
       remember the related substrings, PCRE has to get additional memory  for
       use  during matching. Thus it is usually advisable to supply an ovector
       of reasonable size.

       There are some cases where zero is returned  (indicating  vector  over-
       flow)  when  in fact the vector is exactly the right size for the final
       match. For example, consider the pattern

         (a)(?:(b)c|bd)

       If a vector of 6 elements (allowing for only 1 captured  substring)  is
       given with subject string "abd", pcre_exec() will try to set the second
       captured string, thereby recording a vector overflow, before failing to
       match  "c"  and  backing  up  to  try  the second alternative. The zero
       return, however, does correctly indicate that  the  maximum  number  of
       slots (namely 2) have been filled. In similar cases where there is tem-
       porary overflow, but the final number of used slots  is  actually  less
       than the maximum, a non-zero value is returned.

       The pcre_fullinfo() function can be used to find out how many capturing
       subpatterns there are in a compiled  pattern.  The  smallest  size  for
       ovector  that  will allow for n captured substrings, in addition to the
       offsets of the substring matched by the whole pattern, is (n+1)*3.

       It is possible for capturing subpattern number n+1 to match  some  part
       of the subject when subpattern n has not been used at all. For example,
       if the string "abc" is matched  against  the  pattern  (a|(z))(bc)  the
       return from the function is 4, and subpatterns 1 and 3 are matched, but
       2 is not. When this happens, both values in  the  offset  pairs  corre-
       sponding to unused subpatterns are set to -1.

       Offset  values  that correspond to unused subpatterns at the end of the
       expression are also set to -1. For example,  if  the  string  "abc"  is
       matched  against the pattern (abc)(x(yz)?)? subpatterns 2 and 3 are not
       matched. The return from the function is 2, because  the  highest  used
       capturing  subpattern  number  is 1, and the offsets for for the second
       and third capturing subpatterns (assuming the vector is  large  enough,
       of course) are set to -1.

       Note:  Elements  in  the first two-thirds of ovector that do not corre-
       spond to capturing parentheses in the pattern are never  changed.  That
       is,  if  a pattern contains n capturing parentheses, no more than ovec-
       tor[0] to ovector[2n+1] are set by pcre_exec(). The other elements  (in
       the first two-thirds) retain whatever values they previously had.

       Some  convenience  functions  are  provided for extracting the captured
       substrings as separate strings. These are described below.

   Error return values from pcre_exec()

       If pcre_exec() fails, it returns a negative number. The  following  are
       defined in the header file:

         PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH        (-1)

       The subject string did not match the pattern.

         PCRE_ERROR_NULL           (-2)

       Either  code  or  subject  was  passed as NULL, or ovector was NULL and
       ovecsize was not zero.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADOPTION      (-3)

       An unrecognized bit was set in the options argument.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADMAGIC       (-4)

       PCRE stores a 4-byte "magic number" at the start of the compiled  code,
       to catch the case when it is passed a junk pointer and to detect when a
       pattern that was compiled in an environment of one endianness is run in
       an  environment  with the other endianness. This is the error that PCRE
       gives when the magic number is not present.

         PCRE_ERROR_UNKNOWN_OPCODE (-5)

       While running the pattern match, an unknown item was encountered in the
       compiled  pattern.  This  error  could be caused by a bug in PCRE or by
       overwriting of the compiled pattern.

         PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY       (-6)

       If a pattern contains back references, but the ovector that  is  passed
       to pcre_exec() is not big enough to remember the referenced substrings,
       PCRE gets a block of memory at the start of matching to  use  for  this
       purpose.  If the call via pcre_malloc() fails, this error is given. The
       memory is automatically freed at the end of matching.

       This error is also given if pcre_stack_malloc() fails  in  pcre_exec().
       This  can happen only when PCRE has been compiled with --disable-stack-
       for-recursion.

         PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING    (-7)

       This error is used by the pcre_copy_substring(),  pcre_get_substring(),
       and  pcre_get_substring_list()  functions  (see  below).  It  is  never
       returned by pcre_exec().

         PCRE_ERROR_MATCHLIMIT     (-8)

       The backtracking limit, as specified by  the  match_limit  field  in  a
       pcre_extra  structure  (or  defaulted) was reached. See the description
       above.

         PCRE_ERROR_CALLOUT        (-9)

       This error is never generated by pcre_exec() itself. It is provided for
       use  by  callout functions that want to yield a distinctive error code.
       See the pcrecallout documentation for details.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8        (-10)

       A string that contains an invalid UTF-8 byte sequence was passed  as  a
       subject,  and the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option was not set. If the size of
       the output vector (ovecsize) is at least 2,  the  byte  offset  to  the
       start  of  the  the invalid UTF-8 character is placed in the first ele-
       ment, and a reason code is placed in the  second  element.  The  reason
       codes are listed in the following section.  For backward compatibility,
       if PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD is set and the problem is a truncated UTF-8  char-
       acter   at   the   end   of   the   subject  (reason  codes  1  to  5),
       PCRE_ERROR_SHORTUTF8 is returned instead of PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET (-11)

       The UTF-8 byte sequence that was passed as a subject  was  checked  and
       found  to be valid (the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option was not set), but the
       value of startoffset did not point to the beginning of a UTF-8  charac-
       ter or the end of the subject.

         PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL        (-12)

       The  subject  string did not match, but it did match partially. See the
       pcrepartial documentation for details of partial matching.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADPARTIAL     (-13)

       This code is no longer in  use.  It  was  formerly  returned  when  the
       PCRE_PARTIAL  option  was used with a compiled pattern containing items
       that were  not  supported  for  partial  matching.  From  release  8.00
       onwards, there are no restrictions on partial matching.

         PCRE_ERROR_INTERNAL       (-14)

       An  unexpected  internal error has occurred. This error could be caused
       by a bug in PCRE or by overwriting of the compiled pattern.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADCOUNT       (-15)

       This error is given if the value of the ovecsize argument is negative.

         PCRE_ERROR_RECURSIONLIMIT (-21)

       The internal recursion limit, as specified by the match_limit_recursion
       field  in  a  pcre_extra  structure (or defaulted) was reached. See the
       description above.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADNEWLINE     (-23)

       An invalid combination of PCRE_NEWLINE_xxx options was given.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADOFFSET      (-24)

       The value of startoffset was negative or greater than the length of the
       subject, that is, the value in length.

         PCRE_ERROR_SHORTUTF8      (-25)

       This  error  is returned instead of PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8 when the subject
       string ends with a truncated UTF-8 character and the  PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD
       option  is  set.   Information  about  the  failure  is returned as for
       PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8. It is in fact sufficient to detect this  case,  but
       this  special error code for PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD precedes the implementa-
       tion of returned information; it is retained for backwards  compatibil-
       ity.

         PCRE_ERROR_RECURSELOOP    (-26)

       This error is returned when pcre_exec() detects a recursion loop within
       the pattern. Specifically, it means that either the whole pattern or  a
       subpattern  has been called recursively for the second time at the same
       position in the subject string. Some simple patterns that might do this
       are  detected  and faulted at compile time, but more complicated cases,
       in particular mutual recursions between two different subpatterns, can-
       not be detected until run time.

         PCRE_ERROR_JIT_STACKLIMIT (-27)

       This  error  is  returned  when a pattern that was successfully studied
       using a JIT compile option is being matched, but the  memory  available
       for  the  just-in-time  processing  stack  is not large enough. See the
       pcrejit documentation for more details.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADMODE        (-28)

       This error is given if a pattern that was compiled by the 8-bit library
       is passed to a 16-bit or 32-bit library function, or vice versa.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADENDIANNESS  (-29)

       This  error  is  given  if  a  pattern  that  was compiled and saved is
       reloaded on a host with  different  endianness.  The  utility  function
       pcre_pattern_to_host_byte_order() can be used to convert such a pattern
       so that it runs on the new host.

         PCRE_ERROR_JIT_BADOPTION

       This error is returned when a pattern  that  was  successfully  studied
       using  a  JIT  compile  option  is being matched, but the matching mode
       (partial or complete match) does not correspond to any JIT  compilation
       mode.  When  the JIT fast path function is used, this error may be also
       given for invalid options.  See  the  pcrejit  documentation  for  more
       details.

         PCRE_ERROR_BADLENGTH      (-32)

       This  error is given if pcre_exec() is called with a negative value for
       the length argument.

       Error numbers -16 to -20, -22, and 30 are not used by pcre_exec().

   Reason codes for invalid UTF-8 strings

       This section applies only  to  the  8-bit  library.  The  corresponding
       information  for the 16-bit and 32-bit libraries is given in the pcre16
       and pcre32 pages.

       When pcre_exec() returns either PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8 or PCRE_ERROR_SHORT-
       UTF8,  and  the size of the output vector (ovecsize) is at least 2, the
       offset of the start of the invalid UTF-8 character  is  placed  in  the
       first output vector element (ovector[0]) and a reason code is placed in
       the second element (ovector[1]). The reason codes are  given  names  in
       the pcre.h header file:

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR1
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR2
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR3
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR4
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR5

       The  string  ends  with a truncated UTF-8 character; the code specifies
       how many bytes are missing (1 to 5). Although RFC 3629 restricts  UTF-8
       characters  to  be  no longer than 4 bytes, the encoding scheme (origi-
       nally defined by RFC 2279) allows for  up  to  6  bytes,  and  this  is
       checked first; hence the possibility of 4 or 5 missing bytes.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR6
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR7
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR8
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR9
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR10

       The two most significant bits of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th byte of
       the character do not have the binary value 0b10 (that  is,  either  the
       most significant bit is 0, or the next bit is 1).

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR11
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR12

       A  character that is valid by the RFC 2279 rules is either 5 or 6 bytes
       long; these code points are excluded by RFC 3629.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR13

       A 4-byte character has a value greater than 0x10fff; these code  points
       are excluded by RFC 3629.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR14

       A  3-byte  character  has  a  value in the range 0xd800 to 0xdfff; this
       range of code points are reserved by RFC 3629 for use with UTF-16,  and
       so are excluded from UTF-8.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR15
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR16
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR17
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR18
         PCRE_UTF8_ERR19

       A  2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-byte character is "overlong", that is, it codes
       for a value that can be represented by fewer bytes, which  is  invalid.
       For  example,  the two bytes 0xc0, 0xae give the value 0x2e, whose cor-
       rect coding uses just one byte.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR20

       The two most significant bits of the first byte of a character have the
       binary  value 0b10 (that is, the most significant bit is 1 and the sec-
       ond is 0). Such a byte can only validly occur as the second  or  subse-
       quent byte of a multi-byte character.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR21

       The  first byte of a character has the value 0xfe or 0xff. These values
       can never occur in a valid UTF-8 string.

         PCRE_UTF8_ERR22

       This error code was formerly used when  the  presence  of  a  so-called
       "non-character"  caused an error. Unicode corrigendum #9 makes it clear
       that such characters should not cause a string to be rejected,  and  so
       this code is no longer in use and is never returned.

EXTRACTING CAPTURED SUBSTRINGS BY NUMBER

       int pcre_copy_substring(const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, int stringnumber, char *buffer,
            int buffersize);

       int pcre_get_substring(const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, int stringnumber,
            const char **stringptr);

       int pcre_get_substring_list(const char *subject,
            int *ovector, int stringcount, const char ***listptr);

       Captured  substrings  can  be  accessed  directly  by using the offsets
       returned by pcre_exec() in  ovector.  For  convenience,  the  functions
       pcre_copy_substring(),    pcre_get_substring(),    and    pcre_get_sub-
       string_list() are provided for extracting captured substrings  as  new,
       separate,  zero-terminated strings. These functions identify substrings
       by number. The next section describes functions  for  extracting  named
       substrings.

       A  substring that contains a binary zero is correctly extracted and has
       a further zero added on the end, but the result is not, of course, a  C
       string.   However,  you  can  process such a string by referring to the
       length that is  returned  by  pcre_copy_substring()  and  pcre_get_sub-
       string().  Unfortunately, the interface to pcre_get_substring_list() is
       not adequate for handling strings containing binary zeros, because  the
       end of the final string is not independently indicated.

       The  first  three  arguments  are the same for all three of these func-
       tions: subject is the subject string that has  just  been  successfully
       matched, ovector is a pointer to the vector of integer offsets that was
       passed to pcre_exec(), and stringcount is the number of substrings that
       were  captured  by  the match, including the substring that matched the
       entire regular expression. This is the value returned by pcre_exec() if
       it  is greater than zero. If pcre_exec() returned zero, indicating that
       it ran out of space in ovector, the value passed as stringcount  should
       be the number of elements in the vector divided by three.

       The  functions pcre_copy_substring() and pcre_get_substring() extract a
       single substring, whose number is given as  stringnumber.  A  value  of
       zero  extracts  the  substring that matched the entire pattern, whereas
       higher values  extract  the  captured  substrings.  For  pcre_copy_sub-
       string(),  the  string  is  placed  in buffer, whose length is given by
       buffersize, while for pcre_get_substring() a new  block  of  memory  is
       obtained  via  pcre_malloc,  and its address is returned via stringptr.
       The yield of the function is the length of the  string,  not  including
       the terminating zero, or one of these error codes:

         PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY       (-6)

       The  buffer  was too small for pcre_copy_substring(), or the attempt to
       get memory failed for pcre_get_substring().

         PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING    (-7)

       There is no substring whose number is stringnumber.

       The pcre_get_substring_list()  function  extracts  all  available  sub-
       strings  and  builds  a list of pointers to them. All this is done in a
       single block of memory that is obtained via pcre_malloc. The address of
       the  memory  block  is returned via listptr, which is also the start of
       the list of string pointers. The end of the list is marked  by  a  NULL
       pointer.  The  yield  of  the function is zero if all went well, or the
       error code

         PCRE_ERROR_NOMEMORY       (-6)

       if the attempt to get the memory block failed.

       When any of these functions encounter a substring that is unset,  which
       can  happen  when  capturing subpattern number n+1 matches some part of
       the subject, but subpattern n has not been used at all, they return  an
       empty string. This can be distinguished from a genuine zero-length sub-
       string by inspecting the appropriate offset in ovector, which is  nega-
       tive for unset substrings.

       The  two convenience functions pcre_free_substring() and pcre_free_sub-
       string_list() can be used to free the memory  returned  by  a  previous
       call  of  pcre_get_substring()  or  pcre_get_substring_list(),  respec-
       tively. They do nothing more than  call  the  function  pointed  to  by
       pcre_free,  which  of course could be called directly from a C program.
       However, PCRE is used in some situations where it is linked via a  spe-
       cial   interface  to  another  programming  language  that  cannot  use
       pcre_free directly; it is for these cases that the functions  are  pro-
       vided.

EXTRACTING CAPTURED SUBSTRINGS BY NAME

       int pcre_get_stringnumber(const pcre *code,
            const char *name);

       int pcre_copy_named_substring(const pcre *code,
            const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, const char *stringname,
            char *buffer, int buffersize);

       int pcre_get_named_substring(const pcre *code,
            const char *subject, int *ovector,
            int stringcount, const char *stringname,
            const char **stringptr);

       To  extract a substring by name, you first have to find associated num-
       ber.  For example, for this pattern

         (a+)b(?<xxx>\d+)...

       the number of the subpattern called "xxx" is 2. If the name is known to
       be unique (PCRE_DUPNAMES was not set), you can find the number from the
       name by calling pcre_get_stringnumber(). The first argument is the com-
       piled pattern, and the second is the name. The yield of the function is
       the subpattern number, or PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING (-7) if  there  is  no
       subpattern of that name.

       Given the number, you can extract the substring directly, or use one of
       the functions described in the previous section. For convenience, there
       are also two functions that do the whole job.

       Most    of    the    arguments   of   pcre_copy_named_substring()   and
       pcre_get_named_substring() are the same  as  those  for  the  similarly
       named  functions  that extract by number. As these are described in the
       previous section, they are not re-described here. There  are  just  two
       differences:

       First,  instead  of a substring number, a substring name is given. Sec-
       ond, there is an extra argument, given at the start, which is a pointer
       to  the compiled pattern. This is needed in order to gain access to the
       name-to-number translation table.

       These functions call pcre_get_stringnumber(), and if it succeeds,  they
       then  call  pcre_copy_substring() or pcre_get_substring(), as appropri-
       ate. NOTE: If PCRE_DUPNAMES is set and there are duplicate  names,  the
       behaviour may not be what you want (see the next section).

       Warning: If the pattern uses the (?| feature to set up multiple subpat-
       terns with the same number, as described in the  section  on  duplicate
       subpattern  numbers  in  the  pcrepattern page, you cannot use names to
       distinguish the different subpatterns, because names are  not  included
       in  the compiled code. The matching process uses only numbers. For this
       reason, the use of different names for subpatterns of the  same  number
       causes an error at compile time.

DUPLICATE SUBPATTERN NAMES

       int pcre_get_stringtable_entries(const pcre *code,
            const char *name, char **first, char **last);

       When  a  pattern  is  compiled with the PCRE_DUPNAMES option, names for
       subpatterns are not required to be unique. (Duplicate names are  always
       allowed  for subpatterns with the same number, created by using the (?|
       feature. Indeed, if such subpatterns are named, they  are  required  to
       use the same names.)

       Normally, patterns with duplicate names are such that in any one match,
       only one of the named subpatterns participates. An example is shown  in
       the pcrepattern documentation.

       When    duplicates   are   present,   pcre_copy_named_substring()   and
       pcre_get_named_substring() return the first substring corresponding  to
       the  given  name  that  is set. If none are set, PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING
       (-7) is returned; no  data  is  returned.  The  pcre_get_stringnumber()
       function  returns one of the numbers that are associated with the name,
       but it is not defined which it is.

       If you want to get full details of all captured substrings for a  given
       name,  you  must  use  the pcre_get_stringtable_entries() function. The
       first argument is the compiled pattern, and the second is the name. The
       third  and  fourth  are  pointers to variables which are updated by the
       function. After it has run, they point to the first and last entries in
       the  name-to-number  table  for  the  given  name.  The function itself
       returns the length of each entry,  or  PCRE_ERROR_NOSUBSTRING  (-7)  if
       there  are none. The format of the table is described above in the sec-
       tion entitled Information about a pattern above.  Given all  the  rele-
       vant  entries  for the name, you can extract each of their numbers, and
       hence the captured data, if any.

FINDING ALL POSSIBLE MATCHES

       The traditional matching function uses a  similar  algorithm  to  Perl,
       which stops when it finds the first match, starting at a given point in
       the subject. If you want to find all possible matches, or  the  longest
       possible  match,  consider using the alternative matching function (see
       below) instead. If you cannot use the alternative function,  but  still
       need  to  find all possible matches, you can kludge it up by making use
       of the callout facility, which is described in the pcrecallout documen-
       tation.

       What you have to do is to insert a callout right at the end of the pat-
       tern.  When your callout function is called, extract and save the  cur-
       rent  matched  substring.  Then  return  1, which forces pcre_exec() to
       backtrack and try other alternatives. Ultimately, when it runs  out  of
       matches, pcre_exec() will yield PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH.

OBTAINING AN ESTIMATE OF STACK USAGE

       Matching  certain  patterns  using pcre_exec() can use a lot of process
       stack, which in certain environments can be  rather  limited  in  size.
       Some  users  find it helpful to have an estimate of the amount of stack
       that is used by pcre_exec(), to help  them  set  recursion  limits,  as
       described  in  the pcrestack documentation. The estimate that is output
       by pcretest when called with the -m and -C options is obtained by call-
       ing  pcre_exec with the values NULL, NULL, NULL, -999, and -999 for its
       first five arguments.

       Normally, if  its  first  argument  is  NULL,  pcre_exec()  immediately
       returns  the negative error code PCRE_ERROR_NULL, but with this special
       combination of arguments, it returns instead a  negative  number  whose
       absolute  value  is the approximate stack frame size in bytes. (A nega-
       tive number is used so that it is clear that no  match  has  happened.)
       The  value  is  approximate  because  in some cases, recursive calls to
       pcre_exec() occur when there are one or two additional variables on the
       stack.

       If  PCRE  has  been  compiled  to use the heap instead of the stack for
       recursion, the value returned  is  the  size  of  each  block  that  is
       obtained from the heap.

MATCHING A PATTERN: THE ALTERNATIVE FUNCTION

       int pcre_dfa_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra,
            const char *subject, int length, int startoffset,
            int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize,
            int *workspace, int wscount);

       The  function  pcre_dfa_exec()  is  called  to  match  a subject string
       against a compiled pattern, using a matching algorithm that  scans  the
       subject  string  just  once, and does not backtrack. This has different
       characteristics to the normal algorithm, and  is  not  compatible  with
       Perl.  Some  of the features of PCRE patterns are not supported. Never-
       theless, there are times when this kind of matching can be useful.  For
       a  discussion  of  the  two matching algorithms, and a list of features
       that pcre_dfa_exec() does not support, see the pcrematching  documenta-
       tion.

       The  arguments  for  the  pcre_dfa_exec()  function are the same as for
       pcre_exec(), plus two extras. The ovector argument is used in a differ-
       ent  way,  and  this is described below. The other common arguments are
       used in the same way as for pcre_exec(), so their  description  is  not
       repeated here.

       The  two  additional  arguments provide workspace for the function. The
       workspace vector should contain at least 20 elements. It  is  used  for
       keeping  track  of  multiple  paths  through  the  pattern  tree.  More
       workspace will be needed for patterns and subjects where  there  are  a
       lot of potential matches.

       Here is an example of a simple call to pcre_dfa_exec():

         int rc;
         int ovector[10];
         int wspace[20];
         rc = pcre_dfa_exec(
           re,             /* result of pcre_compile() */
           NULL,           /* we didn't study the pattern */
           "some string",  /* the subject string */
           11,             /* the length of the subject string */
           0,              /* start at offset 0 in the subject */
           0,              /* default options */
           ovector,        /* vector of integers for substring information */
           10,             /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */
           wspace,         /* working space vector */
           20);            /* number of elements (NOT size in bytes) */

   Option bits for pcre_dfa_exec()

       The  unused  bits  of  the options argument for pcre_dfa_exec() must be
       zero. The only bits  that  may  be  set  are  PCRE_ANCHORED,  PCRE_NEW-
       LINE_xxx,        PCRE_NOTBOL,        PCRE_NOTEOL,        PCRE_NOTEMPTY,
       PCRE_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART,      PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK,       PCRE_BSR_ANYCRLF,
       PCRE_BSR_UNICODE,  PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE, PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD, PCRE_PAR-
       TIAL_SOFT, PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST, and PCRE_DFA_RESTART.  All but  the  last
       four  of  these  are  exactly  the  same  as  for pcre_exec(), so their
       description is not repeated here.

         PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD
         PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT

       These have the same general effect as they do for pcre_exec(), but  the
       details  are  slightly  different.  When  PCRE_PARTIAL_HARD  is set for
       pcre_dfa_exec(), it returns PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL if the end of  the  sub-
       ject  is  reached  and there is still at least one matching possibility
       that requires additional characters. This happens even if some complete
       matches have also been found. When PCRE_PARTIAL_SOFT is set, the return
       code PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH is converted into PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL if the end
       of  the  subject  is  reached, there have been no complete matches, but
       there is still at least one matching possibility. The  portion  of  the
       string  that  was inspected when the longest partial match was found is
       set as the first matching string  in  both  cases.   There  is  a  more
       detailed  discussion  of partial and multi-segment matching, with exam-
       ples, in the pcrepartial documentation.

         PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST

       Setting the PCRE_DFA_SHORTEST option causes the matching  algorithm  to
       stop as soon as it has found one match. Because of the way the alterna-
       tive algorithm works, this is necessarily the shortest  possible  match
       at the first possible matching point in the subject string.

         PCRE_DFA_RESTART

       When pcre_dfa_exec() returns a partial match, it is possible to call it
       again, with additional subject characters, and have  it  continue  with
       the  same match. The PCRE_DFA_RESTART option requests this action; when
       it is set, the workspace and wscount options must  reference  the  same
       vector  as  before  because data about the match so far is left in them
       after a partial match. There is more discussion of this facility in the
       pcrepartial documentation.

   Successful returns from pcre_dfa_exec()

       When  pcre_dfa_exec()  succeeds, it may have matched more than one sub-
       string in the subject. Note, however, that all the matches from one run
       of  the  function  start  at the same point in the subject. The shorter
       matches are all initial substrings of the longer matches. For  example,
       if the pattern

         <.*>

       is matched against the string

         This is <something> <something else> <something further> no more

       the three matched strings are

         <something>
         <something> <something else>
         <something> <something else> <something further>

       On  success,  the  yield of the function is a number greater than zero,
       which is the number of matched substrings.  The  substrings  themselves
       are  returned  in  ovector. Each string uses two elements; the first is
       the offset to the start, and the second is the offset to  the  end.  In
       fact,  all  the  strings  have the same start offset. (Space could have
       been saved by giving this only once, but it was decided to retain  some
       compatibility  with  the  way pcre_exec() returns data, even though the
       meaning of the strings is different.)

       The strings are returned in reverse order of length; that is, the long-
       est  matching  string is given first. If there were too many matches to
       fit into ovector, the yield of the function is zero, and the vector  is
       filled  with  the  longest matches. Unlike pcre_exec(), pcre_dfa_exec()
       can use the entire ovector for returning matched strings.

       NOTE: PCRE's "auto-possessification" optimization  usually  applies  to
       character  repeats at the end of a pattern (as well as internally). For
       example, the pattern "a\d+" is compiled as if it were  "a\d++"  because
       there is no point even considering the possibility of backtracking into
       the repeated digits. For DFA matching, this means that only one  possi-
       ble  match  is  found.  If  you really do want multiple matches in such
       cases,  either  use  an  ungreedy   repeat   ("a\d+?")   or   set   the
       PCRE_NO_AUTO_POSSESS option when compiling.

   Error returns from pcre_dfa_exec()

       The  pcre_dfa_exec()  function returns a negative number when it fails.
       Many of the errors are the same  as  for  pcre_exec(),  and  these  are
       described  above.   There are in addition the following errors that are
       specific to pcre_dfa_exec():

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UITEM      (-16)

       This return is given if pcre_dfa_exec() encounters an item in the  pat-
       tern  that  it  does not support, for instance, the use of \C or a back
       reference.

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UCOND      (-17)

       This return is given if pcre_dfa_exec()  encounters  a  condition  item
       that  uses  a back reference for the condition, or a test for recursion
       in a specific group. These are not supported.

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_UMLIMIT    (-18)

       This return is given if pcre_dfa_exec() is called with an  extra  block
       that  contains  a  setting  of the match_limit or match_limit_recursion
       fields. This is not supported (these fields  are  meaningless  for  DFA
       matching).

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_WSSIZE     (-19)

       This  return  is  given  if  pcre_dfa_exec()  runs  out of space in the
       workspace vector.

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_RECURSE    (-20)

       When a recursive subpattern is processed, the matching  function  calls
       itself  recursively,  using  private vectors for ovector and workspace.
       This error is given if the output vector  is  not  large  enough.  This
       should be extremely rare, as a vector of size 1000 is used.

         PCRE_ERROR_DFA_BADRESTART (-30)

       When  pcre_dfa_exec()  is called with the PCRE_DFA_RESTART option, some
       plausibility checks are made on the contents of  the  workspace,  which
       should  contain  data about the previous partial match. If any of these
       checks fail, this error is given.


ATTRIBUTES
       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


       +---------------+------------------+
       |ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE  |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Availability   | library/pcre     |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
       +---------------+------------------+
SEE ALSO

       pcre16(3),  pcre32(3),  pcrebuild(3),  pcrecallout(3),   pcrecpp(3)(3),
       pcrematching(3), pcrepartial(3), pcreposix(3), pcreprecompile(3), pcre-
       sample(3), pcrestack(3).

AUTHOR

       Philip Hazel
       University Computing Service
       Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.

REVISION

       Last updated: 18 December 2015
       Copyright (c) 1997-2015 University of Cambridge.



NOTES
       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source was downloaded  from   ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/pro-
       gramming/pcre/pcre-8.42.tar.gz

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://pcre.org/.



PCRE 8.39                      18 December 2015                     PCREAPI(3)