manpagez: man pages & more
man pcre2test(1)
Home | html | info | man
pcre2test(1)                                                      pcre2test(1)




NAME

       pcre2test  - a program for testing Perl-compatible regular expressions.


SYNOPSIS


       pcre2test [options] [input file [output file]]

       pcre2test is a test program for the PCRE2 regular expression libraries,
       but  it  can  also  be used for experimenting with regular expressions.
       This document describes the features of the test program;  for  details
       of  the regular expressions themselves, see the pcre2pattern documenta-
       tion. For details  of  the  PCRE2  library  function  calls  and  their
       options, see the pcre2api documentation.

       The  input  for  pcre2test is a sequence of regular expression patterns
       and subject strings to be matched. There are  also  command  lines  for
       setting defaults and controlling some special actions. The output shows
       the result of each match attempt. Modifiers  on  external  or  internal
       command  lines, the patterns, and the subject lines specify PCRE2 func-
       tion options, control how the subject is processed, and what output  is
       produced.

       As  the  original  fairly simple PCRE library evolved, it acquired many
       different features, and as a  result,  the  original  pcretest  program
       ended  up  with  a lot of options in a messy, arcane syntax for testing
       all the features. The move to the new PCRE2 API provided an opportunity
       to  re-implement the test program as pcre2test, with a cleaner modifier
       syntax. Nevertheless, there are still many obscure modifiers,  some  of
       which  are  specifically  designed for use in conjunction with the test
       script and data files that are distributed as part of  PCRE2.  All  the
       modifiers  are  documented  here,  some without much justification, but
       many of them are  unlikely  to  be  of  use  except  when  testing  the
       libraries.


PCRE2's 8-BIT, 16-BIT AND 32-BIT LIBRARIES


       Different versions of the PCRE2 library can be built to support charac-
       ter strings that are encoded in 8-bit, 16-bit, or  32-bit  code  units.
       One,  two,  or  all  three  of  these  libraries  may be simultaneously
       installed. The pcre2test program can be used to test all the libraries.
       However,  its  own  input  and  output are always in 8-bit format. When
       testing the 16-bit or 32-bit libraries, patterns  and  subject  strings
       are  converted  to  16-bit  or 32-bit format before being passed to the
       library functions. Results are converted back to 8-bit code  units  for
       output.

       In the rest of this document, the names of library functions and struc-
       tures are given in  generic  form,  for  example,  pcre_compile().  The
       actual  names  used  in the libraries have a suffix _8, _16, or _32, as
       appropriate.


INPUT ENCODING


       Input to pcre2test is processed line by line, either by calling  the  C
       library's  fgets()  function,  or  via the libreadline library. In some
       Windows environments character 26 (hex 1A) causes an immediate  end  of
       file,  and no further data is read, so this character should be avoided
       unless you really want that action.

       The input is processed using using C's string functions,  so  must  not
       contain  binary  zeros,  even though in Unix-like environments, fgets()
       treats any bytes other than newline as data  characters.  An  error  is
       generated if a binary zero is encountered. By default subject lines are
       processed for backslash escapes, which makes it possible to include any
       data  value in strings that are passed to the library for matching. For
       patterns, there is a facility for specifying some or all of  the  8-bit
       input  characters  as  hexadecimal  pairs,  which  makes it possible to
       include binary zeros.

   Input for the 16-bit and 32-bit libraries

       When testing the 16-bit or 32-bit libraries, there is a need to be able
       to  generate character code points greater than 255 in the strings that
       are passed to the library. For subject lines, backslash escapes can  be
       used.  In  addition,  when  the  utf modifier (see "Setting compilation
       options" below) is set, the pattern and any following subject lines are
       interpreted  as  UTF-8  strings  and  translated to UTF-16 or UTF-32 as
       appropriate.

       For non-UTF testing of wide characters, the utf8_input modifier can  be
       used.  This  is  mutually  exclusive  with  utf, and is allowed only in
       16-bit or 32-bit mode. It causes  the  pattern  and  following  subject
       lines  to be treated as UTF-8 according to the original definition (RFC
       2279), which allows for character values up to 0x7fffffff. Each charac-
       ter  is  placed  in one 16-bit or 32-bit code unit (in the 16-bit case,
       values greater than 0xffff cause an error to occur).

       UTF-8 (in its original definition) is not capable  of  encoding  values
       greater  than  0x7fffffff, but such values can be handled by the 32-bit
       library. When testing this library in non-UTF mode with utf8_input set,
       if any character is preceded by the byte 0xff (which is an invalid byte
       in UTF-8) 0x80000000 is added to the character's  value.  This  is  the
       only  way  of passing such code points in a pattern string. For subject
       strings, using an escape sequence is preferable.


COMMAND LINE OPTIONS


       -8        If the 8-bit library has been built, this option causes it to
                 be  used  (this is the default). If the 8-bit library has not
                 been built, this option causes an error.

       -16       If the 16-bit library has been built, this option  causes  it
                 to  be  used. If only the 16-bit library has been built, this
                 is the default. If the 16-bit library  has  not  been  built,
                 this option causes an error.

       -32       If  the  32-bit library has been built, this option causes it
                 to be used. If only the 32-bit library has been  built,  this
                 is  the  default.  If  the 32-bit library has not been built,
                 this option causes an error.

       -ac       Behave as if each pattern has the auto_callout modifier, that
                 is, insert automatic callouts into every pattern that is com-
                 piled.

       -AC       As for -ac, but in addition behave as if  each  subject  line
                 has  the  callout_extra  modifier,  that  is, show additional
                 information from callouts.

       -b        Behave as if each pattern has the fullbincode  modifier;  the
                 full internal binary form of the pattern is output after com-
                 pilation.

       -C        Output the version number  of  the  PCRE2  library,  and  all
                 available  information  about  the optional features that are
                 included, and then  exit  with  zero  exit  code.  All  other
                 options  are  ignored. If both -C and -LM are present, which-
                 ever is first is recognized.

       -C option Output information about a specific build-time  option,  then
                 exit.  This functionality is intended for use in scripts such
                 as RunTest. The following options output the  value  and  set
                 the exit code as indicated:

                   ebcdic-nl  the code for LF (= NL) in an EBCDIC environment:
                                0x15 or 0x25
                                0 if used in an ASCII environment
                                exit code is always 0
                   linksize   the configured internal link size (2, 3, or 4)
                                exit code is set to the link size
                   newline    the default newline setting:
                                CR, LF, CRLF, ANYCRLF, ANY, or NUL
                                exit code is always 0
                   bsr        the default setting for what \R matches:
                                ANYCRLF or ANY
                                exit code is always 0

                 The following options output 1 for true or 0 for  false,  and
                 set the exit code to the same value:

                   backslash-C  \C is supported (not locked out)
                   ebcdic       compiled for an EBCDIC environment
                   jit          just-in-time support is available
                   pcre2-16     the 16-bit library was built
                   pcre2-32     the 32-bit library was built
                   pcre2-8      the 8-bit library was built
                   unicode      Unicode support is available

                 If  an  unknown  option is given, an error message is output;
                 the exit code is 0.

       -d        Behave as if each pattern has the debug modifier; the  inter-
                 nal form and information about the compiled pattern is output
                 after compilation; -d is equivalent to -b -i.

       -dfa      Behave as if each subject line has the dfa modifier; matching
                 is  done  using the pcre2_dfa_match() function instead of the
                 default pcre2_match().

       -error number[,number,...]
                 Call pcre2_get_error_message() for each of the error  numbers
                 in  the  comma-separated list, display the resulting messages
                 on the standard output, then exit with zero  exit  code.  The
                 numbers  may  be  positive or negative. This is a convenience
                 facility for PCRE2 maintainers.

       -help     Output a brief summary these options and then exit.

       -i        Behave as if each pattern has the info modifier;  information
                 about the compiled pattern is given after compilation.

       -jit      Behave  as  if  each pattern line has the jit modifier; after
                 successful compilation, each pattern is passed to  the  just-
                 in-time compiler, if available.

       -jitfast  Behave  as  if  each  pattern  line has the jitfast modifier;
                 after successful compilation, each pattern is passed  to  the
                 just-in-time compiler, if available, and each subject line is
                 passed directly to the JIT matcher via its "fast path".

       -jitverify
                 Behave as if each pattern line has  the  jitverify  modifier;
                 after  successful  compilation, each pattern is passed to the
                 just-in-time compiler, if available, and the use of  JIT  for
                 matching is verified.

       -LM       List modifiers: write a list of available pattern and subject
                 modifiers to the standard output, then exit  with  zero  exit
                 code.  All other options are ignored.  If both -C and -LM are
                 present, whichever is first is recognized.

       -pattern modifier-list
                 Behave as if each pattern line contains the given  modifiers.

       -q        Do not output the version number of pcre2test at the start of
                 execution.

       -S size   On Unix-like systems, set the size of the run-time  stack  to
                 size mebibytes (units of 1024*1024 bytes).

       -subject modifier-list
                 Behave  as if each subject line contains the given modifiers.

       -t        Run each compile and match many times with a timer, and  out-
                 put  the  resulting  times  per compile or match. When JIT is
                 used, separate times are given for the  initial  compile  and
                 the  JIT  compile.  You  can control the number of iterations
                 that are used for timing by following -t with a number (as  a
                 separate  item  on  the command line). For example, "-t 1000"
                 iterates 1000 times. The default is to iterate 500,000 times.

       -tm       This is like -t except that it times only the matching phase,
                 not the compile phase.

       -T -TM    These behave like -t and -tm, but in addition, at the end  of
                 a  run, the total times for all compiles and matches are out-
                 put.

       -version  Output the PCRE2 version number and then exit.


DESCRIPTION


       If pcre2test is given two filename arguments, it reads from  the  first
       and writes to the second. If the first name is "-", input is taken from
       the standard input. If pcre2test is given only one argument,  it  reads
       from that file and writes to stdout. Otherwise, it reads from stdin and
       writes to stdout.

       When pcre2test is built, a configuration option  can  specify  that  it
       should  be linked with the libreadline or libedit library. When this is
       done, if the input is from a terminal, it is read using the  readline()
       function. This provides line-editing and history facilities. The output
       from the -help option states whether or not readline() will be used.

       The program handles any number of tests, each of which  consists  of  a
       set  of input lines. Each set starts with a regular expression pattern,
       followed by any number of subject lines to be matched against that pat-
       tern. In between sets of test data, command lines that begin with # may
       appear. This file format, with some restrictions, can also be processed
       by  the perltest.sh script that is distributed with PCRE2 as a means of
       checking that the behaviour of PCRE2 and Perl is the same. For a speci-
       fication  of perltest.sh, see the comments near its beginning. See also
       the #perltest command below.

       When the input is a terminal, pcre2test prompts for each line of input,
       using  "re>"  to prompt for regular expression patterns, and "data>" to
       prompt for subject lines. Command lines starting with # can be  entered
       only in response to the "re>" prompt.

       Each  subject line is matched separately and independently. If you want
       to do multi-line matches, you have to use the \n escape sequence (or \r
       or  \r\n,  etc.,  depending on the newline setting) in a single line of
       input to encode the newline sequences. There is no limit on the  length
       of  subject  lines; the input buffer is automatically extended if it is
       too small. There are replication features that  makes  it  possible  to
       generate  long  repetitive  pattern  or subject lines without having to
       supply them explicitly.

       An empty line or the end of the file signals the  end  of  the  subject
       lines  for  a  test,  at  which  point a new pattern or command line is
       expected if there is still input to be read.


COMMAND LINES


       In between sets of test data, a line that begins with # is  interpreted
       as a command line. If the first character is followed by white space or
       an exclamation mark, the line is treated as  a  comment,  and  ignored.
       Otherwise, the following commands are recognized:

         #forbid_utf

       Subsequent   patterns   automatically   have  the  PCRE2_NEVER_UTF  and
       PCRE2_NEVER_UCP options set, which locks out the use of  the  PCRE2_UTF
       and  PCRE2_UCP options and the use of (*UTF) and (*UCP) at the start of
       patterns. This command also forces an error  if  a  subsequent  pattern
       contains  any  occurrences  of \P, \p, or \X, which are still supported
       when PCRE2_UTF is not set, but which require Unicode  property  support
       to be included in the library.

       This  is  a trigger guard that is used in test files to ensure that UTF
       or Unicode property tests are not accidentally added to files that  are
       used  when  Unicode  support  is  not  included in the library. Setting
       PCRE2_NEVER_UTF and PCRE2_NEVER_UCP as a default can also  be  obtained
       by  the  use  of #pattern; the difference is that #forbid_utf cannot be
       unset, and the automatic options are not displayed in pattern  informa-
       tion, to avoid cluttering up test output.

         #load <filename>

       This command is used to load a set of precompiled patterns from a file,
       as described in the section entitled  "Saving  and  restoring  compiled
       patterns" below.

         #loadtables <filename>

       This  command is used to load a set of binary character tables that can
       be accessed by the tables=3 qualifier. Such tables can  be  created  by
       the pcre2_dftables program with the -b option.

         #newline_default [<newline-list>]

       When  PCRE2  is  built,  a default newline convention can be specified.
       This determines which characters and/or character pairs are  recognized
       as indicating a newline in a pattern or subject string. The default can
       be overridden when a pattern is compiled. The standard test files  con-
       tain  tests  of  various  newline  conventions, but the majority of the
       tests expect a single  linefeed  to  be  recognized  as  a  newline  by
       default. Without special action the tests would fail when PCRE2 is com-
       piled with either CR or CRLF as the default newline.

       The #newline_default command specifies a list of newline types that are
       acceptable  as the default. The types must be one of CR, LF, CRLF, ANY-
       CRLF, ANY, or NUL (in upper or lower case), for example:

         #newline_default LF Any anyCRLF

       If the default newline is in the list, this command has no effect. Oth-
       erwise,  except  when  testing  the  POSIX API, a newline modifier that
       specifies the first newline convention in the list  (LF  in  the  above
       example)  is  added to any pattern that does not already have a newline
       modifier. If the newline list is empty, the feature is turned off. This
       command is present in a number of the standard test input files.

       When  the  POSIX  API  is  being tested there is no way to override the
       default newline convention, though it is possible to  set  the  newline
       convention  from within the pattern. A warning is given if the posix or
       posix_nosub modifier is used when #newline_default would set a  default
       for the non-POSIX API.

         #pattern <modifier-list>

       This  command  sets  a default modifier list that applies to all subse-
       quent patterns. Modifiers on a pattern can change these settings.

         #perltest

       This line is used in test files that can also  be  processed  by  perl-
       test.sh  to  confirm  that Perl gives the same results as PCRE2. Subse-
       quent tests are checked for the use  of  pcre2test  features  that  are
       incompatible with the perltest.sh script.

       Patterns  must  use  '/' as their delimiter, and only certain modifiers
       are supported. Comment lines, #pattern commands, and #subject  commands
       that  set  or  unset "mark" are recognized and acted on. The #perltest,
       #forbid_utf, and #newline_default commands, which  are  needed  in  the
       relevant pcre2test files, are silently ignored. All other command lines
       are ignored, but give a warning message. The  #perltest  command  helps
       detect  tests  that  are  accidentally put in the wrong file or use the
       wrong delimiter. For more details of the  perltest.sh  script  see  the
       comments it contains.

         #pop [<modifiers>]
         #popcopy [<modifiers>]

       These  commands  are used to manipulate the stack of compiled patterns,
       as described in the section entitled  "Saving  and  restoring  compiled
       patterns" below.

         #save <filename>

       This  command  is used to save a set of compiled patterns to a file, as
       described in the section entitled "Saving and restoring  compiled  pat-
       terns" below.

         #subject <modifier-list>

       This  command  sets  a default modifier list that applies to all subse-
       quent subject lines. Modifiers on a subject line can change these  set-
       tings.


MODIFIER SYNTAX


       Modifier lists are used with both pattern and subject lines. Items in a
       list are separated by commas followed by optional white space. Trailing
       whitespace  in  a modifier list is ignored. Some modifiers may be given
       for both patterns and subject lines, whereas others are valid only  for
       one  or  the  other.  Each  modifier  has  a  long  name,  for  example
       "anchored", and some of them must be followed by an equals sign  and  a
       value,  for  example,  "offset=12". Values cannot contain comma charac-
       ters, but may contain spaces. Modifiers that do not take values may  be
       preceded by a minus sign to turn off a previous setting.

       A few of the more common modifiers can also be specified as single let-
       ters, for example "i" for "caseless". In documentation,  following  the
       Perl convention, these are written with a slash ("the /i modifier") for
       clarity. Abbreviated modifiers must all be concatenated  in  the  first
       item  of a modifier list. If the first item is not recognized as a long
       modifier name, it is interpreted as a sequence of these  abbreviations.
       For example:

         /abc/ig,newline=cr,jit=3

       This  is  a pattern line whose modifier list starts with two one-letter
       modifiers (/i and /g). The lower-case  abbreviated  modifiers  are  the
       same as used in Perl.


PATTERN SYNTAX


       A  pattern line must start with one of the following characters (common
       symbols, excluding pattern meta-characters):

         / ! " ' ` - = _ : ; , % & @ ~

       This is interpreted as the pattern's delimiter.  A  regular  expression
       may  be  continued  over several input lines, in which case the newline
       characters are included within it. It is possible to include the delim-
       iter within the pattern by escaping it with a backslash, for example

         /abc\/def/

       If  you do this, the escape and the delimiter form part of the pattern,
       but since the delimiters are all non-alphanumeric, this does not affect
       its  interpretation.  If  the terminating delimiter is immediately fol-
       lowed by a backslash, for example,

         /abc/\

       then a backslash is added to the end of the pattern. This  is  done  to
       provide  a  way of testing the error condition that arises if a pattern
       finishes with a backslash, because

         /abc\/

       is interpreted as the first line of a pattern that starts with  "abc/",
       causing  pcre2test to read the next line as a continuation of the regu-
       lar expression.

       A pattern can be followed by a modifier list (details below).


SUBJECT LINE SYNTAX


       Before   each   subject   line   is   passed   to   pcre2_match()    or
       pcre2_dfa_match(), leading and trailing white space is removed, and the
       line is scanned for backslash escapes, unless the subject_literal modi-
       fier was set for the pattern. The following provide a means of encoding
       non-printing characters in a visible way:

         \a         alarm (BEL, \x07)
         \b         backspace (\x08)
         \e         escape (\x27)
         \f         form feed (\x0c)
         \n         newline (\x0a)
         \r         carriage return (\x0d)
         \t         tab (\x09)
         \v         vertical tab (\x0b)
         \nnn       octal character (up to 3 octal digits); always
                      a byte unless > 255 in UTF-8 or 16-bit or 32-bit mode
         \o{dd...}  octal character (any number of octal digits}
         \xhh       hexadecimal byte (up to 2 hex digits)
         \x{hh...}  hexadecimal character (any number of hex digits)

       The use of \x{hh...} is not dependent on the use of the utf modifier on
       the  pattern. It is recognized always. There may be any number of hexa-
       decimal digits inside the braces; invalid  values  provoke  error  mes-
       sages.

       Note  that  \xhh  specifies one byte rather than one character in UTF-8
       mode; this makes it possible to construct invalid UTF-8  sequences  for
       testing  purposes.  On the other hand, \x{hh} is interpreted as a UTF-8
       character in UTF-8 mode, generating more than one byte if the value  is
       greater  than  127.   When testing the 8-bit library not in UTF-8 mode,
       \x{hh} generates one byte for values less than 256, and causes an error
       for greater values.

       In UTF-16 mode, all 4-digit \x{hhhh} values are accepted. This makes it
       possible to construct invalid UTF-16 sequences for testing purposes.

       In UTF-32 mode, all 4- to 8-digit \x{...}  values  are  accepted.  This
       makes  it  possible  to  construct invalid UTF-32 sequences for testing
       purposes.

       There is a special backslash sequence that specifies replication of one
       or more characters:

         \[<characters>]{<count>}

       This  makes  it possible to test long strings without having to provide
       them as part of the file. For example:

         \[abc]{4}

       is converted to "abcabcabcabc". This feature does not support  nesting.
       To include a closing square bracket in the characters, code it as \x5D.

       A backslash followed by an equals sign marks the  end  of  the  subject
       string and the start of a modifier list. For example:

         abc\=notbol,notempty

       If  the  subject  string is empty and \= is followed by whitespace, the
       line is treated as a comment line, and is not used  for  matching.  For
       example:

         \= This is a comment.
         abc\= This is an invalid modifier list.

       A  backslash  followed  by  any  other  non-alphanumeric character just
       escapes that character. A backslash followed by anything else causes an
       error.  However,  if the very last character in the line is a backslash
       (and there is no modifier list), it is ignored. This  gives  a  way  of
       passing  an  empty line as data, since a real empty line terminates the
       data input.

       If the subject_literal modifier is set for a pattern, all subject lines
       that follow are treated as literals, with no special treatment of back-
       slashes.  No replication is possible, and any subject modifiers must be
       set as defaults by a #subject command.


PATTERN MODIFIERS


       There  are  several types of modifier that can appear in pattern lines.
       Except where noted below, they may also be used in #pattern commands. A
       pattern's  modifier  list can add to or override default modifiers that
       were set by a previous #pattern command.

   Setting compilation options

       The following modifiers set options for pcre2_compile(). Most  of  them
       set  bits  in  the  options  argument of that function, but those whose
       names start with PCRE2_EXTRA are additional options that are set in the
       compile  context.  For  the  main options, there are some single-letter
       abbreviations that are the same as Perl options. There is special  han-
       dling  for  /x:  if  a second x is present, PCRE2_EXTENDED is converted
       into  PCRE2_EXTENDED_MORE  as  in  Perl.  A   third   appearance   adds
       PCRE2_EXTENDED  as  well,  though  this  makes no difference to the way
       pcre2_compile() behaves. See pcre2api for a description of the  effects
       of these options.

             allow_empty_class         set PCRE2_ALLOW_EMPTY_CLASS
             allow_surrogate_escapes   set PCRE2_EXTRA_ALLOW_SURROGATE_ESCAPES
             alt_bsux                  set PCRE2_ALT_BSUX
             alt_circumflex            set PCRE2_ALT_CIRCUMFLEX
             alt_verbnames             set PCRE2_ALT_VERBNAMES
             anchored                  set PCRE2_ANCHORED
             auto_callout              set PCRE2_AUTO_CALLOUT
             bad_escape_is_literal     set PCRE2_EXTRA_BAD_ESCAPE_IS_LITERAL
         /i  caseless                  set PCRE2_CASELESS
             dollar_endonly            set PCRE2_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
         /s  dotall                    set PCRE2_DOTALL
             dupnames                  set PCRE2_DUPNAMES
             endanchored               set PCRE2_ENDANCHORED
             escaped_cr_is_lf          set PCRE2_EXTRA_ESCAPED_CR_IS_LF
         /x  extended                  set PCRE2_EXTENDED
         /xx extended_more             set PCRE2_EXTENDED_MORE
             extra_alt_bsux            set PCRE2_EXTRA_ALT_BSUX
             firstline                 set PCRE2_FIRSTLINE
             literal                   set PCRE2_LITERAL
             match_line                set PCRE2_EXTRA_MATCH_LINE
             match_invalid_utf         set PCRE2_MATCH_INVALID_UTF
             match_unset_backref       set PCRE2_MATCH_UNSET_BACKREF
             match_word                set PCRE2_EXTRA_MATCH_WORD
         /m  multiline                 set PCRE2_MULTILINE
             never_backslash_c         set PCRE2_NEVER_BACKSLASH_C
             never_ucp                 set PCRE2_NEVER_UCP
             never_utf                 set PCRE2_NEVER_UTF
         /n  no_auto_capture           set PCRE2_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE
             no_auto_possess           set PCRE2_NO_AUTO_POSSESS
             no_dotstar_anchor         set PCRE2_NO_DOTSTAR_ANCHOR
             no_start_optimize         set PCRE2_NO_START_OPTIMIZE
             no_utf_check              set PCRE2_NO_UTF_CHECK
             ucp                       set PCRE2_UCP
             ungreedy                  set PCRE2_UNGREEDY
             use_offset_limit          set PCRE2_USE_OFFSET_LIMIT
             utf                       set PCRE2_UTF

       As well as turning on the PCRE2_UTF option, the utf modifier causes all
       non-printing  characters  in  output  strings  to  be printed using the
       \x{hh...} notation. Otherwise, those less than 0x100 are output in  hex
       without  the  curly brackets. Setting utf in 16-bit or 32-bit mode also
       causes pattern and subject  strings  to  be  translated  to  UTF-16  or
       UTF-32, respectively, before being passed to library functions.

   Setting compilation controls

       The  following  modifiers  affect  the  compilation  process or request
       information about the pattern. There  are  single-letter  abbreviations
       for some that are heavily used in the test files.

             bsr=[anycrlf|unicode]     specify \R handling
         /B  bincode                   show binary code without lengths
             callout_info              show callout information
             convert=<options>         request foreign pattern conversion
             convert_glob_escape=c     set glob escape character
             convert_glob_separator=c  set glob separator character
             convert_length            set convert buffer length
             debug                     same as info,fullbincode
             framesize                 show matching frame size
             fullbincode               show binary code with lengths
         /I  info                      show info about compiled pattern
             hex                       unquoted characters are hexadecimal
             jit[=<number>]            use JIT
             jitfast                   use JIT fast path
             jitverify                 verify JIT use
             locale=<name>             use this locale
             max_pattern_length=<n>    set the maximum pattern length
             memory                    show memory used
             newline=<type>            set newline type
             null_context              compile with a NULL context
             parens_nest_limit=<n>     set maximum parentheses depth
             posix                     use the POSIX API
             posix_nosub               use the POSIX API with REG_NOSUB
             push                      push compiled pattern onto the stack
             pushcopy                  push a copy onto the stack
             stackguard=<number>       test the stackguard feature
             subject_literal           treat all subject lines as literal
             tables=[0|1|2|3]          select internal tables
             use_length                do not zero-terminate the pattern
             utf8_input                treat input as UTF-8

       The effects of these modifiers are described in the following sections.

   Newline and \R handling

       The bsr modifier specifies what \R in a pattern should match. If it  is
       set  to  "anycrlf",  \R  matches  CR, LF, or CRLF only. If it is set to
       "unicode", \R matches any Unicode newline sequence. The default can  be
       specified when PCRE2 is built; if it is not, the default is set to Uni-
       code.

       The newline modifier specifies which characters are to  be  interpreted
       as newlines, both in the pattern and in subject lines. The type must be
       one of CR, LF, CRLF, ANYCRLF, ANY, or NUL (in upper or lower case).

   Information about a pattern

       The debug modifier is a shorthand for info,fullbincode, requesting  all
       available information.

       The bincode modifier causes a representation of the compiled code to be
       output after compilation. This information does not contain length  and
       offset values, which ensures that the same output is generated for dif-
       ferent internal link sizes and different code  unit  widths.  By  using
       bincode,  the  same  regression tests can be used in different environ-
       ments.

       The fullbincode modifier, by contrast, does include length  and  offset
       values.  This is used in a few special tests that run only for specific
       code unit widths and link sizes, and is also useful for one-off  tests.

       The  info  modifier  requests  information  about  the compiled pattern
       (whether it is anchored, has a fixed first character, and so  on).  The
       information  is  obtained  from the pcre2_pattern_info() function. Here
       are some typical examples:

           re> /(?i)(^a|^b)/m,info
         Capture group count = 1
         Compile options: multiline
         Overall options: caseless multiline
         First code unit at start or follows newline
         Subject length lower bound = 1

           re> /(?i)abc/info
         Capture group count = 0
         Compile options: <none>
         Overall options: caseless
         First code unit = 'a' (caseless)
         Last code unit = 'c' (caseless)
         Subject length lower bound = 3

       "Compile options" are those specified by modifiers;  "overall  options"
       have  added options that are taken or deduced from the pattern. If both
       sets of options are the same, just a single "options" line  is  output;
       if  there  are  no  options,  the line is omitted. "First code unit" is
       where any match must start; if there is more than one they  are  listed
       as  "starting  code  units".  "Last code unit" is the last literal code
       unit that must be present in any match. This  is  not  necessarily  the
       last  character.  These lines are omitted if no starting or ending code
       units  are  recorded.  The  subject  length  line   is   omitted   when
       no_start_optimize  is  set because the minimum length is not calculated
       when it can never be used.

       The framesize modifier shows the size, in bytes, of the storage  frames
       used  by  pcre2_match()  for handling backtracking. The size depends on
       the number of capturing parentheses in the pattern.

       The callout_info modifier requests information about all  the  callouts
       in the pattern. A list of them is output at the end of any other infor-
       mation that is requested. For each callout, either its number or string
       is given, followed by the item that follows it in the pattern.

   Passing a NULL context

       Normally,  pcre2test  passes a context block to pcre2_compile(). If the
       null_context modifier is set, however, NULL  is  passed.  This  is  for
       testing  that  pcre2_compile()  behaves correctly in this case (it uses
       default values).

   Specifying pattern characters in hexadecimal

       The hex modifier specifies that the characters of the  pattern,  except
       for  substrings  enclosed  in single or double quotes, are to be inter-
       preted as pairs of hexadecimal digits. This feature is  provided  as  a
       way of creating patterns that contain binary zeros and other non-print-
       ing characters. White space is permitted between pairs of  digits.  For
       example, this pattern contains three characters:

         /ab 32 59/hex

       Parts  of  such  a  pattern are taken literally if quoted. This pattern
       contains nine characters, only two of which are specified in  hexadeci-
       mal:

         /ab "literal" 32/hex

       Either  single or double quotes may be used. There is no way of includ-
       ing the delimiter within a substring. The hex and expand modifiers  are
       mutually exclusive.

   Specifying the pattern's length

       By default, patterns are passed to the compiling functions as zero-ter-
       minated strings but can be passed by length instead of being  zero-ter-
       minated.  The use_length modifier causes this to happen. Using a length
       happens automatically (whether or not use_length is set)  when  hex  is
       set,  because  patterns  specified  in  hexadecimal  may contain binary
       zeros.

       If hex or use_length is used with the POSIX wrapper API (see "Using the
       POSIX  wrapper  API" below), the REG_PEND extension is used to pass the
       pattern's length.

   Specifying wide characters in 16-bit and 32-bit modes

       In 16-bit and 32-bit modes, all input is automatically treated as UTF-8
       and  translated  to  UTF-16 or UTF-32 when the utf modifier is set. For
       testing the 16-bit and 32-bit libraries in non-UTF mode, the utf8_input
       modifier  can  be  used. It is mutually exclusive with utf. Input lines
       are interpreted as UTF-8 as a means of specifying wide characters. More
       details are given in "Input encoding" above.

   Generating long repetitive patterns

       Some  tests use long patterns that are very repetitive. Instead of cre-
       ating a very long input line for such a pattern, you can use a  special
       repetition  feature,  similar  to  the  one described for subject lines
       above. If the expand modifier is present on a  pattern,  parts  of  the
       pattern that have the form

         \[<characters>]{<count>}

       are expanded before the pattern is passed to pcre2_compile(). For exam-
       ple, \[AB]{6000} is expanded to "ABAB..." 6000 times. This construction
       cannot  be  nested. An initial "\[" sequence is recognized only if "]{"
       followed by decimal digits and "}" is found later in  the  pattern.  If
       not, the characters remain in the pattern unaltered. The expand and hex
       modifiers are mutually exclusive.

       If part of an expanded pattern looks like an expansion, but  is  really
       part of the actual pattern, unwanted expansion can be avoided by giving
       two values in the quantifier. For example, \[AB]{6000,6000} is not rec-
       ognized as an expansion item.

       If  the  info modifier is set on an expanded pattern, the result of the
       expansion is included in the information that is output.

   JIT compilation

       Just-in-time (JIT) compiling is a  heavyweight  optimization  that  can
       greatly  speed  up pattern matching. See the pcre2jit documentation for
       details. JIT compiling happens, optionally, after a  pattern  has  been
       successfully  compiled into an internal form. The JIT compiler converts
       this to optimized machine code. It needs to know whether the match-time
       options PCRE2_PARTIAL_HARD and PCRE2_PARTIAL_SOFT are going to be used,
       because different code is generated for the different  cases.  See  the
       partial  modifier in "Subject Modifiers" below for details of how these
       options are specified for each match attempt.

       JIT compilation is requested by the jit  pattern  modifier,  which  may
       optionally be followed by an equals sign and a number in the range 0 to
       7.  The three bits that make up the number specify which of  the  three
       JIT operating modes are to be compiled:

         1  compile JIT code for non-partial matching
         2  compile JIT code for soft partial matching
         4  compile JIT code for hard partial matching

       The possible values for the jit modifier are therefore:

         0  disable JIT
         1  normal matching only
         2  soft partial matching only
         3  normal and soft partial matching
         4  hard partial matching only
         6  soft and hard partial matching only
         7  all three modes

       If  no  number  is  given,  7 is assumed. The phrase "partial matching"
       means a call to pcre2_match() with either the PCRE2_PARTIAL_SOFT or the
       PCRE2_PARTIAL_HARD  option set. Note that such a call may return a com-
       plete match; the options enable the possibility of a partial match, but
       do  not  require it. Note also that if you request JIT compilation only
       for partial matching (for example, jit=2) but do not  set  the  partial
       modifier  on  a  subject line, that match will not use JIT code because
       none was compiled for non-partial matching.

       If JIT compilation is successful, the compiled JIT code will  automati-
       cally  be  used  when  an appropriate type of match is run, except when
       incompatible run-time options are specified. For more details, see  the
       pcre2jit  documentation. See also the jitstack modifier below for a way
       of setting the size of the JIT stack.

       If the jitfast modifier is specified, matching is done  using  the  JIT
       "fast  path" interface, pcre2_jit_match(), which skips some of the san-
       ity checks that are done by pcre2_match(), and of course does not  work
       when  JIT  is not supported. If jitfast is specified without jit, jit=7
       is assumed.

       If the jitverify modifier is specified, information about the  compiled
       pattern  shows  whether  JIT  compilation was or was not successful. If
       jitverify is specified without jit, jit=7 is assumed. If  JIT  compila-
       tion  is successful when jitverify is set, the text "(JIT)" is added to
       the first output line after a match or non match when JIT-compiled code
       was actually used in the match.

   Setting a locale

       The locale modifier must specify the name of a locale, for example:

         /pattern/locale=fr_FR

       The given locale is set, pcre2_maketables() is called to build a set of
       character tables for the locale, and this is then passed to  pcre2_com-
       pile()  when compiling the regular expression. The same tables are used
       when matching the following subject lines. The locale modifier  applies
       only to the pattern on which it appears, but can be given in a #pattern
       command if a default is needed. Setting a locale and alternate  charac-
       ter tables are mutually exclusive.

   Showing pattern memory

       The memory modifier causes the size in bytes of the memory used to hold
       the compiled pattern to be output. This does not include  the  size  of
       the  pcre2_code block; it is just the actual compiled data. If the pat-
       tern is subsequently passed to the JIT compiler, the size  of  the  JIT
       compiled code is also output. Here is an example:

           re> /a(b)c/jit,memory
         Memory allocation (code space): 21
         Memory allocation (JIT code): 1910


   Limiting nested parentheses

       The  parens_nest_limit  modifier  sets  a  limit on the depth of nested
       parentheses in a pattern. Breaching  the  limit  causes  a  compilation
       error.   The  default  for  the library is set when PCRE2 is built, but
       pcre2test sets its own default of 220, which is  required  for  running
       the standard test suite.

   Limiting the pattern length

       The  max_pattern_length  modifier  sets  a limit, in code units, to the
       length of pattern that pcre2_compile() will accept. Breaching the limit
       causes  a  compilation  error.  The  default  is  the  largest number a
       PCRE2_SIZE variable can hold (essentially unlimited).

   Using the POSIX wrapper API

       The posix and posix_nosub modifiers cause pcre2test to call  PCRE2  via
       the  POSIX  wrapper API rather than its native API. When posix_nosub is
       used, the POSIX option REG_NOSUB is  passed  to  regcomp().  The  POSIX
       wrapper  supports  only  the 8-bit library. Note that it does not imply
       POSIX matching semantics; for more detail see the pcre2posix documenta-
       tion.  The  following  pattern  modifiers set options for the regcomp()
       function:

         caseless           REG_ICASE
         multiline          REG_NEWLINE
         dotall             REG_DOTALL     )
         ungreedy           REG_UNGREEDY   ) These options are not part of
         ucp                REG_UCP        )   the POSIX standard
         utf                REG_UTF8       )

       The regerror_buffsize modifier specifies a size for  the  error  buffer
       that  is  passed to regerror() in the event of a compilation error. For
       example:

         /abc/posix,regerror_buffsize=20

       This provides a means of testing the behaviour of regerror()  when  the
       buffer  is  too  small  for the error message. If this modifier has not
       been set, a large buffer is used.

       The aftertext and allaftertext  subject  modifiers  work  as  described
       below.  All other modifiers are either ignored, with a warning message,
       or cause an error.

       The pattern is passed to  regcomp()  as  a  zero-terminated  string  by
       default,  but  if the use_length or hex modifiers are set, the REG_PEND
       extension is used to pass it by length.

   Testing the stack guard feature

       The stackguard modifier is used  to  test  the  use  of  pcre2_set_com-
       pile_recursion_guard(),  a  function  that  is provided to enable stack
       availability to be checked during compilation (see the  pcre2api  docu-
       mentation  for  details).  If  the  number specified by the modifier is
       greater than zero, pcre2_set_compile_recursion_guard() is called to set
       up  callback  from pcre2_compile() to a local function. The argument it
       receives is the current nesting parenthesis depth; if this  is  greater
       than the value given by the modifier, non-zero is returned, causing the
       compilation to be aborted.

   Using alternative character tables

       The value specified for the tables modifier must be one of  the  digits
       0, 1, 2, or 3. It causes a specific set of built-in character tables to
       be passed to pcre2_compile(). This is used in the PCRE2 tests to  check
       behaviour  with  different  character  tables.  The digit specifies the
       tables as follows:

         0   do not pass any special character tables
         1   the default ASCII tables, as distributed in
               pcre2_chartables.c.dist
         2   a set of tables defining ISO 8859 characters
         3   a set of tables loaded by the #loadtables command

       In tables 2, some characters whose codes are greater than 128 are iden-
       tified as letters, digits, spaces, etc. Tables 3 can be used only after
       a #loadtables command has loaded  them  from  a  binary  file.  Setting
       alternate character tables and a locale are mutually exclusive.

   Setting certain match controls

       The following modifiers are really subject modifiers, and are described
       under "Subject Modifiers" below. However, they may  be  included  in  a
       pattern's  modifier  list, in which case they are applied to every sub-
       ject line that is processed with that pattern. These modifiers  do  not
       affect the compilation process.

             aftertext                   show text after match
             allaftertext                show text after captures
             allcaptures                 show all captures
             allvector                   show the entire ovector
             allusedtext                 show all consulted text
             altglobal                   alternative global matching
         /g  global                      global matching
             jitstack=<n>                set size of JIT stack
             mark                        show mark values
             replace=<string>            specify a replacement string
             startchar                   show starting character when relevant
             substitute_callout          use substitution callouts
             substitute_extended         use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_EXTENDED
             substitute_literal          use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_LITERAL
             substitute_matched          use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_MATCHED
             substitute_overflow_length  use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_OVERFLOW_LENGTH
             substitute_replacement_only use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_REPLACEMENT_ONLY
             substitute_skip=<n>         skip substitution <n>
             substitute_stop=<n>         skip substitution <n> and following
             substitute_unknown_unset    use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNKNOWN_UNSET
             substitute_unset_empty      use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNSET_EMPTY

       These  modifiers may not appear in a #pattern command. If you want them
       as defaults, set them in a #subject command.

   Specifying literal subject lines

       If the subject_literal modifier is present on a pattern, all  the  sub-
       ject lines that it matches are taken as literal strings, with no inter-
       pretation of backslashes. It is not possible to set  subject  modifiers
       on  such  lines, but any that are set as defaults by a #subject command
       are recognized.

   Saving a compiled pattern

       When a pattern with the push modifier is successfully compiled,  it  is
       pushed  onto  a  stack  of compiled patterns, and pcre2test expects the
       next line to contain a new pattern (or a command) instead of a  subject
       line. This facility is used when saving compiled patterns to a file, as
       described in the section entitled "Saving and restoring  compiled  pat-
       terns"  below.  If pushcopy is used instead of push, a copy of the com-
       piled pattern is stacked, leaving the original  as  current,  ready  to
       match  the  following  input  lines. This provides a way of testing the
       pcre2_code_copy() function.   The  push  and  pushcopy   modifiers  are
       incompatible  with  compilation  modifiers  such  as global that act at
       match time. Any that are specified are ignored (for the stacked  copy),
       with a warning message, except for replace, which causes an error. Note
       that jitverify, which is allowed, does not carry through to any  subse-
       quent matching that uses a stacked pattern.

   Testing foreign pattern conversion

       The  experimental  foreign pattern conversion functions in PCRE2 can be
       tested by setting the convert modifier. Its argument is  a  colon-sepa-
       rated  list  of  options,  which  set  the  equivalent  option  for the
       pcre2_pattern_convert() function:

         glob                    PCRE2_CONVERT_GLOB
         glob_no_starstar        PCRE2_CONVERT_GLOB_NO_STARSTAR
         glob_no_wild_separator  PCRE2_CONVERT_GLOB_NO_WILD_SEPARATOR
         posix_basic             PCRE2_CONVERT_POSIX_BASIC
         posix_extended          PCRE2_CONVERT_POSIX_EXTENDED
         unset                   Unset all options

       The "unset" value is useful for turning off a default that has been set
       by a #pattern command. When one of these options is set, the input pat-
       tern is passed to pcre2_pattern_convert(). If the  conversion  is  suc-
       cessful,  the  result  is  reflected  in  the output and then passed to
       pcre2_compile(). The normal utf and no_utf_check options, if set, cause
       the  PCRE2_CONVERT_UTF  and  PCRE2_CONVERT_NO_UTF_CHECK  options  to be
       passed to pcre2_pattern_convert().

       By default, the conversion function is allowed to allocate a buffer for
       its  output.  However, if the convert_length modifier is set to a value
       greater than zero, pcre2test passes a buffer of the given length.  This
       makes it possible to test the length check.

       The  convert_glob_escape  and  convert_glob_separator  modifiers can be
       used to specify the escape and separator characters for  glob  process-
       ing, overriding the defaults, which are operating-system dependent.


SUBJECT MODIFIERS


       The modifiers that can appear in subject lines and the #subject command
       are of two types.

   Setting match options

       The   following   modifiers   set   options   for   pcre2_match()    or
       pcre2_dfa_match(). See pcreapi for a description of their effects.

             anchored                  set PCRE2_ANCHORED
             endanchored               set PCRE2_ENDANCHORED
             dfa_restart               set PCRE2_DFA_RESTART
             dfa_shortest              set PCRE2_DFA_SHORTEST
             no_jit                    set PCRE2_NO_JIT
             no_utf_check              set PCRE2_NO_UTF_CHECK
             notbol                    set PCRE2_NOTBOL
             notempty                  set PCRE2_NOTEMPTY
             notempty_atstart          set PCRE2_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART
             noteol                    set PCRE2_NOTEOL
             partial_hard (or ph)      set PCRE2_PARTIAL_HARD
             partial_soft (or ps)      set PCRE2_PARTIAL_SOFT

       The  partial matching modifiers are provided with abbreviations because
       they appear frequently in tests.

       If the posix or posix_nosub modifier was present on the pattern,  caus-
       ing the POSIX wrapper API to be used, the only option-setting modifiers
       that have any effect are notbol, notempty, and noteol, causing REG_NOT-
       BOL,  REG_NOTEMPTY,  and  REG_NOTEOL,  respectively,  to  be  passed to
       regexec(). The other modifiers are ignored, with a warning message.

       There is one additional modifier that can be used with the POSIX  wrap-
       per. It is ignored (with a warning) if used for non-POSIX matching.

             posix_startend=<n>[:<m>]

       This  causes  the  subject  string  to be passed to regexec() using the
       REG_STARTEND option, which uses offsets to specify which  part  of  the
       string  is  searched.  If  only  one number is given, the end offset is
       passed as the end of the subject string. For more detail  of  REG_STAR-
       TEND,  see the pcre2posix documentation. If the subject string contains
       binary zeros (coded as escapes such as \x{00}  because  pcre2test  does
       not support actual binary zeros in its input), you must use posix_star-
       tend to specify its length.

   Setting match controls

       The following modifiers affect the matching process  or  request  addi-
       tional  information.  Some  of  them may also be specified on a pattern
       line (see above), in which case they apply to every subject  line  that
       is matched against that pattern.

             aftertext                  show text after match
             allaftertext               show text after captures
             allcaptures                show all captures
             allvector                  show the entire ovector
             allusedtext                show all consulted text (non-JIT only)
             altglobal                  alternative global matching
             callout_capture            show captures at callout time
             callout_data=<n>           set a value to pass via callouts
             callout_error=<n>[:<m>]    control callout error
             callout_extra              show extra callout information
             callout_fail=<n>[:<m>]     control callout failure
             callout_no_where           do not show position of a callout
             callout_none               do not supply a callout function
             copy=<number or name>      copy captured substring
             depth_limit=<n>            set a depth limit
             dfa                        use pcre2_dfa_match()
             find_limits                find match and depth limits
             get=<number or name>       extract captured substring
             getall                     extract all captured substrings
         /g  global                     global matching
             heap_limit=<n>             set a limit on heap memory (Kbytes)
             jitstack=<n>               set size of JIT stack
             mark                       show mark values
             match_limit=<n>            set a match limit
             memory                     show heap memory usage
             null_context               match with a NULL context
             offset=<n>                 set starting offset
             offset_limit=<n>           set offset limit
             ovector=<n>                set size of output vector
             recursion_limit=<n>        obsolete synonym for depth_limit
             replace=<string>           specify a replacement string
             startchar                  show startchar when relevant
             startoffset=<n>            same as offset=<n>
             substitute_callout         use substitution callouts
             substitute_extedded        use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_EXTENDED
             substitute_literal         use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_LITERAL
             substitute_matched         use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_MATCHED
             substitute_overflow_length use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_OVERFLOW_LENGTH
             substitute_replacement_only use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_REPLACEMENT_ONLY
             substitute_skip=<n>        skip substitution number n
             substitute_stop=<n>        skip substitution number n and greater
             substitute_unknown_unset   use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNKNOWN_UNSET
             substitute_unset_empty     use PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNSET_EMPTY
             zero_terminate             pass the subject as zero-terminated

       The effects of these modifiers are described in the following sections.
       When  matching  via the POSIX wrapper API, the aftertext, allaftertext,
       and ovector subject modifiers work as described below. All other  modi-
       fiers are either ignored, with a warning message, or cause an error.

   Showing more text

       The  aftertext modifier requests that as well as outputting the part of
       the subject string that matched the entire pattern, pcre2test should in
       addition output the remainder of the subject string. This is useful for
       tests where the subject contains multiple copies of the same substring.
       The  allaftertext  modifier  requests the same action for captured sub-
       strings as well as the main matched substring. In each case the remain-
       der is output on the following line with a plus character following the
       capture number.

       The allusedtext modifier requests that all the text that was  consulted
       during  a  successful pattern match by the interpreter should be shown,
       for both full and partial matches. This feature is  not  supported  for
       JIT  matching,  and if requested with JIT it is ignored (with a warning
       message). Setting this modifier affects the output if there is a  look-
       behind  at  the start of a match, or, for a complete match, a lookahead
       at the end, or if \K is used in the pattern. Characters that precede or
       follow  the start and end of the actual match are indicated in the out-
       put by '<' or '>' characters underneath them.  Here is an example:

           re> /(?<=pqr)abc(?=xyz)/
         data> 123pqrabcxyz456\=allusedtext
          0: pqrabcxyz
             <<<   >>>
         data> 123pqrabcxy\=ph,allusedtext
         Partial match: pqrabcxy
                        <<<

       The first, complete match shows that the matched string is "abc",  with
       the  preceding  and  following strings "pqr" and "xyz" having been con-
       sulted during the match (when processing the assertions).  The  partial
       match can indicate only the preceding string.

       The  startchar  modifier  requests  that the starting character for the
       match be indicated, if it is different to  the  start  of  the  matched
       string. The only time when this occurs is when \K has been processed as
       part of the match. In this situation, the output for the matched string
       is  displayed  from  the  starting  character instead of from the match
       point, with circumflex characters under  the  earlier  characters.  For
       example:

           re> /abc\Kxyz/
         data> abcxyz\=startchar
          0: abcxyz
             ^^^

       Unlike  allusedtext, the startchar modifier can be used with JIT.  How-
       ever, these two modifiers are mutually exclusive.

   Showing the value of all capture groups

       The allcaptures modifier requests that the values of all potential cap-
       tured parentheses be output after a match. By default, only those up to
       the highest one actually used in the match are output (corresponding to
       the  return  code from pcre2_match()). Groups that did not take part in
       the match are output as "<unset>". This modifier is  not  relevant  for
       DFA  matching (which does no capturing) and does not apply when replace
       is specified; it is ignored, with a warning message, if present.

   Showing the entire ovector, for all outcomes

       The allvector modifier requests that the entire ovector be shown, what-
       ever the outcome of the match. Compare allcaptures, which shows only up
       to the maximum number of capture groups for the pattern, and then  only
       for  a  successful  complete  non-DFA  match. This modifier, which acts
       after any match result, and also for DFA matching, provides a means  of
       checking  that there are no unexpected modifications to ovector fields.
       Before each match attempt, the ovector is filled with a special  value,
       and   if   this  is  found  in  both  elements  of  a  capturing  pair,
       "<unchanged>" is output. After a successful match, this applies to  all
       groups  after the maximum capture group for the pattern. In other cases
       it applies to the entire ovector. After a partial match, the first  two
       elements  are  the only ones that should be set. After a DFA match, the
       amount of ovector that is used depends on the number  of  matches  that
       were found.

   Testing pattern callouts

       A  callout function is supplied when pcre2test calls the library match-
       ing functions, unless callout_none is specified. Its behaviour  can  be
       controlled  by  various  modifiers  listed above whose names begin with
       callout_. Details are given in the section entitled  "Callouts"  below.
       Testing  callouts  from  pcre2_substitute()  is  decribed separately in
       "Testing the substitution function" below.

   Finding all matches in a string

       Searching for all possible matches within a subject can be requested by
       the  global  or altglobal modifier. After finding a match, the matching
       function is called again to search the remainder of  the  subject.  The
       difference  between  global  and  altglobal is that the former uses the
       start_offset argument to pcre2_match() or  pcre2_dfa_match()  to  start
       searching  at  a new point within the entire string (which is what Perl
       does), whereas the latter passes over a shortened subject. This makes a
       difference to the matching process if the pattern begins with a lookbe-
       hind assertion (including \b or \B).

       If an empty string  is  matched,  the  next  match  is  done  with  the
       PCRE2_NOTEMPTY_ATSTART and PCRE2_ANCHORED flags set, in order to search
       for another, non-empty, match at the same point in the subject. If this
       match  fails,  the  start  offset  is advanced, and the normal match is
       retried. This imitates the way Perl handles such cases when  using  the
       /g  modifier  or  the  split()  function. Normally, the start offset is
       advanced by one character, but if  the  newline  convention  recognizes
       CRLF  as  a newline, and the current character is CR followed by LF, an
       advance of two characters occurs.

   Testing substring extraction functions

       The copy  and  get  modifiers  can  be  used  to  test  the  pcre2_sub-
       string_copy_xxx() and pcre2_substring_get_xxx() functions.  They can be
       given more than once, and each can specify a capture group name or num-
       ber, for example:

          abcd\=copy=1,copy=3,get=G1

       If  the  #subject command is used to set default copy and/or get lists,
       these can be unset by specifying a negative number to cancel  all  num-
       bered groups and an empty name to cancel all named groups.

       The  getall  modifier  tests pcre2_substring_list_get(), which extracts
       all captured substrings.

       If the subject line is successfully matched, the  substrings  extracted
       by  the  convenience  functions  are  output  with C, G, or L after the
       string number instead of a colon. This is in  addition  to  the  normal
       full  list.  The string length (that is, the return from the extraction
       function) is given in parentheses after each substring, followed by the
       name when the extraction was by name.

   Testing the substitution function

       If  the  replace  modifier  is  set, the pcre2_substitute() function is
       called instead of one of the matching functions (or after one  call  of
       pcre2_match()  in  the  case  of  PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_MATCHED).  Note that
       replacement strings cannot contain commas, because  a  comma  signifies
       the  end  of  a  modifier. This is not thought to be an issue in a test
       program.

       Unlike subject strings, pcre2test does not process replacement  strings
       for  escape  sequences. In UTF mode, a replacement string is checked to
       see if it is a valid UTF-8 string. If so, it is correctly converted  to
       a  UTF  string of the appropriate code unit width. If it is not a valid
       UTF-8 string, the individual code units are copied directly. This  pro-
       vides  a means of passing an invalid UTF-8 string for testing purposes.

       The following modifiers set options (in additional to the normal  match
       options) for pcre2_substitute():

         global                      PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_GLOBAL
         substitute_extended         PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_EXTENDED
         substitute_literal          PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_LITERAL
         substitute_matched          PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_MATCHED
         substitute_overflow_length  PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_OVERFLOW_LENGTH
         substitute_replacement_only PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_REPLACEMENT_ONLY
         substitute_unknown_unset    PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNKNOWN_UNSET
         substitute_unset_empty      PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_UNSET_EMPTY

       See the pcre2api documentation for details of these options.

       After  a  successful  substitution, the modified string is output, pre-
       ceded by the number of replacements. This may be zero if there were  no
       matches. Here is a simple example of a substitution test:

         /abc/replace=xxx
             =abc=abc=
          1: =xxx=abc=
             =abc=abc=\=global
          2: =xxx=xxx=

       Subject  and replacement strings should be kept relatively short (fewer
       than 256 characters) for substitution tests, as fixed-size buffers  are
       used.  To  make it easy to test for buffer overflow, if the replacement
       string starts with a number in square brackets, that number  is  passed
       to  pcre2_substitute()  as  the  size  of  the  output buffer, with the
       replacement string starting at the next character. Here is  an  example
       that tests the edge case:

         /abc/
             123abc123\=replace=[10]XYZ
          1: 123XYZ123
             123abc123\=replace=[9]XYZ
         Failed: error -47: no more memory

       The    default    action    of    pcre2_substitute()   is   to   return
       PCRE2_ERROR_NOMEMORY when the output buffer is too small.  However,  if
       the  PCRE2_SUBSTITUTE_OVERFLOW_LENGTH  option is set (by using the sub-
       stitute_overflow_length modifier), pcre2_substitute() continues  to  go
       through  the  motions  of  matching and substituting (but not doing any
       callouts), in order to compute the size of  buffer  that  is  required.
       When  this  happens,  pcre2test shows the required buffer length (which
       includes space for the trailing zero) as part of the error message. For
       example:

         /abc/substitute_overflow_length
             123abc123\=replace=[9]XYZ
         Failed: error -47: no more memory: 10 code units are needed

       A replacement string is ignored with POSIX and DFA matching. Specifying
       partial matching provokes an error return  ("bad  option  value")  from
       pcre2_substitute().

   Testing substitute callouts

       If the substitute_callout modifier is set, a substitution callout func-
       tion is set up. The null_context modifier must not be set, because  the
       address  of the callout function is passed in a match context. When the
       callout function is called (after each substitution),  details  of  the
       the input and output strings are output. For example:

         /abc/g,replace=<$0>,substitute_callout
             abcdefabcpqr
          1(1) Old 0 3 "abc" New 0 5 "<abc>"
          2(1) Old 6 9 "abc" New 8 13 "<abc>"
          2: <abc>def<abc>pqr

       The  first  number  on  each  callout line is the count of matches. The
       parenthesized number is the number of pairs that are set in the ovector
       (that  is, one more than the number of capturing groups that were set).
       Then are listed the offsets of the old substring, its contents, and the
       same for the replacement.

       By  default,  the  substitution  callout  function  returns zero, which
       accepts the replacement and causes matching to continue if /g was used.
       Two  further modifiers can be used to test other return values. If sub-
       stitute_skip is set to a value greater than zero the  callout  function
       returns  +1 for the match of that number, and similarly substitute_stop
       returns -1. These cause the replacement to be rejected, and  -1  causes
       no  further  matching to take place. If either of them are set, substi-
       tute_callout is assumed. For example:

         /abc/g,replace=<$0>,substitute_skip=1
             abcdefabcpqr
          1(1) Old 0 3 "abc" New 0 5 "<abc> SKIPPED"
          2(1) Old 6 9 "abc" New 6 11 "<abc>"
          2: abcdef<abc>pqr
             abcdefabcpqr\=substitute_stop=1
          1(1) Old 0 3 "abc" New 0 5 "<abc> STOPPED"
          1: abcdefabcpqr

       If both are set for the same number, stop takes precedence. Only a sin-
       gle skip or stop is supported, which is sufficient for testing that the
       feature works.

   Setting the JIT stack size

       The jitstack modifier provides a way of setting the maximum stack  size
       that  is  used  by the just-in-time optimization code. It is ignored if
       JIT optimization is not being used. The value is a number of  kibibytes
       (units  of  1024  bytes). Setting zero reverts to the default of 32KiB.
       Providing a stack that is larger than the default is necessary only for
       very  complicated  patterns.  If  jitstack is set non-zero on a subject
       line it overrides any value that was set on the pattern.

   Setting heap, match, and depth limits

       The heap_limit, match_limit, and depth_limit modifiers set  the  appro-
       priate  limits  in the match context. These values are ignored when the
       find_limits modifier is specified.

   Finding minimum limits

       If the find_limits modifier is present on  a  subject  line,  pcre2test
       calls  the  relevant matching function several times, setting different
       values   in   the    match    context    via    pcre2_set_heap_limit(),
       pcre2_set_match_limit(),  or pcre2_set_depth_limit() until it finds the
       minimum values for each parameter that allows  the  match  to  complete
       without  error. If JIT is being used, only the match limit is relevant.

       When using this modifier, the pattern should not contain any limit set-
       tings  such  as  (*LIMIT_MATCH=...)  within  it.  If  such a setting is
       present and is lower than the minimum matching value, the minimum value
       cannot  be  found because pcre2_set_match_limit() etc. are only able to
       reduce the value of an in-pattern limit; they cannot increase it.

       For non-DFA matching, the minimum depth_limit number is  a  measure  of
       how much nested backtracking happens (that is, how deeply the pattern's
       tree is searched). In the case of DFA  matching,  depth_limit  controls
       the  depth of recursive calls of the internal function that is used for
       handling pattern recursion, lookaround assertions, and atomic groups.

       For non-DFA matching, the match_limit number is a measure of the amount
       of backtracking that takes place, and learning the minimum value can be
       instructive. For most simple matches, the number is  quite  small,  but
       for  patterns with very large numbers of matching possibilities, it can
       become large very quickly with increasing length of subject string.  In
       the  case  of  DFA  matching,  match_limit controls the total number of
       calls, both recursive and non-recursive, to the internal matching func-
       tion, thus controlling the overall amount of computing resource that is
       used.

       For both  kinds  of  matching,  the  heap_limit  number,  which  is  in
       kibibytes  (units of 1024 bytes), limits the amount of heap memory used
       for matching. A value of zero disables the use of any heap memory; many
       simple  pattern  matches can be done without using the heap, so zero is
       not an unreasonable setting.

   Showing MARK names


       The mark modifier causes the names from backtracking control verbs that
       are  returned from calls to pcre2_match() to be displayed. If a mark is
       returned for a match, non-match, or partial match, pcre2test shows  it.
       For  a  match, it is on a line by itself, tagged with "MK:". Otherwise,
       it is added to the non-match message.

   Showing memory usage

       The memory modifier causes pcre2test to log the sizes of all heap  mem-
       ory   allocation  and  freeing  calls  that  occur  during  a  call  to
       pcre2_match() or pcre2_dfa_match().  These  occur  only  when  a  match
       requires  a bigger vector than the default for remembering backtracking
       points (pcre2_match()) or for internal  workspace  (pcre2_dfa_match()).
       In  many cases there will be no heap memory used and therefore no addi-
       tional output. No heap memory is allocated during matching with JIT, so
       in  that  case the memory modifier never has any effect. For this modi-
       fier to work, the null_context modifier must not be  set  on  both  the
       pattern and the subject, though it can be set on one or the other.

   Setting a starting offset

       The  offset  modifier  sets  an  offset  in the subject string at which
       matching starts. Its value is a number of code units, not characters.

   Setting an offset limit

       The offset_limit modifier sets a limit for  unanchored  matches.  If  a
       match cannot be found starting at or before this offset in the subject,
       a "no match" return is given. The data value is a number of code units,
       not  characters. When this modifier is used, the use_offset_limit modi-
       fier must have been set for the pattern; if not, an error is generated.

   Setting the size of the output vector

       The  ovector  modifier  applies  only  to  the subject line in which it
       appears, though of course it can also be used to set  a  default  in  a
       #subject  command. It specifies the number of pairs of offsets that are
       available for storing matching information. The default is 15.

       A value of zero is useful when testing the POSIX API because it  causes
       regexec() to be called with a NULL capture vector. When not testing the
       POSIX API, a value of  zero  is  used  to  cause  pcre2_match_data_cre-
       ate_from_pattern()  to  be  called, in order to create a match block of
       exactly the right size for the pattern. (It is not possible to create a
       match  block  with  a zero-length ovector; there is always at least one
       pair of offsets.)

   Passing the subject as zero-terminated

       By default, the subject string is passed to a native API matching func-
       tion with its correct length. In order to test the facility for passing
       a zero-terminated string, the zero_terminate modifier is  provided.  It
       causes  the length to be passed as PCRE2_ZERO_TERMINATED. When matching
       via the POSIX interface, this modifier is ignored, with a warning.

       When testing pcre2_substitute(), this modifier also has the  effect  of
       passing the replacement string as zero-terminated.

   Passing a NULL context

       Normally,   pcre2test   passes   a   context  block  to  pcre2_match(),
       pcre2_dfa_match(), pcre2_jit_match()  or  pcre2_substitute().   If  the
       null_context  modifier  is  set,  however,  NULL is passed. This is for
       testing that the matching and substitution functions  behave  correctly
       in  this  case  (they use default values). This modifier cannot be used
       with the find_limits or substitute_callout modifiers.


THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION


       By default,  pcre2test  uses  the  standard  PCRE2  matching  function,
       pcre2_match() to match each subject line. PCRE2 also supports an alter-
       native matching function, pcre2_dfa_match(), which operates in  a  dif-
       ferent  way, and has some restrictions. The differences between the two
       functions are described in the pcre2matching documentation.

       If the dfa modifier is set, the alternative matching function is  used.
       This  function  finds all possible matches at a given point in the sub-
       ject. If, however, the dfa_shortest modifier is set,  processing  stops
       after  the  first  match is found. This is always the shortest possible
       match.


DEFAULT OUTPUT FROM pcre2test


       This section describes the output when the  normal  matching  function,
       pcre2_match(), is being used.

       When  a  match  succeeds,  pcre2test  outputs the list of captured sub-
       strings, starting with number 0 for the string that matched  the  whole
       pattern.    Otherwise,  it  outputs  "No  match"  when  the  return  is
       PCRE2_ERROR_NOMATCH, or "Partial  match:"  followed  by  the  partially
       matching  substring  when the return is PCRE2_ERROR_PARTIAL. (Note that
       this is the entire substring that  was  inspected  during  the  partial
       match;  it  may  include  characters before the actual match start if a
       lookbehind assertion, \K, \b, or \B was involved.)

       For any other return, pcre2test outputs the PCRE2 negative error number
       and  a  short  descriptive  phrase. If the error is a failed UTF string
       check, the code unit offset of the start of the  failing  character  is
       also output. Here is an example of an interactive pcre2test run.

         $ pcre2test
         PCRE2 version 10.22 2016-07-29

           re> /^abc(\d+)/
         data> abc123
          0: abc123
          1: 123
         data> xyz
         No match

       Unset capturing substrings that are not followed by one that is set are
       not shown by pcre2test unless the allcaptures modifier is specified. In
       the following example, there are two capturing substrings, but when the
       first data line is matched, the second, unset substring is  not  shown.
       An  "internal" unset substring is shown as "<unset>", as for the second
       data line.

           re> /(a)|(b)/
         data> a
          0: a
          1: a
         data> b
          0: b
          1: <unset>
          2: b

       If the strings contain any non-printing characters, they are output  as
       \xhh  escapes  if  the  value is less than 256 and UTF mode is not set.
       Otherwise they are output as \x{hh...} escapes. See below for the defi-
       nition  of  non-printing  characters. If the aftertext modifier is set,
       the output for substring 0 is followed by the the rest of  the  subject
       string, identified by "0+" like this:

           re> /cat/aftertext
         data> cataract
          0: cat
          0+ aract

       If  global  matching  is  requested, the results of successive matching
       attempts are output in sequence, like this:

           re> /\Bi(\w\w)/g
         data> Mississippi
          0: iss
          1: ss
          0: iss
          1: ss
          0: ipp
          1: pp

       "No match" is output only if the first match attempt fails. Here is  an
       example  of  a  failure  message (the offset 4 that is specified by the
       offset modifier is past the end of the subject string):

           re> /xyz/
         data> xyz\=offset=4
         Error -24 (bad offset value)

       Note that whereas patterns can be continued over several lines (a plain
       ">"  prompt  is used for continuations), subject lines may not. However
       newlines can be included in a subject by means of the \n escape (or \r,
       \r\n, etc., depending on the newline sequence setting).


OUTPUT FROM THE ALTERNATIVE MATCHING FUNCTION


       When the alternative matching function, pcre2_dfa_match(), is used, the
       output consists of a list of all the matches that start  at  the  first
       point in the subject where there is at least one match. For example:

           re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/
         data> yellow tangerine\=dfa
          0: tangerine
          1: tang
          2: tan

       Using  the normal matching function on this data finds only "tang". The
       longest matching string is always  given  first  (and  numbered  zero).
       After  a  PCRE2_ERROR_PARTIAL  return,  the output is "Partial match:",
       followed by the partially matching substring. Note  that  this  is  the
       entire  substring  that  was inspected during the partial match; it may
       include characters before the actual match start if a lookbehind asser-
       tion, \b, or \B was involved. (\K is not supported for DFA matching.)

       If global matching is requested, the search for further matches resumes
       at the end of the longest match. For example:

           re> /(tang|tangerine|tan)/g
         data> yellow tangerine and tangy sultana\=dfa
          0: tangerine
          1: tang
          2: tan
          0: tang
          1: tan
          0: tan

       The alternative matching function does not support  substring  capture,
       so  the  modifiers  that are concerned with captured substrings are not
       relevant.


RESTARTING AFTER A PARTIAL MATCH


       When the alternative matching function has given  the  PCRE2_ERROR_PAR-
       TIAL return, indicating that the subject partially matched the pattern,
       you can restart the match with additional subject data by means of  the
       dfa_restart modifier. For example:

           re> /^\d?\d(jan|feb|mar|apr|may|jun|jul|aug|sep|oct|nov|dec)\d\d$/
         data> 23ja\=ps,dfa
         Partial match: 23ja
         data> n05\=dfa,dfa_restart
          0: n05

       For  further  information  about partial matching, see the pcre2partial
       documentation.


CALLOUTS


       If the pattern contains any callout requests, pcre2test's callout func-
       tion  is  called during matching unless callout_none is specified. This
       works with both matching functions, and with JIT, though there are some
       differences  in behaviour. The output for callouts with numerical argu-
       ments and those with string arguments is slightly different.

   Callouts with numerical arguments

       By default, the callout function displays the callout number, the start
       and  current positions in the subject text at the callout time, and the
       next pattern item to be tested. For example:

         --->pqrabcdef
           0    ^  ^     \d

       This output indicates that  callout  number  0  occurred  for  a  match
       attempt  starting  at  the fourth character of the subject string, when
       the pointer was at the seventh character, and  when  the  next  pattern
       item  was  \d.  Just  one circumflex is output if the start and current
       positions are the same, or if the current position precedes  the  start
       position, which can happen if the callout is in a lookbehind assertion.

       Callouts numbered 255 are assumed to be automatic callouts, inserted as
       a result of the auto_callout pattern modifier. In this case, instead of
       showing the callout number, the offset in the pattern,  preceded  by  a
       plus, is output. For example:

           re> /\d?[A-E]\*/auto_callout
         data> E*
         --->E*
          +0 ^      \d?
          +3 ^      [A-E]
          +8 ^^     \*
         +10 ^ ^
          0: E*

       If a pattern contains (*MARK) items, an additional line is output when-
       ever a change of latest mark is passed to  the  callout  function.  For
       example:

           re> /a(*MARK:X)bc/auto_callout
         data> abc
         --->abc
          +0 ^       a
          +1 ^^      (*MARK:X)
         +10 ^^      b
         Latest Mark: X
         +11 ^ ^     c
         +12 ^  ^
          0: abc

       The  mark  changes between matching "a" and "b", but stays the same for
       the rest of the match, so nothing more is output. If, as  a  result  of
       backtracking,  the  mark  reverts to being unset, the text "<unset>" is
       output.

   Callouts with string arguments

       The output for a callout with a string argument is similar, except that
       instead  of outputting a callout number before the position indicators,
       the callout string and its offset in  the  pattern  string  are  output
       before  the reflection of the subject string, and the subject string is
       reflected for each callout. For example:

           re> /^ab(?C'first')cd(?C"second")ef/
         data> abcdefg
         Callout (7): 'first'
         --->abcdefg
             ^ ^         c
         Callout (20): "second"
         --->abcdefg
             ^   ^       e
          0: abcdef


   Callout modifiers

       The callout function in pcre2test returns zero (carry on  matching)  by
       default,  but  you can use a callout_fail modifier in a subject line to
       change this and other parameters of the callout (see below).

       If the callout_capture modifier is set, the current captured groups are
       output when a callout occurs. This is useful only for non-DFA matching,
       as pcre2_dfa_match() does not support capturing,  so  no  captures  are
       ever shown.

       The normal callout output, showing the callout number or pattern offset
       (as described above) is suppressed if the callout_no_where modifier  is
       set.

       When  using  the  interpretive  matching function pcre2_match() without
       JIT, setting the callout_extra modifier causes additional  output  from
       pcre2test's  callout function to be generated. For the first callout in
       a match attempt at a new starting position in the subject,  "New  match
       attempt"  is output. If there has been a backtrack since the last call-
       out (or start of matching if this is the first callout), "Backtrack" is
       output,  followed  by  "No other matching paths" if the backtrack ended
       the previous match attempt. For example:

          re> /(a+)b/auto_callout,no_start_optimize,no_auto_possess
         data> aac\=callout_extra
         New match attempt
         --->aac
          +0 ^       (
          +1 ^       a+
          +3 ^ ^     )
          +4 ^ ^     b
         Backtrack
         --->aac
          +3 ^^      )
          +4 ^^      b
         Backtrack
         No other matching paths
         New match attempt
         --->aac
          +0  ^      (
          +1  ^      a+
          +3  ^^     )
          +4  ^^     b
         Backtrack
         No other matching paths
         New match attempt
         --->aac
          +0   ^     (
          +1   ^     a+
         Backtrack
         No other matching paths
         New match attempt
         --->aac
          +0    ^    (
          +1    ^    a+
         No match

       Notice that various optimizations must be turned off if  you  want  all
       possible  matching  paths  to  be  scanned. If no_start_optimize is not
       used, there is an immediate "no match", without any  callouts,  because
       the  starting  optimization  fails to find "b" in the subject, which it
       knows must be present for any match. If no_auto_possess  is  not  used,
       the  "a+"  item is turned into "a++", which reduces the number of back-
       tracks.

       The callout_extra modifier has no effect if used with the DFA  matching
       function, or with JIT.

   Return values from callouts

       The  default  return  from  the  callout function is zero, which allows
       matching to continue. The callout_fail modifier can be given one or two
       numbers. If there is only one number, 1 is returned instead of 0 (caus-
       ing matching to backtrack) when a callout of that number is reached. If
       two  numbers  (<n>:<m>)  are  given,  1 is returned when callout <n> is
       reached and there have been at least <m>  callouts.  The  callout_error
       modifier is similar, except that PCRE2_ERROR_CALLOUT is returned, caus-
       ing the entire matching process to be aborted. If both these  modifiers
       are  set  for  the same callout number, callout_error takes precedence.
       Note that callouts with string arguments are always  given  the  number
       zero.

       The  callout_data  modifier can be given an unsigned or a negative num-
       ber.  This is set as the "user data" that is  passed  to  the  matching
       function,  and  passed  back  when the callout function is invoked. Any
       value other than zero is used as  a  return  from  pcre2test's  callout
       function.

       Inserting callouts can be helpful when using pcre2test to check compli-
       cated regular expressions. For further information about callouts,  see
       the pcre2callout documentation.


NON-PRINTING CHARACTERS


       When pcre2test is outputting text in the compiled version of a pattern,
       bytes other than 32-126 are always treated as  non-printing  characters
       and are therefore shown as hex escapes.

       When  pcre2test  is outputting text that is a matched part of a subject
       string, it behaves in the same way, unless a different locale has  been
       set  for  the  pattern  (using  the locale modifier). In this case, the
       isprint() function is used to  distinguish  printing  and  non-printing
       characters.


SAVING AND RESTORING COMPILED PATTERNS


       It  is  possible  to  save  compiled patterns on disc or elsewhere, and
       reload them later, subject to a number of restrictions. JIT data cannot
       be  saved.  The host on which the patterns are reloaded must be running
       the same version of PCRE2, with the same code unit width, and must also
       have  the  same  endianness,  pointer width and PCRE2_SIZE type. Before
       compiled patterns can be saved they must be serialized, that  is,  con-
       verted  to a stream of bytes. A single byte stream may contain any num-
       ber of compiled patterns, but they must  all  use  the  same  character
       tables. A single copy of the tables is included in the byte stream (its
       size is 1088 bytes).

       The functions whose names begin  with  pcre2_serialize_  are  used  for
       serializing  and de-serializing. They are described in the pcre2serial-
       ize  documentation.  In  this  section  we  describe  the  features  of
       pcre2test that can be used to test these functions.

       Note  that  "serialization" in PCRE2 does not convert compiled patterns
       to an abstract format like Java or .NET. It  just  makes  a  reloadable
       byte code stream.  Hence the restrictions on reloading mentioned above.

       In pcre2test, when a pattern with push modifier  is  successfully  com-
       piled,  it  is  pushed onto a stack of compiled patterns, and pcre2test
       expects the next line to contain a new pattern (or command) instead  of
       a subject line. By contrast, the pushcopy modifier causes a copy of the
       compiled pattern to be stacked,  leaving  the  original  available  for
       immediate matching. By using push and/or pushcopy, a number of patterns
       can be compiled and retained. These  modifiers  are  incompatible  with
       posix, and control modifiers that act at match time are ignored (with a
       message) for the stacked patterns. The jitverify modifier applies  only
       at compile time.

       The command

         #save <filename>

       causes all the stacked patterns to be serialized and the result written
       to the named file. Afterwards, all the stacked patterns are freed.  The
       command

         #load <filename>

       reads  the  data in the file, and then arranges for it to be de-serial-
       ized, with the resulting compiled patterns added to the pattern  stack.
       The  pattern  on the top of the stack can be retrieved by the #pop com-
       mand, which must be followed by  lines  of  subjects  that  are  to  be
       matched  with  the pattern, terminated as usual by an empty line or end
       of file. This command may be followed by  a  modifier  list  containing
       only  control  modifiers that act after a pattern has been compiled. In
       particular,  hex,  posix,  posix_nosub,  push,  and  pushcopy  are  not
       allowed,  nor are any option-setting modifiers.  The JIT modifiers are,
       however permitted. Here is an example that saves and reloads  two  pat-
       terns.

         /abc/push
         /xyz/push
         #save tempfile
         #load tempfile
         #pop info
         xyz

         #pop jit,bincode
         abc

       If  jitverify  is  used with #pop, it does not automatically imply jit,
       which is different behaviour from when it is used on a pattern.

       The #popcopy command is analagous to the pushcopy modifier in  that  it
       makes current a copy of the topmost stack pattern, leaving the original
       still on the stack.


SEE ALSO


       pcre2(3),  pcre2api(3),  pcre2callout(3),  pcre2jit,  pcre2matching(3),
       pcre2partial(d), pcre2pattern(3), pcre2serialize(3).


AUTHOR


       Philip Hazel
       University Computing Service
       Cambridge, England.


REVISION


       Last updated: 14 September 2020
       Copyright (c) 1997-2020 University of Cambridge.



PCRE 10.36                     14 September 2020                  pcre2test(1)

pcre2 10.36 - Generated Thu Dec 24 09:32:08 CST 2020
© manpagez.com 2000-2021
Individual documents may contain additional copyright information.