SYNOPSIS:

        Regular Expressions

DESCRIPTION:

        LDMud supports both the traditional regular expressions as
        implemented by Henry Spencer ("HS" or "traditional"), and 
        optionally the Perl-compatible regular expressions by Philip 
        Hazel ("PCRE").
        Both packages can be used concurrently, with the selection
        being made through extra option flags argument to the efuns.
        One of the two packages can be selected at compile time, by
        commandline argument, and by driver hook to be the default
        package.
        If the host system does not supply PCREs at compile-time, they 
        will not be availablea in the driver.

        The packages differ in the expressivity of their expressions
        (PCRE offering more options that Henry Spencer's package),
        though they both implement the common subset outlined below.

        All regular expression efuns take an additional options
        parameter, which is a an number composed of bitflags, and is
        used to modify the exact behaviour of the expression
        evaluation. In addition, certain efuns may accept additional
        specific options.

        For details, refer to the detailed manpages: hsregexp(C) for
        the Henry Spencer package, pcre(C) for the PCRE package.

REGULAR EXPRESSION DETAILS:

        A regular expression is a pattern that is matched against  a
        subject string from left to right. Most characters stand for
        themselves in a pattern, and match the corresponding charac-
        ters in the subject. As a trivial example, the pattern

          The quick brown fox

        matches a portion of a subject string that is  identical  to
        itself.  The  power  of  regular  expressions comes from the
        ability to include alternatives and repetitions in the  pat-
        tern.  These  are encoded in the pattern by the use of meta-
        characters, which do not stand for  themselves  but  instead
        are interpreted in some special way.

        The following metacharacters are 'universal' in that both regexp
        packages understand them in the same way:

          .       Match any character.

          ^       Match begin of line.

          $       Match end of line.

          x|y     Match regexp x or regexp y.

          ()      Match enclosed regexp like a 'simple' one.

          x*      Match any number (0 or more) of regexp x.

          x+      Match any number (1 or more) of regexp x.

          [..]    Match one of the characters enclosed.

          [^ ..]  Match none of the characters enclosed. The .. are to
                  replaced by single characters or character ranges:

          [abc]   matches a, b or c.

          [ab0-9] matches a, b or any digit.

          [^a-z]  does not match any lowercase character.

          \B      not a word boundary

          \c      match character c even if it's one of the special
                  characters.

        The following metacharacters or metacharacter combinations implement
        similar functions in the two regexp packages;

          \b      PCRE: word boundary, also used inconjunction with
                        \w (any "word" character) and \W (any "non-word"
                        character).

          \<      HS: Match begin of word.
          \>      HS: Match end of word.

OPTIONS:

        The package is selected with these option flags:

          RE_PCRE
          RE_TRADITIONAL

        These flags are also used for the H_REGEXP_PACKAGE driver
        hook.


        Traditional regular expressions understand one option:

          RE_EXCOMPATIBLE


        PCRE understands these options:

          RE_ANCHORED
          RE_CASELESS
          RE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY
          RE_DOTALL
          RE_EXTENDED
          RE_MULTILINE
          RE_UNGREEDY
          RE_NOTBOL
          RE_NOTEOL
          RE_NOTEMPTY

HISTORY:

        LDMud 3.3.596 implemented the concurrent use of both packages.

SEE ALSO:

	
	hsregexp(C), pcre(C), regexp_package(H), regexp(E), regexplode(E),
	regmatch(E), regreplace(E), regexp_package(E), invocation(D)

UNItopia (mudadm@UNItopia.de)