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    1 News about PCRE releases
    2 ------------------------
    3 
    4 Release 7.0 23-Nov-06
    5 ---------------------
    6 
    7 This release has a new major number because there have been some internal
    8 upheavals to facilitate the addition of new optimizations and other facilities,
    9 and to make subsequent maintenance and extension easier. Compilation is likely
   10 to be a bit slower, but there should be no major effect on runtime performance.
   11 Previously compiled patterns are NOT upwards compatible with this release. If
   12 you have saved compiled patterns from a previous release, you will have to
   13 re-compile them. Important changes that are visible to users are:
   14 
   15 1. The Unicode property tables have been updated to Unicode 5.0.0, which adds
   16    some more scripts.
   17 
   18 2. The option PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY causes PCRE to recognize any Unicode newline
   19    sequence as a newline.
   20 
   21 3. The \R escape matches a single Unicode newline sequence as a single unit.
   22 
   23 4. New features that will appear in Perl 5.10 are now in PCRE. These include
   24    alternative Perl syntax for named parentheses, and Perl syntax for
   25    recursion.
   26 
   27 5. The C++ wrapper interface has been extended by the addition of a
   28    QuoteMeta function and the ability to allow copy construction and
   29    assignment.
   30 
   31 For a complete list of changes, see the ChangeLog file.
   32 
   33 
   34 Release 6.7 04-Jul-06
   35 ---------------------
   36 
   37 The main additions to this release are the ability to use the same name for
   38 multiple sets of parentheses, and support for CRLF line endings in both the
   39 library and pcregrep (and in pcretest for testing).
   40 
   41 Thanks to Ian Taylor, the stack usage for many kinds of pattern has been
   42 significantly reduced for certain subject strings.
   43 
   44 
   45 Release 6.5 01-Feb-06
   46 ---------------------
   47 
   48 Important changes in this release:
   49 
   50 1. A number of new features have been added to pcregrep.
   51 
   52 2. The Unicode property tables have been updated to Unicode 4.1.0, and the
   53    supported properties have been extended with script names such as "Arabic",
   54    and the derived properties "Any" and "L&". This has necessitated a change to
   55    the interal format of compiled patterns. Any saved compiled patterns that
   56    use \p or \P must be recompiled.
   57 
   58 3. The specification of recursion in patterns has been changed so that all
   59    recursive subpatterns are automatically treated as atomic groups. Thus, for
   60    example, (?R) is treated as if it were (?>(?R)). This is necessary because
   61    otherwise there are situations where recursion does not work.
   62 
   63 See the ChangeLog for a complete list of changes, which include a number of bug
   64 fixes and tidies.
   65 
   66 
   67 Release 6.0 07-Jun-05
   68 ---------------------
   69 
   70 The release number has been increased to 6.0 because of the addition of several
   71 major new pieces of functionality.
   72 
   73 A new function, pcre_dfa_exec(), which implements pattern matching using a DFA
   74 algorithm, has been added. This has a number of advantages for certain cases,
   75 though it does run more slowly, and lacks the ability to capture substrings. On
   76 the other hand, it does find all matches, not just the first, and it works
   77 better for partial matching. The pcrematching man page discusses the
   78 differences.
   79 
   80 The pcretest program has been enhanced so that it can make use of the new
   81 pcre_dfa_exec() matching function and the extra features it provides.
   82 
   83 The distribution now includes a C++ wrapper library. This is built
   84 automatically if a C++ compiler is found. The pcrecpp man page discusses this
   85 interface.
   86 
   87 The code itself has been re-organized into many more files, one for each
   88 function, so it no longer requires everything to be linked in when static
   89 linkage is used. As a consequence, some internal functions have had to have
   90 their names exposed. These functions all have names starting with _pcre_. They
   91 are undocumented, and are not intended for use by outside callers.
   92 
   93 The pcregrep program has been enhanced with new functionality such as
   94 multiline-matching and options for output more matching context. See the
   95 ChangeLog for a complete list of changes to the library and the utility
   96 programs.
   97 
   98 
   99 Release 5.0 13-Sep-04
  100 ---------------------
  101 
  102 The licence under which PCRE is released has been changed to the more
  103 conventional "BSD" licence.
  104 
  105 In the code, some bugs have been fixed, and there are also some major changes
  106 in this release (which is why I've increased the number to 5.0). Some changes
  107 are internal rearrangements, and some provide a number of new facilities. The
  108 new features are:
  109 
  110 1. There's an "automatic callout" feature that inserts callouts before every
  111    item in the regex, and there's a new callout field that gives the position
  112    in the pattern - useful for debugging and tracing.
  113 
  114 2. The extra_data structure can now be used to pass in a set of character
  115    tables at exec time. This is useful if compiled regex are saved and re-used
  116    at a later time when the tables may not be at the same address. If the
  117    default internal tables are used, the pointer saved with the compiled
  118    pattern is now set to NULL, which means that you don't need to do anything
  119    special unless you are using custom tables.
  120 
  121 3. It is possible, with some restrictions on the content of the regex, to
  122    request "partial" matching. A special return code is given if all of the
  123    subject string matched part of the regex. This could be useful for testing
  124    an input field as it is being typed.
  125 
  126 4. There is now some optional support for Unicode character properties, which
  127    means that the patterns items such as \p{Lu} and \X can now be used. Only
  128    the general category properties are supported. If PCRE is compiled with this
  129    support, an additional 90K data structure is include, which increases the
  130    size of the library dramatically.
  131 
  132 5. There is support for saving compiled patterns and re-using them later.
  133 
  134 6. There is support for running regular expressions that were compiled on a
  135    different host with the opposite endianness.
  136 
  137 7. The pcretest program has been extended to accommodate the new features.
  138 
  139 The main internal rearrangement is that sequences of literal characters are no
  140 longer handled as strings. Instead, each character is handled on its own. This
  141 makes some UTF-8 handling easier, and makes the support of partial matching
  142 possible. Compiled patterns containing long literal strings will be larger as a
  143 result of this change; I hope that performance will not be much affected.
  144 
  145 
  146 Release 4.5 01-Dec-03
  147 ---------------------
  148 
  149 Again mainly a bug-fix and tidying release, with only a couple of new features:
  150 
  151 1. It's possible now to compile PCRE so that it does not use recursive
  152 function calls when matching. Instead it gets memory from the heap. This slows
  153 things down, but may be necessary on systems with limited stacks.
  154 
  155 2. UTF-8 string checking has been tightened to reject overlong sequences and to
  156 check that a starting offset points to the start of a character. Failure of the
  157 latter returns a new error code: PCRE_ERROR_BADUTF8_OFFSET.
  158 
  159 3. PCRE can now be compiled for systems that use EBCDIC code.
  160 
  161 
  162 Release 4.4 21-Aug-03
  163 ---------------------
  164 
  165 This is mainly a bug-fix and tidying release. The only new feature is that PCRE
  166 checks UTF-8 strings for validity by default. There is an option to suppress
  167 this, just in case anybody wants that teeny extra bit of performance.
  168 
  169 
  170 Releases 4.1 - 4.3
  171 ------------------
  172 
  173 Sorry, I forgot about updating the NEWS file for these releases. Please take a
  174 look at ChangeLog.
  175 
  176 
  177 Release 4.0 17-Feb-03
  178 ---------------------
  179 
  180 There have been a lot of changes for the 4.0 release, adding additional
  181 functionality and mending bugs. Below is a list of the highlights of the new
  182 functionality. For full details of these features, please consult the
  183 documentation. For a complete list of changes, see the ChangeLog file.
  184 
  185 1. Support for Perl's \Q...\E escapes.
  186 
  187 2. "Possessive quantifiers" ?+, *+, ++, and {,}+ which come from Sun's Java
  188 package. They provide some syntactic sugar for simple cases of "atomic
  189 grouping".
  190 
  191 3. Support for the \G assertion. It is true when the current matching position
  192 is at the start point of the match.
  193 
  194 4. A new feature that provides some of the functionality that Perl provides
  195 with (?{...}). The facility is termed a "callout". The way it is done in PCRE
  196 is for the caller to provide an optional function, by setting pcre_callout to
  197 its entry point. To get the function called, the regex must include (?C) at
  198 appropriate points.
  199 
  200 5. Support for recursive calls to individual subpatterns. This makes it really
  201 easy to get totally confused.
  202 
  203 6. Support for named subpatterns. The Python syntax (?P<name>...) is used to
  204 name a group.
  205 
  206 7. Several extensions to UTF-8 support; it is now fairly complete. There is an
  207 option for pcregrep to make it operate in UTF-8 mode.
  208 
  209 8. The single man page has been split into a number of separate man pages.
  210 These also give rise to individual HTML pages which are put in a separate
  211 directory. There is an index.html page that lists them all. Some hyperlinking
  212 between the pages has been installed.
  213 
  214 
  215 Release 3.5 15-Aug-01
  216 ---------------------
  217 
  218 1. The configuring system has been upgraded to use later versions of autoconf
  219 and libtool. By default it builds both a shared and a static library if the OS
  220 supports it. You can use --disable-shared or --disable-static on the configure
  221 command if you want only one of them.
  222 
  223 2. The pcretest utility is now installed along with pcregrep because it is
  224 useful for users (to test regexs) and by doing this, it automatically gets
  225 relinked by libtool. The documentation has been turned into a man page, so
  226 there are now .1, .txt, and .html versions in /doc.
  227 
  228 3. Upgrades to pcregrep:
  229    (i)   Added long-form option names like gnu grep.
  230    (ii)  Added --help to list all options with an explanatory phrase.
  231    (iii) Added -r, --recursive to recurse into sub-directories.
  232    (iv)  Added -f, --file to read patterns from a file.
  233 
  234 4. Added --enable-newline-is-cr and --enable-newline-is-lf to the configure
  235 script, to force use of CR or LF instead of \n in the source. On non-Unix
  236 systems, the value can be set in config.h.
  237 
  238 5. The limit of 200 on non-capturing parentheses is a _nesting_ limit, not an
  239 absolute limit. Changed the text of the error message to make this clear, and
  240 likewise updated the man page.
  241 
  242 6. The limit of 99 on the number of capturing subpatterns has been removed.
  243 The new limit is 65535, which I hope will not be a "real" limit.
  244 
  245 
  246 Release 3.3 01-Aug-00
  247 ---------------------
  248 
  249 There is some support for UTF-8 character strings. This is incomplete and
  250 experimental. The documentation describes what is and what is not implemented.
  251 Otherwise, this is just a bug-fixing release.
  252 
  253 
  254 Release 3.0 01-Feb-00
  255 ---------------------
  256 
  257 1. A "configure" script is now used to configure PCRE for Unix systems. It
  258 builds a Makefile, a config.h file, and the pcre-config script.
  259 
  260 2. PCRE is built as a shared library by default.
  261 
  262 3. There is support for POSIX classes such as [:alpha:].
  263 
  264 5. There is an experimental recursion feature.
  265 
  266 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  267           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSIONS BEFORE 2.00
  268 
  269 Please note that there has been a change in the API such that a larger
  270 ovector is required at matching time, to provide some additional workspace.
  271 The new man page has details. This change was necessary in order to support
  272 some of the new functionality in Perl 5.005.
  273 
  274           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.00
  275 
  276 Another (I hope this is the last!) change has been made to the API for the
  277 pcre_compile() function. An additional argument has been added to make it
  278 possible to pass over a pointer to character tables built in the current
  279 locale by pcre_maketables(). To use the default tables, this new arguement
  280 should be passed as NULL.
  281 
  282           IMPORTANT FOR THOSE UPGRADING FROM VERSION 2.05
  283 
  284 Yet another (and again I hope this really is the last) change has been made
  285 to the API for the pcre_exec() function. An additional argument has been
  286 added to make it possible to start the match other than at the start of the
  287 subject string. This is important if there are lookbehinds. The new man
  288 page has the details, but you just want to convert existing programs, all
  289 you need to do is to stick in a new fifth argument to pcre_exec(), with a
  290 value of zero. For example, change
  291 
  292   pcre_exec(pattern, extra, subject, length, options, ovec, ovecsize)
  293 to
  294   pcre_exec(pattern, extra, subject, length, 0, options, ovec, ovecsize)
  295 
  296 ****