regcmp, regex -- compile and execute regular expression


   cc [flag . . . ] file . . . -lgen [library] . . .

#include <libgen.h>

char *regcmp (const char *string1 [, char *string2, ...], (char *)0);

char *regex (const char *re, const char *subject [, char *ret0, ...]);

extern char *_ _loc1;


regcmp compiles a regular expression (consisting of the concatenated arguments) and returns a pointer to the compiled form. malloc(3C) is used to create space for the compiled form. It is the user's responsibility to free unneeded space so allocated. A NULL return from regcmp indicates an incorrect argument. regcmp(1) has been written to generally preclude the need for this routine at execution time. regcmp is located in library libform.

regex executes a compiled pattern against the subject string. Additional arguments are passed to receive values back. regex returns NULL on failure or a pointer to the next unmatched character on success. A global character pointer _ _loc1 points to where the match began. regcmp and regex were mostly borrowed from the editor, ed(1); however, the syntax and semantics have been changed slightly. The following are the valid symbols and associated meanings.

These symbols retain their meaning in ed(1).

Matches the end of the string; \n matches a newline.

Within brackets the minus means through. For example, [a-z] is equivalent to []. The - can appear as itself only if used as the first or last character. For example, the character class expression []-] matches the characters ] and -.

A regular expression followed by + means one or more times. For example, [0-9]+ is equivalent to [0-9][0-9]*.

{m} {m,} {m,u}
Integer values enclosed in {} indicate the number of times the preceding regular expression is to be applied. The value m is the minimum number and u is a number, less than 256, which is the maximum. If only m is present (that is, {m}), it indicates the exact number of times the regular expression is to be applied. The value {m,} is analogous to {m,infinity}. The plus (+) and star (*) operations are equivalent to {1,} and {0,} respectively.

( ... )$n
The value of the enclosed regular expression is to be returned. The value will be stored in the (n+1)th argument following the subject argument. At most, ten enclosed regular expressions are allowed. regex makes its assignments unconditionally.

( ... )
Parentheses are used for grouping. An operator, for example, *, +, {}, can work on a single character or a regular expression enclosed in parentheses. For example, (a*(cb+)*)$0.

By necessity, all the above defined symbols are special. They must, therefore, be escaped with a \ (backslash) to be used as themselves.


The following example matches a leading newline in the subject string pointed at by cursor.
   char *cursor, *newcursor, *ptr;
   newcursor = regex((ptr = regcmp("^\n", (char *)0)), cursor);

The following example matches through the string Testing3 and returns the address of the character after the last matched character (the ``4''). The string Testing3 is copied to the character array ret0.

   char ret0[9];
   char *newcursor, *name;
   name = regcmp("([A-Za-z][A-za-z0-9]{0,7})$0", (char *)0);
   newcursor = regex(name, "012Testing345", ret0);

The following example applies a precompiled regular expression in file.i [see regcmp(1)] against string.

   #include "file.i"
   char *string, *newcursor;
   newcursor = regex(name, string);


ed(1), malloc(3C), regcmp(1)


The user program may run out of memory if regcmp is called iteratively without freeing the vectors no longer required.
© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004