regcmp, regex -- compiles and executes regular expressions


cc . . . -lc

#include <libgen.h>

char *regcmp (string1 [, string2, . . . (char *)0) char *string1, *string2, . . .

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

extern char *__loc1;


The regcmp routine compiles a regular expression (consisting of the concatenated arguments) and returns a pointer to the compiled form. The malloc(S-osr5) routine creates 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(CP) has been written to generally preclude the need for this routine at execution time.

The regex routine 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.

The regex and regcmp routines were borrowed from the editor, ed(C); however, the syntax and semantics have been changed slightly.

The following are the symbols understood by regex and regcmp, and their meanings.

These symbols retain their meaning in ed(C).

Matches the end of the string; \n matches a new-line.

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 (for example, {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 is 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 user program may run out of memory if regcmp is called iteratively without freeing the vectors that are no longer required.

See also

ed(C), free(S-osr5), malloc(S-osr5), re_comp(S-osr5)

Standards conformance

regcmp, regex and __loc1 are not part of any currently supported standard; they are an extension of AT&T System V provided by the Santa Cruz Operation.


Example 1:
   char *cursor, *newcursor, *ptr;
   newcursor = regex((ptr = regcmp("\n", (char *)0)), cursor);
This example matches a leading new-line in the subject string pointed at by cursor.

Example 2:

   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);
This 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.

Example 3:

   #include "file.i"
   char *string, *newcursor;
   newcursor = regex(name, string);
This example applies a precompiled regular expression in file.i against string. See regcmp(CP).

Example 4:

   char *ptr, *newcursor;

ptr = regcmp("[a-[=i=][:digit:]]*",(char*)0); newcursor = regex(ptr, "123CHICO321");

It is assumed in this example that the current locale's collation rules specify the following sequence:
The characters I and i are also both in the same ``primary'' collation group.

The following characters are all members of the digit ctype class:

   0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
This example matches through the string ``123CHIC'' and returns the address of the character ``O'' in the string.
© 2005 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 -- 02 June 2005