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pcrecallout


SYNOPSIS


       #include <pcre.h>

       int (*pcre_callout)(pcre_callout_block *);

       int (*pcre16_callout)(pcre16_callout_block *);

       int (*pcre32_callout)(pcre32_callout_block *);


DESCRIPTION


       PCRE provides a feature called "callout", which is a means of temporar-
       ily passing control to the caller of PCRE  in  the  middle  of  pattern
       matching.  The  caller of PCRE provides an external function by putting
       its entry point in the global variable pcre_callout (pcre16_callout for
       the 16-bit library, pcre32_callout for the 32-bit library). By default,
       this variable contains NULL, which disables all calling out.

       Within a regular expression, (?C) indicates the  points  at  which  the
       external  function  is  to  be  called. Different callout points can be
       identified by putting a number less than 256 after the  letter  C.  The
       default  value  is  zero.   For  example,  this pattern has two callout
       points:

         (?C1)abc(?C2)def

       If the PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT option bit is set when a pattern is  compiled,
       PCRE  automatically  inserts callouts, all with number 255, before each
       item in the pattern. For example, if PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT is used with the
       pattern

         A(\d{2}|--)

       it is processed as if it were

       (?C255)A(?C255)((?C255)\d{2}(?C255)|(?C255)-(?C255)-(?C255))(?C255)

       Notice  that  there  is a callout before and after each parenthesis and
       alternation bar. Automatic  callouts  can  be  used  for  tracking  the
       progress  of  pattern matching. The pcretest command has an option that
       sets automatic callouts; when it is used, the output indicates how  the
       pattern  is  matched. This is useful information when you are trying to
       optimize the performance of a particular pattern.

       The use of callouts in a pattern makes it ineligible  for  optimization
       by  the  just-in-time  compiler.  Studying  such  a  pattern  with  the
       PCRE_STUDY_JIT_COMPILE option always fails.


MISSING CALLOUTS


       You should be aware that, because of  optimizations  in  the  way  PCRE

       You can disable these optimizations by passing the  PCRE_NO_START_OPTI-
       MIZE  option  to the matching function, or by starting the pattern with
       (*NO_START_OPT). This slows down the matching process, but does  ensure
       that callouts such as the example above are obeyed.


THE CALLOUT INTERFACE


       During  matching, when PCRE reaches a callout point, the external func-
       tion defined by pcre_callout or pcre[16|32]_callout is called (if it is
       set).  This  applies to both normal and DFA matching. The only argument
       to  the  callout  function  is  a  pointer   to   a   pcre_callout   or
       pcre[16|32]_callout  block.   These  structures  contains the following
       fields:

         int           version;
         int           callout_number;
         int          *offset_vector;
         const char   *subject;           (8-bit version)
         PCRE_SPTR16   subject;           (16-bit version)
         PCRE_SPTR32   subject;           (32-bit version)
         int           subject_length;
         int           start_match;
         int           current_position;
         int           capture_top;
         int           capture_last;
         void         *callout_data;
         int           pattern_position;
         int           next_item_length;
         const unsigned char *mark;       (8-bit version)
         const PCRE_UCHAR16  *mark;       (16-bit version)
         const PCRE_UCHAR32  *mark;       (32-bit version)

       The version field is an integer containing the version  number  of  the
       block  format. The initial version was 0; the current version is 2. The
       version number will change again in future  if  additional  fields  are
       added, but the intention is never to remove any of the existing fields.

       The  callout_number  field  contains the number of the callout, as com-
       piled into the pattern (that is, the number after ?C for  manual  call-
       outs, and 255 for automatically generated callouts).

       The  offset_vector field is a pointer to the vector of offsets that was
       passed by the caller to the  matching  function.  When  pcre_exec()  or
       pcre[16|32]_exec()  is used, the contents can be inspected, in order to
       extract substrings that have been matched so far, in the  same  way  as
       for  extracting  substrings  after  a  match has completed. For the DFA
       matching functions, this field is not useful.

       The subject and subject_length fields contain copies of the values that
       were passed to the matching function.

       are used, because they do not support captured substrings.

       The  capture_last  field  contains the number of the most recently cap-
       tured substring. If no substrings have been captured, its value is  -1.
       This is always the case for the DFA matching functions.

       The  callout_data  field  contains a value that is passed to a matching
       function specifically so that it can be passed back in callouts. It  is
       passed  in  the callout_data field of a pcre_extra or pcre[16|32]_extra
       data structure. If no such data was passed, the value  of  callout_data
       in  a  callout  block is NULL. There is a description of the pcre_extra
       structure in the pcreapi documentation.

       The pattern_position field is present from version  1  of  the  callout
       structure. It contains the offset to the next item to be matched in the
       pattern string.

       The next_item_length field is present from version  1  of  the  callout
       structure. It contains the length of the next item to be matched in the
       pattern string. When the callout immediately  precedes  an  alternation
       bar,  a  closing  parenthesis, or the end of the pattern, the length is
       zero. When the callout precedes an opening parenthesis, the  length  is
       that of the entire subpattern.

       The  pattern_position  and next_item_length fields are intended to help
       in distinguishing between different automatic callouts, which all  have
       the same callout number. However, they are set for all callouts.

       The  mark  field is present from version 2 of the callout structure. In
       callouts from pcre_exec() or pcre[16|32]_exec() it contains  a  pointer
       to  the  zero-terminated  name  of  the  most  recently passed (*MARK),
       (*PRUNE), or (*THEN) item in the match, or NULL if no such  items  have
       been  passed.  Instances  of  (*PRUNE) or (*THEN) without a name do not
       obliterate a previous (*MARK). In callouts from the DFA matching  func-
       tions this field always contains NULL.


RETURN VALUES


       The  external callout function returns an integer to PCRE. If the value
       is zero, matching proceeds as normal. If  the  value  is  greater  than
       zero,  matching  fails  at  the current point, but the testing of other
       matching possibilities goes ahead, just as if a lookahead assertion had
       failed.  If  the  value  is less than zero, the match is abandoned, the
       matching function returns the negative value.

       Negative  values  should  normally  be   chosen   from   the   set   of
       PCRE_ERROR_xxx values. In particular, PCRE_ERROR_NOMATCH forces a stan-
       dard "no  match"  failure.   The  error  number  PCRE_ERROR_CALLOUT  is
       reserved  for  use  by callout functions; it will never be used by PCRE
       itself.


AUTHOR



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