PCRE2SERIALIZE(3)          Library Functions Manual          PCRE2SERIALIZE(3)

       PCRE2 - Perl-compatible regular expressions (revised API)


       int32_t pcre2_serialize_decode(pcre2_code **codes,
         int32_t number_of_codes, const uint8_t *bytes,
         pcre2_general_context *gcontext);

       int32_t pcre2_serialize_encode(const pcre2_code **codes,
         int32_t number_of_codes, uint8_t **serialized_bytes,
         PCRE2_SIZE *serialized_size, pcre2_general_context *gcontext);

       void pcre2_serialize_free(uint8_t *bytes);

       int32_t pcre2_serialize_get_number_of_codes(const uint8_t *bytes);

       If  you  are running an application that uses a large number of regular
       expression patterns, it may be useful to store them  in  a  precompiled
       form  instead  of  having to compile them every time the application is
       run. However, if you are using the just-in-time  optimization  feature,
       it is not possible to save and reload the JIT data, because it is posi-
       tion-dependent. The host on which the patterns  are  reloaded  must  be
       running  the  same version of PCRE2, with the same code unit width, and
       must also have the same endianness, pointer width and PCRE2_SIZE  type.
       For  example, patterns compiled on a 32-bit system using PCRE2's 16-bit
       library cannot be reloaded on a 64-bit system, nor can they be reloaded
       using the 8-bit library.

       Note  that  "serialization" in PCRE2 does not convert compiled patterns
       to an abstract format like Java or .NET serialization.  The  serialized
       output  is  really  just  a  bytecode dump, which is why it can only be
       reloaded in the same environment as the one that created it. Hence  the
       restrictions  mentioned  above.   Applications  that are not statically
       linked with a fixed version of PCRE2 must be prepared to recompile pat-
       terns from their sources, in order to be immune to PCRE2 upgrades.


       The facility for saving and restoring compiled patterns is intended for
       use within individual applications.  As  such,  the  data  supplied  to
       pcre2_serialize_decode()  is expected to be trusted data, not data from
       arbitrary external sources.  There  is  only  some  simple  consistency
       checking, not complete validation of what is being re-loaded. Corrupted
       data may cause undefined results. For example, if the length field of a
       pattern in the serialized data is corrupted, the deserializing code may
       read beyond the end of the byte stream that is passed to it.


       Before compiled patterns can be saved they must be serialized, which in
       PCRE2  means converting the pattern to a stream of bytes. A single byte
       stream may contain any number of compiled patterns, but they  must  all
       use  the same character tables. A single copy of the tables is included
       in the byte stream (its size is 1088 bytes). For more details of  char-
       acter  tables,  see the section on locale support in the pcre2api docu-

       The function pcre2_serialize_encode() creates a serialized byte  stream
       from  a  list of compiled patterns. Its first two arguments specify the
       list, being a pointer to a vector of pointers to compiled patterns, and
       the length of the vector. The third and fourth arguments point to vari-
       ables which are set to point to the created byte stream and its length,
       respectively.  The  final  argument  is a pointer to a general context,
       which can be used to specify custom memory  mangagement  functions.  If
       this  argument  is NULL, malloc() is used to obtain memory for the byte
       stream. The yield of the function is the number of serialized patterns,
       or one of the following negative error codes:

         PCRE2_ERROR_BADDATA      the number of patterns is zero or less
         PCRE2_ERROR_BADMAGIC     mismatch of id bytes in one of the patterns
         PCRE2_ERROR_MEMORY       memory allocation failed
         PCRE2_ERROR_MIXEDTABLES  the patterns do not all use the same tables
         PCRE2_ERROR_NULL         the 1st, 3rd, or 4th argument is NULL

       PCRE2_ERROR_BADMAGIC  means  either that a pattern's code has been cor-
       rupted, or that a slot in the vector does not point to a compiled  pat-

       Once a set of patterns has been serialized you can save the data in any
       appropriate manner. Here is sample code that compiles two patterns  and
       writes them to a file. It assumes that the variable fd refers to a file
       that is open for output. The error checking that should be present in a
       real application has been omitted for simplicity.

         int errorcode;
         uint8_t *bytes;
         PCRE2_SIZE erroroffset;
         PCRE2_SIZE bytescount;
         pcre2_code *list_of_codes[2];
         list_of_codes[0] = pcre2_compile("first pattern",
           PCRE2_ZERO_TERMINATED, 0, &errorcode, &erroroffset, NULL);
         list_of_codes[1] = pcre2_compile("second pattern",
           PCRE2_ZERO_TERMINATED, 0, &errorcode, &erroroffset, NULL);
         errorcode = pcre2_serialize_encode(list_of_codes, 2, &bytes,
           &bytescount, NULL);
         errorcode = fwrite(bytes, 1, bytescount, fd);

       Note  that  the  serialized data is binary data that may contain any of
       the 256 possible byte values. On systems that make  a  distinction  be-
       tween  binary  and non-binary data, be sure that the file is opened for
       binary output.

       Serializing a set of patterns leaves the original  data  untouched,  so
       they  can  still  be used for matching. Their memory must eventually be
       freed in the usual way by calling pcre2_code_free(). When you have fin-
       ished with the byte stream, it too must be freed by calling pcre2_seri-
       alize_free(). If this function is called with a NULL argument,  it  re-
       turns immediately without doing anything.


       In  order to re-use a set of saved patterns you must first make the se-
       rialized byte stream available in main memory (for example, by  reading
       from a file). The management of this memory block is up to the applica-
       tion. You can use the pcre2_serialize_get_number_of_codes() function to
       find  out how many compiled patterns are in the serialized data without
       actually decoding the patterns:

         uint8_t *bytes = <serialized data>;
         int32_t number_of_codes = pcre2_serialize_get_number_of_codes(bytes);

       The pcre2_serialize_decode() function reads a byte stream and recreates
       the compiled patterns in new memory blocks, setting pointers to them in
       a vector. The first two arguments are a pointer to  a  suitable  vector
       and its length, and the third argument points to a byte stream. The fi-
       nal argument is a pointer to a general context, which can  be  used  to
       specify  custom  memory mangagement functions for the decoded patterns.
       If this argument is NULL, malloc() and free() are used. After deserial-
       ization, the byte stream is no longer needed and can be discarded.

         pcre2_code *list_of_codes[2];
         uint8_t *bytes = <serialized data>;
         int32_t number_of_codes =
           pcre2_serialize_decode(list_of_codes, 2, bytes, NULL);

       If  the  vector  is  not  large enough for all the patterns in the byte
       stream, it is filled with those that fit, and  the  remainder  are  ig-
       nored.  The yield of the function is the number of decoded patterns, or
       one of the following negative error codes:

         PCRE2_ERROR_BADDATA    second argument is zero or less
         PCRE2_ERROR_BADMAGIC   mismatch of id bytes in the data
         PCRE2_ERROR_BADMODE    mismatch of code unit size or PCRE2 version
         PCRE2_ERROR_BADSERIALIZEDDATA  other sanity check failure
         PCRE2_ERROR_MEMORY     memory allocation failed
         PCRE2_ERROR_NULL       first or third argument is NULL

       PCRE2_ERROR_BADMAGIC may mean that the data is corrupt, or that it  was
       compiled on a system with different endianness.

       Decoded patterns can be used for matching in the usual way, and must be
       freed by calling pcre2_code_free(). However, be aware that there  is  a
       potential  race  issue if you are using multiple patterns that were de-
       coded from a single byte stream in a multithreaded application. A  sin-
       gle  copy  of  the character tables is used by all the decoded patterns
       and a reference count is used to arrange for its memory to be automati-
       cally  freed when the last pattern is freed, but there is no locking on
       this reference count. Therefore, if you want to call  pcre2_code_free()
       for  these  patterns  in  different  threads, you must arrange your own
       locking, and ensure that pcre2_code_free()  cannot  be  called  by  two
       threads at the same time.

       If  a pattern was processed by pcre2_jit_compile() before being serial-
       ized, the JIT data is discarded and so is no longer available  after  a
       save/restore  cycle.  You can, however, process a restored pattern with
       pcre2_jit_compile() if you wish.


       Philip Hazel
       University Computing Service
       Cambridge, England.


       Last updated: 27 June 2018
       Copyright (c) 1997-2018 University of Cambridge.

PCRE2 10.32                      27 June 2018                PCRE2SERIALIZE(3)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2023 Hurricane Electric. All Rights Reserved.