pcrelimits man page on Archlinux

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       PCRE - Perl-compatible regular expressions


       There  are some size limitations in PCRE but it is hoped that they will
       never in practice be relevant.

       The maximum length of a compiled	 pattern  is  approximately  64K  data
       units  (bytes  for  the	8-bit  library,	 16-bit	 units	for the 16-bit
       library, and 32-bit units for the 32-bit library) if PCRE  is  compiled
       with  the default internal linkage size, which is 2 bytes for the 8-bit
       and 16-bit libraries, and 4 bytes for the 32-bit library. If  you  want
       to process regular expressions that are truly enormous, you can compile
       PCRE with an internal linkage size of 3 or 4 (when building the	16-bit
       or  32-bit  library,  3 is rounded up to 4). See the README file in the
       source distribution and the pcrebuild  documentation  for  details.  In
       these  cases  the limit is substantially larger.	 However, the speed of
       execution is slower.

       All values in repeating quantifiers must be less than 65536.

       There is no limit to the number of parenthesized subpatterns, but there
       can  be	no more than 65535 capturing subpatterns. There is, however, a
       limit to the depth of  nesting  of  parenthesized  subpatterns  of  all
       kinds.  This  is	 imposed  in order to limit the amount of system stack
       used at compile time. The limit can be specified when  PCRE  is	built;
       the default is 250.

       There is a limit to the number of forward references to subsequent sub‐
       patterns of around 200,000.  Repeated  forward  references  with	 fixed
       upper  limits,  for example, (?2){0,100} when subpattern number 2 is to
       the right, are included in the count. There is no limit to  the	number
       of backward references.

       The maximum length of name for a named subpattern is 32 characters, and
       the maximum number of named subpatterns is 10000.

       The maximum length of a	name  in  a  (*MARK),  (*PRUNE),  (*SKIP),  or
       (*THEN)	verb is 255 for the 8-bit library and 65535 for the 16-bit and
       32-bit libraries.

       The maximum length of a subject string is the largest  positive	number
       that  an integer variable can hold. However, when using the traditional
       matching function, PCRE uses recursion to handle subpatterns and indef‐
       inite  repetition.  This means that the available stack space may limit
       the size of a subject string that can be processed by certain patterns.
       For a discussion of stack issues, see the pcrestack documentation.


       Philip Hazel
       University Computing Service
       Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.


       Last updated: 05 November 2013
       Copyright (c) 1997-2013 University of Cambridge.

PCRE 8.34		       05 November 2013			 PCRELIMITS(3)

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