Monday, June 30, 2008

Migrate over to PCRE?

As of now the development of the generic rewrite feature has been completed in one of my private git repositories. The new code uses PCRE and I'm somewhat undecided how to move forward with PCRE.

For those who might not know PCRE is an implementation of regular expressions and is an acronym for "Perl Compatible Regular Expressions". PCRE adds a lot more features and seems to perform better than its POSIX equivalent.

So the situation is as follows:
  • various filters use POSIX regexps
  • rewrite uses PCRE
This is not a very consistent combination, thus I'm planning to add PCRE support for filters too. The only question is whether it is needed to have two independent regexp styles in syslog-ng in the long run.

If I decide that one of them is enough, then I'd deprecate POSIX style regexps in filters and wouldn't implement POSIX in rewrite rules. This combination would yield a syslog-ng that would give warnings when POSIX-style regular expressions are in use and in a forthcoming release I'd change the default regexp style to PCRE, and yet another syslog-ng release later, I'd phase out POSIX completely.

If the decision is to keep them both in the long run, it would mean that I'd need to implement POSIX style regexps for rewrite rules as well. This would probably the least intrusive for users, but also a lot more work. Also, this would allow adding other filtering options like globbing or prefix search.

What do you think? Is the addition of modular search algorithms worth it?

Please send your opinions to the mailing list: syslog-ng@lists.balabit.hu

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

only support pcre - it's way better and porting existing POSIX regular expressions is not difficult for end users.

if they are advanced enough to create POSIX filters, they can surely port them to PCRE

Siim said...

i would vote for only pcre as well.

Anonymous said...

100% PCRE would be best.