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Wusage 7.1 Manual
Patterns and Regular Expressions
Patterns: A Simple ApproachThe simplest pattern is a document name (or site name). For instance:
This pattern matches only the single
If it is listed for the Ignored Documents (ignore)
option, then that single document only will be ignored
in all statistics produced by wusage.
A slightly more complex pattern uses an
* character to match any
number of characters. This is identical
to the way both MSDOS and Unix use the
character for commands such as Unix
dir. For instance:
This pattern matches all document names
which end in the letters
This is useful in the Ignored Documents (ignore)
option, where it instructs Wusage to completely
ignore all accesses to GIF-format images.
Note: the Remove These Suffixes (suffixes) option is applied
first, before options
such as Allowed Documents (allow) and Ignored Documents (ignore).
If you want to write a pattern that matches a document such
/index.html, take into account
index.html part will be
removed by the standard suffixes option and
/ by itself. For the
index file of a subdirectory, the slash will
also be removed to combine all accesses to
that index into one document name.
* character can appear more
than once, and it can appear at any point
in the pattern. (This is identical to the way
Unix and Windows 95/98/NT use the
in commands such as
? character can also be used.
? matches any one character
in the document name or site name.
| character can be
used to separate distinct patterns on the same
line. If a document name or site name matches
any of the patterns separated
by the | character on that line, it is considered
to be a match for the complete pattern.
If you wish to negate the entire pattern,
matching only items that do not match
the pattern, begin the pattern with a single
Regular Expressions: A Sophisticated ApproachA regular expression must begin with @. This character signifies that the rule is a regular expression, and not an ordinary pattern.
If you wish to negate the entire regular expression,
matching only items that do not match
the regular expression, follow the @ with a single
The remainder of the regular expression consists of zero or more branches, separated by `|'. The entire regular expression matches anything that matches one of the branches.
A branch consists of zero or more pieces, concatenated. It matches a match for the first, followed by a match for the second, etc.
A piece is an atom possibly followed by `*', `+', or `?'. An atom followed by `*' matches a sequence of zero or more matches of the atom. An atom followed by `+' matches a sequence of one or more matches of the atom. An atom fol- lowed by `?' matches a match of the atom, or the null string.
An atom is a regular expression in parentheses (matching a match for the regular expression), a range (see below), `.' (matching any single character), `^' (matching the null string at the beginning of the input string), `$' (matching the null string at the end of the input string), a `\' followed by a single character (matching that char- acter), or a single character with no other significance (matching that character).
A range is a sequence of characters enclosed in `'. It normally matches any single character from the sequence. If the sequence begins with `^', it matches any single character not from the rest of the sequence. If two char- acters in the sequence are separated by `-', this is shorthand for the full list of ASCII characters between them (e.g. `[0-9]' matches any decimal digit). To include a literal `]' in the sequence, make it the first character (following a possible `^'). To include a literal `-', make it the first or last character.
AmbiguityIf a regular expression could match two different parts of the input string, it will match the one which begins earliest. If both begin in the same place but match different lengths, or match the same length in different ways, life gets messier, as follows.
In general, the possibilities in a list of branches are considered in left-to-right order, the possibilities for `*', `+', and `?' are considered longest-first, nested constructs are considered from the outermost in, and con- catenated constructs are considered leftmost-first. The match that will be chosen is the one that uses the earli- est possibility in the first choice that has to be made. If there is more than one choice, the next will be made in the same manner (earliest possibility) subject to the decision on the first choice. And so forth.
For example, `(ab|a)b*c' could match `abc' in one of two ways. The first choice is between `ab' and `a'; since `ab' is earlier, and does lead to a successful overall match, it is chosen. Since the `b' is already spoken for, the `b*' must match its last possibility--the empty string--since it must respect the earlier choice.
In the particular case where no `|'s are present and there is only one `*', `+', or `?', the net effect is that the longest possible match will be chosen. So `ab*', pre- sented with `xabbbby', will match `abbbb'. Note that if `ab*' is tried against `xabyabbbz', it will match `ab' just after `x', due to the begins-earliest rule. (In effect, the decision on where to start the match is the first choice to be made, hence subsequent choices must respect it even if this leads them to less-preferred alternatives.)
Next: Analyzing Many Log Files
Table of Contents
Topical Configuration Editor Reference
Alphabetical Configuration Editor Reference
Alphabetical Configuration File Reference
Glossary of Frequently Used Terms