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From Max Bowsher <ma...@ukf.net>
Subject Re: regex
Date Tue, 15 Aug 2006 13:05:00 GMT
david reid wrote:
> httpd uses pcre via a wrapper already, so moving it into apr-util makes
> a degree of sense right there.

Taking a look at httpd's wrapper, my immediate question is: why is httpd 
re-wrapping pcre's native interface in a posix-style interface itself 
instead of simply using pcre's own posix-style interface? I do not know 
enough to say for sure, but perhaps httpd's wrapper should simply be 
deprecated and go away, rather than be moved into apr-util.

> Windows doesn't have builtin regex support, so providing regex via
> apr-util allows people to write more portable code. A good thing.

I do not understand why "uses pcre via apr-util" should be considered 
more portable thatn "uses pcre"?

> There are places within apr-util where using regex would be useful.
> Knowing that I can simply write code that uses regex functionality,
> confident in the knowledge that lovely, useful apr-util provides it is
> another good thing.

If apr-util's configure and windows-buildsystem were to arrange to link 
with libpcre, then you could use it without first enclosing it in an 
apr-ified wrapper. What extra benefit does the apr-ified wrapper bring?

> Reducing the dependencies for httpd is a good thing.

I'm totally confused about the above sentence. How does simply moving 
the libpcre dependency to being via apr-util reduce the dependencies of 

> Providing an interface that provides more of the libpcre extended
> functionality seems like a good thing.

But why not use the pcre interface directly?

> Allowing those using apr-util to benefit from having builtin regex
> support is a good thing. Asking them to include yet another library is a
> bad thing.

On the other hand, we've already come to the conclusion that an 
ever-increasing list of dependencies for apr-util is a bad thing, and 
that apr-util needs to modularize to remain useful. Therefore, we could 
suppose that 'apr-regex' should be a new, self-contained, library.

> Asking people to learn the intracies of libpcre (not as simple as they
> seem as I discovered) to simply use a regex pattern in their code is a
> bad thing.

Interesting. If the libpcre API is a pain to work with for simpler 
applications, then there is a real opportunity for a simpler layer to be 
useful. My first instinct, though, would be to suggest that such a thing 
might be better placed as part of the pcre project itself.

> Adding libpcre as a required dependency of apr-util without providing
> some way of including the library within apr-util's build (for pcre
> challenged systems) is a nasty thing - and one that I'm surprised people
> would be happy with.

Did anyone say that?

> Most of the above seemed to be self evident, so the high level of
> resistance I saw to my proposal surprised me.

Hopefully I've explained why it isn't self-evidently advantageous to me.

> The fact that people were happy to complain on IRC but not post to the
> list worried me.

I can only speak for myself here, but I'd assumed that having noted to 
you directly that I thought the idea needed a bit of justification, 
you'd go ahead and post some to the list.  I didn't feel any need to 
post to the list, since I'd already delivered my request for more info 
to you via IRC.

> Why did I withdraw my patch from discussion? The level of resistance I
> saw was quite high and given how many things I'm working on and the fact
> that the regex support isn't high on any list of things to be done, I
> decided to cut it from my todo list - freeing my time up for other
> things. I'd rather be doing productive things than debating pro's and
> cons of something that people don't want.

I don't not want it - rather, I don't understand why it should be 
wanted, and am interested to discover the reasons for which you want it, 
which I do not see.

It's clear this isn't going to be the trivial httpd->apr-util relocation 
job which it looks like you were hoping for, so I guess this thread will 
fizzle out. Hopefully, I've at least managed to explain why reaction 
wasn't positive.


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