Thanks for the reply.

Wes Garland wrote:
1. There is no APR equivalent for free, as it is neither needed nor desired.   Simply allocate your memory from a pool, and destroy the pool when it is no longer needed.  I would suggest making a subpool on RE create and bury it in an opaque pointer describing your RE, if you're actually going to go whole-hog on this. Me?   I use the OS regexec/regcomp  (search only) and register an apr_pool_cleanup handler to avoid leaking memory.
I'm creating a series of pre-compiled/analyzed regex expressions at server start up - and doing a lot of S&R during processing. I do create a dedicated pool for this, however, I can never destroy it, the pre-compiled expression are stored there and should stay there till server shutdown. And the PCRE documentation states that I should use one memory allocation function  before first usage. I will try to use one pool for the regex creations, and another to be used for the search part - see if that works.

2. Personally, I would never roll my own search and replace except under exceptional circumstances. That said, your approach doesn't sound unreasonable, but it's difficult to say what your problem is without profiling the code and looking at memory consumption. Start by consulting the literature, S&R is a well-understood problem; and maybe google some stuff on ropes, they may serve you better than strings.

For those interested, I traced the issue to UTF-8 handling- PCRE_UTF8 flag will significantly slow down the searches. Not all my regexes need to have UTF-8 enabled, only those dealing with embedded strings, so I shaved a lot of time off by being more selective.

Here's a paper on ropes which discusses concatenation, which *should* be where you're spending your search and replace time: www.cs.ubc.ca/local/reading/proceedings/spe91-95/spe/vol25/issue12/spe986.pdf

Will read thanks!  But with UTF-8 out of the way,
output = apr_array_pstrcat ( subpool, strip_arr, 0 );
works perfectly fine and fast.

Note - if your S&R is regexp instead of strcmp, you could also be spending most of your time in the regex state machine. Profile!

Wes
correct!

I guess I now have to deal with my UTF-8 issues.. ugh. I wonder if UTF-16 would be faster as all chars are 2 bytes long. I'll also try memcached to cache the results so I don't have to do the same processing on every request.

Thanks again

Jacques