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From Howard Fear <>
Subject Re: Broken clients
Date Tue, 23 Jul 1996 14:55:16 GMT

Tom Tromey writes:
Aram> Linux is one of the most stable UNIX platforms I've seen
Aram> around. [ etc ]
> I didn't mean to slam Linux... that was just the example at hand.

Seconded.  There are plenty of other broken regex libraries in
commercial unixes  as well.

> What I tried (and failed) to say is that you can never tell what new
> bugs an OS release will bring.  Of course, you have to balance this
> problem against the problems associated with including the whole C
> library with every package.  People have traditionally decided to
> include their own regexp routines because the OS routines are missing
> or buggy; regexps seem to be something that many OSs get wrong.

Yes, writing and maintaining a c library to avoid OS problems is
a lot of work for very little return.  That's one of the things
that makes the Henry's regex library so attractive.  It exists and
is already tested on many (if not all) of the platforms you'd want to
run it on.  There should be no maintainance at all.

> Also, back to the real topic: it might be possible to modify Spencer's
> regexp routines to use the pool allocator.  I don't know what this
> will buy (I don't anything about the allocator), but if it is a win
> then this is another reason to include a regexp package in Apache.

I wouldn't do this.  1) Henry's stuff has already been tested to not
leak memory, and 2) the regex package uses free's which are not directly
supported by the pool allocation.  Yes, you could use subpools and
such, but this would be more intrusive to the code than necessary.
Particularly for code that works.

Someone asked about the copyright, so here it is:

Copyright 1992, 1993, 1994 Henry Spencer.  All rights reserved.
This software is not subject to any license of the American Telephone
and Telegraph Company or of the Regents of the University of California.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose on
any computer system, and to alter it and redistribute it, subject
to the following restrictions:

1. The author is not responsible for the consequences of use of this
   software, no matter how awful, even if they arise from flaws in it.

2. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented, either by
   explicit claim or by omission.  Since few users ever read sources,
   credits must appear in the documentation.

3. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be
   misrepresented as being the original software.  Since few users
   ever read sources, credits must appear in the documentation.

4. This notice may not be removed or altered.

Howard Fear      email1:

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