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bug#18454: Improve performance when -P (PCRE) is used in UTF-8 locales

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#18454: Improve performance when -P (PCRE) is used in UTF-8 locales
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 19:36:11 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.3.0

On 9/30/14 12:39, Paul Eggert wrote:

GNU grep is smart enough to start matching at character boundaries without checking the validity of the input data.  This helps it run faster.  However, because libpcre requires a validity prepass, grep -P must slow down and do the validity check one way or another.  Grep does this only when libpcre is used, and that's one reason grep -P is slower than plain grep.

Now that Grep master on Savannah has been changed to use PCRE2 instead of PCRE, the 'grep -P' performance problem seems to have been fixed, in that the following commands now take about the same amount of time:

grep -P zzzyyyxxx 10840.pdf
pcre2grep -U zzzyyyxxx 10840.pdf

where the file is from <http://research.nhm.org/pdfs/10840/10840.pdf>. Formerly, 'grep -P' was about 10x slower on this test.

My guess is that the grep -P performance boost comes from bleeding-edge grep using PCRE2's PCRE2_MATCH_INVALID_UTF option.

I'm closing this old bug report <https://bugs.gnu.org/18454>. We can always reopen it if there are still performance issues that I've missed.

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