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PHP also supports regular expressions using a Perl-compatible syntax using the PCRE functions. Those functions support non-greedy matching, assertions, conditional subpatterns, and a number of other features not supported by the POSIX-extended regular expression syntax.
These regular expression functions are not binary-safe. The PCRE functions are.
As of PHP 5.3.0 this extension is deprecated, calling any function provided by this extension will issue an
Regular expressions are used for complex string manipulation. PHP uses the POSIX extended regular expressions as defined by POSIX 1003.2. For a full description of POSIX regular expressions see the » regex man pages included in the regex directory in the PHP distribution. It's in manpage format, so you'll want to do something along the lines of man /usr/local/src/regex/regex.7 in order to read it.