CS221: C and Systems Programming

Project 2
CS221: C and Systems Programming { Fall 2019
Deadline: November 18, 2019 at 11:59pm
Restricted grep (rgrep)
grep is a UNIX utility that is used to search for patterns in text files. It’s a powerful and versatile tool, and in
this project you will implement a version that, while simplified, should still be useful.1
Your project is to complete the implementation of rgrep, our simplified, restricted grep. rgrep is \restricted” in
the sense that the patterns it matches only support a few regular operators (the easier ones). The way rgrep is
used is that a pattern is specified on the command line. rgrep then reads lines from its standard input and prints
them out on its standard output if and only if the pattern \matches” the line. For example, we can use rgrep to
search for lines that contain text file names that are at least 3 characters long (plus the extension) in a file like the
# so you can see what lines are in the file:
$ cat testin
$ ./rgrep ‘.\.txt’ < testin
What’s going on here? rgrep was given the pattern “.n.txt”; it printed only the lines from its standard input
that matched this pattern. How can you tell if a line matches the pattern? A line matches a pattern if the pattern
\appears” somewhere inside the line. In the absence of any special operators, seeing if a line matches a pattern
reduces to seeing if the pattern occurs as a substring anywhere in the line. So for most characters, their meaning
in a pattern is just to match themselves in the target string. However, there are a few special clauses you must

.(period) Matches any character
+(plus sign) The preceding character may appear 1 or more times (in other words, the preceding character
can be repeated several times in a row).
The preceding character may appear between 0 and 1 times (in other words, the preceding
character is optional).
n(backslash) \Escapes” the following character, nullifying any special meaning it has.

So, here are some examples of patterns and the kinds of lines they match.

( An open parenthesis must appear somewhere in the line.
hey+ Matches a line that contains the string \hey” followed by any number (0 or more) of y’s.
str?ing Matches lines that contain the substrings \string” or \sting”, since the \r” is optional..
z.zn.txt Matches lines that contain the substring \zaz.txt”, \zbz.txt”, etc., where the character between the
z’s can be anything, including a period.

1Type man grep in terminal for more detailed information on how grep works.
These are the only special characters you have to handle. With the exception of the null char that terminates a
string, you should not have to handle any other character in any special way. You may assume that your code
will not be run against patterns that don’t make sense. You must follow the specification strictly – so you should
neither include any library other than those specified in the skeleton, nor copy and paste code from other libraries.
You may not use any code you find online.
Your rgrep does not need to support the following patterns:
• Operators ?,.,+ immediately follow one another (e.g., ‘.+’).
• Same letter occurs before and after + and ? operators (e.g., ‘a+a’, ‘b?b’).
• Escape operator is the last character in the pattern (e.g., ‘abcn’).
Getting started
Download the skeleton code from the course webpage.
To compile, type:
$ make
To run against a particular pattern, use
$ ./rgrep pattern
The skeleton code handles reading lines from standard input and printing them out for you; you must implement
the function int rgrep_matches(char *line, char *pattern) in matcher.c, which returns true if and only if
the string contains the pattern. You may also choose to implement matches_leading, which is also in matcher.c,
to guide your submission, though this is optional. You may add your helper functions in matcher.c, but you
should not modify any other files. You must implement at least one of these two functions (rgrep_matches
or matches_leading) recursively. You will only submit your matcher.c file, so if you modify any other files, we
won’t be even looking at them.
$ make check
Note that this doesn’t mean your solution will receive full points, since we will be running a much larger suite of
test cases. Testing your code is part of your grade, so you should test your code to make sure that it properly
matches lines against patterns. One way to do this is to create a text file with the lines you want to test against,
say test input.txt and then verify that running ./rgrep pattern < test_input.txt prints only the lines that
you think should match the pattern, and no others. Note that the terminal might interpret the backslash operator
for you, which is not what you want. For example, when you type at your shell
$ ./rgrep \.hi < input.txt
your program might get the pattern \.hi” because the shell interpreted the backslash before it got passed to your
program. The solution is to put the pattern in single quotes, so what you want to type is:
$ ./rgrep ‘\.hi’ < input.txt
This should ensure that your pattern operators aren’t expanded or consumed by the shell in the terminal.
You are encouraged to share your test cases in Piazza.
Your code must compile and run correctly on the Linux lab machines. If we cannot compile your code on the lab
machines, you will receive no credit.

Feature Points
Patterns without special characters 30
Patterns with periods 25
Patterns with plus signs 15
Patterns with question marks 15
Patterns with periods, plus signs, question marks, and backslashes 10
Code style 5

Submission Guidelines:
Prior to the deadline, upload one zip file containing only two files: your matcher.c source code, and status.txt,
to Canvas. The ZIP file name must be in the following format: LastName FirstName StudentID proj2.zip. For
instance, if my student ID is 123456789 and I am submitting my solution for project 2, then I am going to compress
status.txt and matcher.c, and rename the zip file to: Pournaghshband Vahab 123456789 proj2.zip. Do not
submit/include any other file such as the executable file. A good sanity check is to check your zip file for corruption
by extracting (unzipping) it and testing whether it did compress it successfully. If we cannot unzip your submission,
you will receive no credit.
Sample status.txt file:
Vahab Pournaghshband – Project 2 The program works as required. It compiles/runs and the
output matches the correct format to the letter. However, the style and formatting is incorrect
because I didn’t include any comments.

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