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3.1 Format of the Pseudo Macro

The pseudo macro is used to tell AutoGen how to process a template. It tells autogen:

  1. The start macro marker. It consists of punctuation characters used to demarcate the start of a macro. It may be up to seven characters long and must be the first non-whitespace characters in the file.

    It is generally a good idea to use some sort of opening bracket in the starting macro and closing bracket in the ending macro (e.g. {, (, [, or even < in the starting macro). It helps both visually and with editors capable of finding a balancing parenthesis.

  2. That start marker must be immediately followed by the identifier strings "AutoGen5" and then "template", though capitalization is not important.

The next several components may be intermingled:

  1. Zero, one or more suffix specifications tell AutoGen how many times to process the template file. No suffix specifications mean that it is to be processed once and that the generated text is to be written to ‘stdout’. The current suffix for each pass can be determined with the (suffix) scheme function (see section suffix’ - get the current suffix).

    The suffix specification consists of a sequence of POSIX compliant file name characters and, optionally, an equal sign and a file name formatting specification. That specification may be either an ordinary sequence of file name characters with zero, one or two "%s" formatting sequences in it, or else it may be a Scheme expression that, when evaluated, produces such a string. The Scheme result may not be empty. The two string arguments allowed for that string are the base name of the definition file, and the current suffix (that being the text to the left of the equal sign). (Note: "POSIX compliant file name characters" consist of alphanumerics plus the period (.), hyphen (-) and underscore (_) characters.)

    If the suffix begins with one of these three latter characters and a formatting string is not specified, then that character is presumed to be the suffix separator. Otherwise, without a specified format string, a single period will separate the suffix from the base name in constructing the output file name.

  2. Shell specification: to specify that the template was written expecting a particular shell to run the shell commands. By default, the shell used is the autoconf-ed CONFIG_SHELL. This will usually be ‘/bin/sh’. The shell is specified by a hash mark (#) followed by an exclamation mark (!) followed by a full-path file name (e.g. ‘/usr/xpg4/bin/sh’ on Solaris):
    [= Autogen5 Template c
  3. Comments: blank lines, lines starting with a hash mark (#) and not specifying a shell, and edit mode markers (text between pairs of -*- strings) are all treated as comments.
  4. Some scheme expressions may be inserted in order to make configuration changes before template processing begins. before template processing begins means that there is no current output file, no current suffix and, basically, none of the AutoGen specific functions (see section AutoGen Scheme Functions) may be invoked.

    The scheme expression can also be used, for example, to save a pre-existing output file for later text extraction (see section extract’ - extract text from another file).

    (shellf "mv -f %1$s.c %1$s.sav" (base-name))

After these must come the end macro marker:

  1. The punctuation characters used to demarcate the end of a macro. Like the start marker, it must consist of seven or fewer punctuation characters.

The ending macro marker has a few constraints on its content. Some of them are just advisory, though. There is no special check for advisory restrictions.

As an example, assume we want to use [+ and +] as the start and end macro markers, and we wish to produce a ‘.c’ and a ‘.h’ file, then the pseudo macro might look something like this:

[+ AutoGen5 template -*- Mode: emacs-mode-of-choice -*-
# make sure we don't use csh:
(setenv "SHELL" "/bin/sh")  +]

The template proper starts after the pseudo-macro. The starting character is either the first non-whitespace character or the first character after the newline that follows the end macro marker.

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This document was generated by Bruce Korb on August 21, 2015 using texi2html 1.82.