Common Lisp defines three macros,
define-setf-method, that allow the
user to extend generalized variables in various ways.
In Emacs, these are obsolete, replaced by various features of
gv.el in Emacs 24.3.
See Adding Generalized Variables in GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
This macro defines a “read-modify-write” macro similar to
cl-decf. You can replace this macro
The macro name is defined to take a place argument followed by additional arguments described by arglist. The call
(name place args…)
will be expanded to
(cl-callf func place args…)
which in turn is roughly equivalent to
(setf place (func place args…))
(define-modify-macro incf (&optional (n 1)) +) (define-modify-macro concatf (&rest args) concat)
&key is not allowed in arglist, but
&rest is sufficient to pass keywords on to the function.
Most of the modify macros defined by Common Lisp do not exactly
follow the pattern of
define-modify-macro. For example,
push takes its arguments in the wrong order, and
is completely irregular.
incf example could be written using
(defmacro incf (place &optional n) (gv-letplace (getter setter) place (macroexp-let2 nil v (or n 1) (funcall setter `(+ ,v ,getter)))))
This is the simpler of two
defsetf forms, and is
With access-fn the name of a function that accesses a place, this declares update-fn to be the corresponding store function. From now on,
(setf (access-fn arg1 arg2 arg3) value)
will be expanded to
(update-fn arg1 arg2 arg3 value)
The update-fn is required to be either a true function, or
a macro that evaluates its arguments in a function-like way. Also,
the update-fn is expected to return value as its result.
Otherwise, the above expansion would not obey the rules for the way
setf is supposed to behave.
As a special (non-Common-Lisp) extension, a third argument of
defsetf says that the return value of
not suitable, so that the above
setf should be expanded to
something more like
(let ((temp value)) (update-fn arg1 arg2 arg3 temp) temp)
Some examples are:
(defsetf car setcar) (defsetf buffer-name rename-buffer t)
These translate directly to
(gv-define-simple-setter car setcar) (gv-define-simple-setter buffer-name rename-buffer t)
This is the second, more complex, form of
It can be replaced by
This form of
defsetf is rather like
defmacro except for
the additional store-var argument. The forms should
return a Lisp form that stores the value of store-var into the
generalized variable formed by a call to access-fn with
arguments described by arglist. The forms may begin with
a string which documents the
setf method (analogous to the doc
string that appears at the front of a function).
For example, the simple form of
defsetf is shorthand for
(defsetf access-fn (&rest args) (store) (append '(update-fn) args (list store)))
The Lisp form that is returned can access the arguments from
arglist and store-var in an unrestricted fashion;
cl-incf that invoke this
setf-method will insert temporary variables as needed to make
sure the apparent order of evaluation is preserved.
Another standard example:
(defsetf nth (n x) (store) `(setcar (nthcdr ,n ,x) ,store))
You could write this using
(gv-define-setter nth (store n x) `(setcar (nthcdr ,n ,x) ,store))
This is the most general way to create new place forms. You can
replace this by
setf to access-fn with arguments described by
arglist is expanded, the forms are evaluated and must
return a list of five items:
This is exactly like the Common Lisp macro of the same name,
except that the method returns a list of five values rather
than the five values themselves, since Emacs Lisp does not
support Common Lisp’s notion of multiple return values.
(Note that the
setf implementation provided by gv.el
does not use this five item format. Its use here is only for
Once again, the forms may begin with a documentation string.
A setf-method should be maximally conservative with regard to
temporary variables. In the setf-methods generated by
defsetf, the second return value is simply the list of
arguments in the place form, and the first return value is a
list of a corresponding number of temporary variables generated
cl-gensym. Macros like
use this setf-method will optimize away most temporaries that
turn out to be unnecessary, so there is little reason for the
setf-method itself to optimize.