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11.3.7 Extracting Programs from Texinfo Source Files

Both this chapter and the previous chapter (Library Functions) present a large number of awk programs. If you want to experiment with these programs, it is tedious to have to type them in by hand. Here we present a program that can extract parts of a Texinfo input file into separate files.

This Web page is written in Texinfo, the GNU project's document formatting language. A single Texinfo source file can be used to produce both printed and online documentation. Texinfo is fully documented in the book Texinfo—The GNU Documentation Format, available from the Free Software Foundation.

For our purposes, it is enough to know three things about Texinfo input files:

The following program, extract.awk, reads through a Texinfo source file and does two things, based on the special comments. Upon seeing ‘@c system ...’, it runs a command, by extracting the command text from the control line and passing it on to the system() function (see I/O Functions). Upon seeing ‘@c file filename’, each subsequent line is sent to the file filename, until ‘@c endfile’ is encountered. The rules in extract.awk match either ‘@c’ or ‘@comment’ by letting the ‘omment’ part be optional. Lines containing ‘@group’ and ‘@end group’ are simply removed. extract.awk uses the join() library function (see Join Function).

The example programs in the online Texinfo source for GAWK: Effective AWK Programming (gawk.texi) have all been bracketed inside ‘file’ and ‘endfile’ lines. The gawk distribution uses a copy of extract.awk to extract the sample programs and install many of them in a standard directory where gawk can find them. The Texinfo file looks something like this:

     ...
     This program has a @code{BEGIN} rule,
     that prints a nice message:
     
     @example
     @c file examples/messages.awk
     BEGIN @{ print "Don't panic!" @}
     @c end file
     @end example
     
     It also prints some final advice:
     
     @example
     @c file examples/messages.awk
     END @{ print "Always avoid bored archeologists!" @}
     @c end file
     @end example
     ...

extract.awk begins by setting IGNORECASE to one, so that mixed upper- and lowercase letters in the directives won't matter.

The first rule handles calling system(), checking that a command is given (NF is at least three) and also checking that the command exits with a zero exit status, signifying OK:

     
     # extract.awk --- extract files and run programs
     #                 from texinfo files
     
     
     
     BEGIN    { IGNORECASE = 1 }
     
     /^@c(omment)?[ \t]+system/    \
     {
         if (NF < 3) {
             e = (FILENAME ":" FNR)
             e = (e  ": badly formed `system' line")
             print e > "/dev/stderr"
             next
         }
         $1 = ""
         $2 = ""
         stat = system($0)
         if (stat != 0) {
             e = (FILENAME ":" FNR)
             e = (e ": warning: system returned " stat)
             print e > "/dev/stderr"
         }
     }
     

The variable e is used so that the rule fits nicely on the page. screen.

The second rule handles moving data into files. It verifies that a file name is given in the directive. If the file named is not the current file, then the current file is closed. Keeping the current file open until a new file is encountered allows the use of the ‘>’ redirection for printing the contents, keeping open file management simple.

The for loop does the work. It reads lines using getline (see Getline). For an unexpected end of file, it calls the unexpected_eof() function. If the line is an “endfile” line, then it breaks out of the loop. If the line is an ‘@group’ or ‘@end group’ line, then it ignores it and goes on to the next line. Similarly, comments within examples are also ignored.

Most of the work is in the following few lines. If the line has no ‘@’ symbols, the program can print it directly. Otherwise, each leading ‘@’ must be stripped off. To remove the ‘@’ symbols, the line is split into separate elements of the array a, using the split() function (see String Functions). The ‘@’ symbol is used as the separator character. Each element of a that is empty indicates two successive ‘@’ symbols in the original line. For each two empty elements (‘@@’ in the original file), we have to add a single ‘@’ symbol back in.1

When the processing of the array is finished, join() is called with the value of SUBSEP, to rejoin the pieces back into a single line. That line is then printed to the output file:

     
     /^@c(omment)?[ \t]+file/    \
     {
         if (NF != 3) {
             e = (FILENAME ":" FNR ": badly formed `file' line")
             print e > "/dev/stderr"
             next
         }
         if ($3 != curfile) {
             if (curfile != "")
                 close(curfile)
             curfile = $3
         }
     
         for (;;) {
             if ((getline line) <= 0)
                 unexpected_eof()
             if (line ~ /^@c(omment)?[ \t]+endfile/)
                 break
             else if (line ~ /^@(end[ \t]+)?group/)
                 continue
             else if (line ~ /^@c(omment+)?[ \t]+/)
                 continue
             if (index(line, "@") == 0) {
                 print line > curfile
                 continue
             }
             n = split(line, a, "@")
             # if a[1] == "", means leading @,
             # don't add one back in.
             for (i = 2; i <= n; i++) {
                 if (a[i] == "") { # was an @@
                     a[i] = "@"
                     if (a[i+1] == "")
                         i++
                 }
             }
             print join(a, 1, n, SUBSEP) > curfile
         }
     }
     

An important thing to note is the use of the ‘>’ redirection. Output done with ‘>’ only opens the file once; it stays open and subsequent output is appended to the file (see Redirection). This makes it easy to mix program text and explanatory prose for the same sample source file (as has been done here!) without any hassle. The file is only closed when a new data file name is encountered or at the end of the input file.

Finally, the function unexpected_eof() prints an appropriate error message and then exits. The END rule handles the final cleanup, closing the open file:

     
     function unexpected_eof()
     {
         printf("%s:%d: unexpected EOF or error\n",
             FILENAME, FNR) > "/dev/stderr"
         exit 1
     }
     
     END {
         if (curfile)
             close(curfile)
     }
     

Footnotes

[1] This program was written before gawk had the gensub() function. Consider how you might use it to simplify the code.