Kawa supports most of the syntax-case feature.

Syntax definitions are valid wherever definitions are. They have the following form:

Syntax: define-syntax keyword transformer-spec

The keyword is a identifier, and transformer-spec is a function that maps syntax forms to syntax forms, usually an instance of syntax-rules. If the define-syntax occurs at the top level, then the top-level syntactic environment is extended by binding the keyword to to the specified transformer, but existing references to any top-level binding for keyword remain unchanged. Otherwise, it is a internal syntax definition, and is local to the body in which it is defined.

(let ((x 1) (y 2))
   (define-syntax swap!
     (syntax-rules ()
       ((swap! a b)
        (let ((tmp a))
          (set! a b)
          (set! b tmp)))))
   (swap! x y)
   (list x y))  ⇒ (2 1)

Macros can expand into definitions in any context that permits them. However, it is an error for a definition to define an identifier whose binding has to be known in order to determine the meaning of the definitoion itself, or of any predecing definiton that belongs to the same group of internal definitions.

Syntax: define-syntax-case name (literals) (pattern expr) ...

A convenience macro to make it easy to define syntax-case-style macros. Defines a macro with the given name and list of literals. Each pattern has the form of a syntax-rules-style pattern, and it is matched against the macro invocation syntax form. When a match is found, the corresponding expr is evaluated. It must evaluate to a syntax form, which replaces the macro invocation.

(define-syntax-case macro-name (literals)
  (pat1 result1)
  (pat2 result2))

is equivalent to:

(define-syntax macro-name
  (lambda (form)
    (syntax-case form (literals)
      (pat1 result1)
      (pat2 result2))))

Syntax: define-macro (name lambda-list) form ...

This form is deprecated. Functionally equivalent to defmacro.

Syntax: defmacro name lambda-list form ...

This form is deprecated. Instead of

(defmacro (name ...)
  (let ... `(... ,exp ...)))

you should probably do:

(define-syntax-case name ()
  ((_ ...) (let #`(... #,exp ...))))

and instead of

(defmacro (name ... var ...) `(... var ...))

you should probably do:

(define-syntax-case name ()
  ((_ ... var ...) #`(... var ...))

Defines an old-style macro a la Common Lisp, and installs (lambda lambda-list form ...) as the expansion function for name. When the translator sees an application of name, the expansion function is called with the rest of the application as the actual arguments. The resulting object must be a Scheme source form that is futher processed (it may be repeatedly macro-expanded).

Procedure: gentemp

Returns a new (interned) symbol each time it is called. The symbol names are implementation-dependent. (This is not directly macro-related, but is often used in conjunction with defmacro to get a fresh unique identifier.)

Procedure: expand form

The result of evaluating form is treated as a Scheme expression, syntax-expanded to internal form, and then converted back to (roughly) the equivalent expanded Scheme form.

This can be useful for debugging macros.

To access this function, you must first (require 'syntax-utils).

(require 'syntax-utils)
(expand '(cond ((> x y) 0) (else 1))) ⇒ (if (> x y) 0 1)

Identifier predicates

Procedure: identifier? obj

Return #t if obj is an identifier, i.e., a syntax object representing an identifier, and #f otherwise.

The identifier? procedure is often used within a fender to verify that certain subforms of an input form are identifiers, as in the definition of rec, which creates self–contained recursive objects, below.

(define-syntax rec
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ x e)
       (identifier? #'x)
       #'(letrec ((x e)) x)))))

(map (rec fact
       (lambda (n)
         (if (= n 0)                 
             (* n (fact (- n 1))))))
     '(1 2 3 4 5))    ⇒ (1 2 6 24 120)
(rec 5 (lambda (x) x))  ⇒ exception

The procedures bound-identifier=? and free-identifier=? each take two identifier arguments and return #t if their arguments are equivalent and #f otherwise. These predicates are used to compare identifiers according to their intended use as free references or bound identifiers in a given context.

Procedure: bound-identifier=? id1 id2

id1 and id2 must be identifiers.

The procedure bound-identifier=? returns #t if a binding for one would capture a reference to the other in the output of the transformer, assuming that the reference appears within the scope of the binding, and #f otherwise.

In general, two identifiers are bound-identifier=? only if both are present in the original program or both are introduced by the same transformer application (perhaps implicitly, see datum->syntax).

The bound-identifier=? procedure can be used for detecting duplicate identifiers in a binding construct or for other preprocessing of a binding construct that requires detecting instances of the bound identifiers.

Procedure: free-identifier=? id1 id2

id1 and id2 must be identifiers.

The free-identifier=? procedure returns #t if and only if the two identifiers would resolve to the same binding if both were to appear in the output of a transformer outside of any bindings inserted by the transformer. (If neither of two like–named identifiers resolves to a binding, i.e., both are unbound, they are considered to resolve to the same binding.)

Operationally, two identifiers are considered equivalent by free-identifier=? if and only the topmost matching substitution for each maps to the same binding or the identifiers have the same name and no matching substitution.

The syntax-case and syntax-rules forms internally use free-identifier=? to compare identifiers listed in the literals list against input identifiers.

(let ((fred 17))
  (define-syntax a
    (lambda (x)
      (syntax-case x ()
        ((_ id) #'(b id fred)))))
  (define-syntax b
    (lambda (x)
      (syntax-case x ()
        ((_ id1 id2)
             #,(free-identifier=? #'id1 #'id2)
             #,(bound-identifier=? #'id1 #'id2))))))
  (a fred))
    ⇒ (#t #f)

The following definition of unnamed let uses bound-identifier=? to detect duplicate identifiers.

(define-syntax let
  (lambda (x)
    (define unique-ids?
      (lambda (ls)
        (or (null? ls)
            (and (let notmem? ((x (car ls)) (ls (cdr ls)))
                   (or (null? ls)
                       (and (not (bound-identifier=? x (car ls)))
                            (notmem? x (cdr ls)))))
                 (unique-ids? (cdr ls))))))
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ ((i v) ...) e1 e2 ...)
       (unique-ids? #'(i ...))
       #'((lambda (i ...) e1 e2 ...) v ...)))))

The argument #'(i ...) to unique-ids? is guaranteed to be a list by the rules given in the description of syntax above.

With this definition of let:

(let ((a 3) (a 4)) (+ a a))    ⇒ syntax error


  ((dolet (lambda (x)
            (syntax-case x ()
              ((_ b)
               #'(let ((a 3) (b 4)) (+ a b)))))))
  (dolet a))
⇒ 7

since the identifier a introduced by dolet and the identifier a extracted from the input form are not bound-identifier=?.

Rather than including else in the literals list as before, this version of case explicitly tests for else using free-identifier=?.

(define-syntax case
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ e0 ((k ...) e1 e2 ...) ...
          (else-key else-e1 else-e2 ...))
       (and (identifier? #'else-key)
            (free-identifier=? #'else-key #'else))
       #'(let ((t e0))
            ((memv t '(k ...)) e1 e2 ...)
            (else else-e1 else-e2 ...))))
      ((_ e0 ((ka ...) e1a e2a ...)
          ((kb ...) e1b e2b ...) ...)
       #'(let ((t e0))
            ((memv t '(ka ...)) e1a e2a ...)
            ((memv t '(kb ...)) e1b e2b ...)

With either definition of case, else is not recognized as an auxiliary keyword if an enclosing lexical binding for else exists. For example,

(let ((else #f))
  (case 0 (else (write "oops"))))    ⇒ syntax error

since else is bound lexically and is therefore not the same else that appears in the definition of case.

Syntax-object and datum conversions

Procedure: syntax->datum syntax-object

Deprecated procedure: syntax-object->datum syntax-object

Strip all syntactic information from a syntax object and returns the corresponding Scheme datum.

Identifiers stripped in this manner are converted to their symbolic names, which can then be compared with eq?. Thus, a predicate symbolic-identifier=? might be defined as follows.

(define symbolic-identifier=?
  (lambda (x y)
    (eq? (syntax->datum x)
         (syntax->datum y))))

Procedure: datum->syntax template-id datum [srcloc]

Deprecated procedure: datum->syntax-object template-id datum

template-id must be a template identifier and datum should be a datum value.

The datum->syntax procedure returns a syntax-object representation of datum that contains the same contextual information as template-id, with the effect that the syntax object behaves as if it were introduced into the code when template-id was introduced.

If srcloc is specified (and neither #f or #!null), it specifies the file position (including line number) for the result. In that case it should be a syntax object representing a list; otherwise it is currently ignored, though future extensions may support other ways of specifying the position.

The datum->syntax procedure allows a transformer to “bend” lexical scoping rules by creating implicit identifiers that behave as if they were present in the input form, thus permitting the definition of macros that introduce visible bindings for or references to identifiers that do not appear explicitly in the input form. For example, the following defines a loop expression that uses this controlled form of identifier capture to bind the variable break to an escape procedure within the loop body. (The derived with-syntax form is like let but binds pattern variables.)

(define-syntax loop
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((k e ...)
           ((break (datum->syntax #'k 'break)))
             (lambda (break)
               (let f () e ... (f)))))))))

(let ((n 3) (ls '()))
    (if (= n 0) (break ls))
    (set! ls (cons 'a ls))
    (set! n (- n 1))))
⇒ (a a a)

Were loop to be defined as:

(define-syntax loop
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ e ...)
           (lambda (break)
             (let f () e ... (f))))))))

the variable break would not be visible in e ....

The datum argument datum may also represent an arbitrary Scheme form, as demonstrated by the following definition of include.

(define-syntax include
  (lambda (x)
    (define read-file
      (lambda (fn k)
        (let ((p (open-file-input-port fn)))
          (let f ((x (get-datum p)))
            (if (eof-object? x)
                (begin (close-port p) '())
                (cons (datum->syntax k x)
                      (f (get-datum p))))))))
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((k filename)
       (let ((fn (syntax->datum #'filename)))
         (with-syntax (((exp ...)
                        (read-file fn #'k)))
           #'(begin exp ...)))))))

(include "filename") expands into a begin expression containing the forms found in the file named by "filename". For example, if the file contains:

(define f (lambda (x) (g (* x x))))

and the file contains:

(define g (lambda (x) (+ x x)))

the expression:

(let ()
  (include "")
  (include "")
  (f 5))

evaluates to 50.

The definition of include uses datum->syntax to convert the objects read from the file into syntax objects in the proper lexical context, so that identifier references and definitions within those expressions are scoped where the include form appears.

Using datum->syntax, it is even possible to break hygiene entirely and write macros in the style of old Lisp macros. The lisp-transformer procedure defined below creates a transformer that converts its input into a datum, calls the programmer’s procedure on this datum, and converts the result back into a syntax object scoped where the original macro use appeared.

(define lisp-transformer
  (lambda (p)
    (lambda (x)
      (syntax-case x ()
        ((kwd . rest)
         (datum->syntax #'kwd
           (p (syntax->datum x))))))))

Convenience forms

Syntax: with-syntax ((pattern expression) ) body

The with-syntax form is used to bind pattern variables, just as let is used to bind variables. This allows a transformer to construct its output in separate pieces, then put the pieces together.

Each pattern is identical in form to a syntax-case pattern. The value of each expression is computed and destructured according to the corresponding pattern, and pattern variables within the pattern are bound as with syntax-case to the corresponding portions of the value within body.

The with-syntax form may be defined in terms of syntax-case as follows.

(define-syntax with-syntax
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ ((p e0) ...) e1 e2 ...)
       (syntax (syntax-case (list e0 ...) ()
                 ((p ...) (let () e1 e2 ...))))))))

The following definition of cond demonstrates the use of with-syntax to support transformers that employ recursion internally to construct their output. It handles all cond clause variations and takes care to produce one-armed if expressions where appropriate.

(define-syntax cond
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ c1 c2 ...)
       (let f ((c1 #'c1) (c2* #'(c2 ...)))
         (syntax-case c2* ()
            (syntax-case c1 (else =>)
             (((else e1 e2 ...) #'(begin e1 e2 ...))
              ((e0) #'e0)
              ((e0 => e1)
               #'(let ((t e0)) (if t (e1 t))))
              ((e0 e1 e2 ...)
               #'(if e0 (begin e1 e2 ...)))))
           ((c2 c3 ...)
            (with-syntax ((rest (f #'c2 #'(c3 ...))))
              (syntax-case c1 (=>)
                ((e0) #'(let ((t e0)) (if t t rest)))
                ((e0 => e1)
                 #'(let ((t e0)) (if t (e1 t) rest)))
                ((e0 e1 e2 ...)
                 #'(if e0 
                        (begin e1 e2 ...)

Syntax: quasisyntax template

Auxiliary Syntax: unsyntax

Auxiliary Syntax: unsyntax-splicing

The quasisyntax form is similar to syntax, but it allows parts of the quoted text to be evaluated, in a manner similar to the operation of quasiquote.

Within a quasisyntax template, subforms of unsyntax and unsyntax-splicing forms are evaluated, and everything else is treated as ordinary template material, as with syntax.

The value of each unsyntax subform is inserted into the output in place of the unsyntax form, while the value of each unsyntax-splicing subform is spliced into the surrounding list or vector structure. Uses of unsyntax and unsyntax-splicing are valid only within quasisyntax expressions.

A quasisyntax expression may be nested, with each quasisyntax introducing a new level of syntax quotation and each unsyntax or unsyntax-splicing taking away a level of quotation. An expression nested within n quasisyntax expressions must be within n unsyntax or unsyntax-splicing expressions to be evaluated.

As noted in abbreviation, #`template is equivalent to (quasisyntax template), #,template is equivalent to (unsyntax template), and #,@template is equivalent to (unsyntax-splicing template). Note that for backwards compatibility, you should only use #,template inside a literal #`template form.

The quasisyntax keyword can be used in place of with-syntax in many cases. For example, the definition of case shown under the description of with-syntax above can be rewritten using quasisyntax as follows.

(define-syntax case
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ e c1 c2 ...)
       #`(let ((t e))
           #,(let f ((c1 #'c1) (cmore #'(c2 ...)))
               (if (null? cmore)
                   (syntax-case c1 (else)
                     ((else e1 e2 ...)
                      #'(begin e1 e2 ...))
                     (((k ...) e1 e2 ...)
                      #'(if (memv t '(k ...))
                            (begin e1 e2 ...))])
                   (syntax-case c1 ()
                     (((k ...) e1 e2 ...)
                      #`(if (memv t '(k ...))
                            (begin e1 e2 ...)
                            #,(f (car cmore)
                                  (cdr cmore))))))))))))

Note: Any syntax-rules form can be expressed with syntax-case by making the lambda expression and syntax expressions explicit, and syntax-rules may be defined in terms of syntax-case as follows.

(define-syntax syntax-rules
  (lambda (x)
    (syntax-case x ()
      ((_ (lit ...) ((k . p) t) ...)
       (for-all identifier? #'(lit ... k ...))
       #'(lambda (x)
           (syntax-case x (lit ...)
             ((_ . p) #'t) ...))))))

 c FIXME May rename: Control structure