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#$EPIC: using_symbolctl.txt,v 1.1 2008/11/30 19:14:38 jnelson Exp $

Things you can do with symbolctl:

Create your own SETs

You can create your own set with symbolctl. The addset script makes this very simple for you.

 alias addset (name, type, ...) {
      if (@name && type) {
              @ symbolctl(create $name);
              @ symbolctl(set $name 1 builtin_variable type $type);
              if (@) {
                      @ symbolctl(set $name 1 builtin_variable script $*);

Creating a set requires three steps:

  @ symbolctl(create $name)

First you have to make sure that the symbol name exists in the symbol table. You can't manipulate a symbol name that doesn't exist.

  @ symbolctl(set $name 1 builtin_variable type $type)

Next you have to define the type of set that your set will be. This can either be BOOL, CHAR, INT, or STR. BOOL mean you can set it to OFF or ON. CHAR means you can set it to a single character. INT means you can set it to a number. STR means you can set it to any string. By defining its type, you implicitly create the set.

  @ symbolctl(set $name 1 builtin_variable script $*)

Finally you can give it some code that you want to have executed every time the set is changed. You would ordinarily pass in a block statement, surrounded by curly braces {….}. The new value is already set, and is passed in as $*, and you can overrule it by changing the set in your own code.


  addset cantturnmeoff bool {
      if (* == [ON]) {
    echo Sorry dave, I can't let you do that.
    set cantturnmeoff off

Doing command completion:

$symbolctl(PMATCH <type> <pattern>)




Checking to see if something exists before using it:


$symbolctl(GET <symbol> <level> BUILTIN_COMMAND)
$symbolctl(GET <symbol> <level> BUILTIN_FUNCTION)
$symbolctl(GET <symbol> <level> BUILTIN_EXPANDO)


Returns 0 if these types are not in use (ie, if there is not a built in command), and returns non-zero if there is. If you're smart, you won't try to do anything with the non-zero value.

using_symbolctl.txt · Last modified: 2008/11/30 19:14 by