Directives

Directives in normal or revised syntax are statements at top level, or, more generally, as signature items or structure items, which stops the preprocessor for evaluate things - which can change the behaviour of the preprocessor, for example to add syntax, load syntax extensions and so on. After the directive is evaluated, the parsing resumes.

Directives begin with '#', followed by an identifier, and, optionnally by an expression. They are usable in source files the and generally in the ocaml toplevel too.

Four predefined directives exist: #load, #directory, #option and #use. It is also possible to add other directives. An example of that is the parsing kit pa_pragma.cmo which adds a new directive #pragma.

  1. Predefined directives
  2. User directives

Predefined directives

The predefined directives are:

#load "name"

Loads an object file (ocaml cmo or cma file) in the core, evaluating it. This is typically to be used in the ocaml toplevel to add an syntax extension kit.

For example, in the toplevel, loading the quotation expander of ocaml syntax trees:

  # #load "q_MLast.cmo";

  # value loc = Ploc.dummy;
  value loc : Ploc.t = <abstr>

  # <:expr< fun x -> x >>;
  - : MLast.expr =
  MLast.ExFun <abstr>
    (Ploc.VaVal
       [(MLast.PaLid <abstr> (Ploc.VaVal "x"), Ploc.VaVal None,
         MLast.ExLid <abstr> (Ploc.VaVal "x"))])

In a source file, the '#load' directive is equivalent to put the object file as camlp5 parameter among the 'load options':

   $ cat myfile.ml

   #load "pa_extend.cmo";
   value g = Grammar.gcreate (Plexer.gmake ());
   value e = Grammar.Entry.create g "e";

   EXTEND e: [[ i = INT -> i ]]; END;

   $ ocamlc -pp camlp5r -I +camlp5 -c myfile.ml

which is equivalent to, without using '#load':

   $ cat myfile2.ml

   value g = Grammar.gcreate (Plexer.gmake ());
   value e = Grammar.Entry.create g "e";

   EXTEND e: [[ i = INT -> i ]]; END;

and compiling it like this:

   $ ocamlc -pp 'camlp5r pa_extend.cmo' -I +camlp5 -c myfile2.ml

#directory "name"

Adds a new directory in the camlp5 path searching for loaded files (using the directive #load above). This is equivalent to the option '-I' of the camlp5 command. See the camlp5 man page.

#use "name"

Loads a source file name. Useful in the ocaml toplevel to test a source file.

#option "option"

Adds an option as if it were added in camlp5 command line (to be used in a source file, not in the ocaml toplevel). Implemented only on options without an extra parameter.

For example, the syntax kit pa_extend.cmo adds an option named '-split_ext'. This can be viewed through the command:

  camlp5r pa_extend.cmo -help

Thanks to the directive '#option', the following command in the shell:

  $ camlp5r pa_extend.cmo -split_ext file.ml

can be used only as:

  $ camlp5r file.ml

providing the file starts with:

  #load "pa_extend.cmo";
  #option "-split_ext";

User directives

It is possible to add any extra directive. The syntax kit pragma.cmo, for example, adds a directive named '#pragma'.

A user syntax kit can add its directives using the function "add_directive" of the module Pcaml.


Copyright 2007-2014 Daniel de Rauglaudre (INRIA)

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