Title

require-extension

Authors

Felix L. Winkelmann and D.C. Frost

Status

This SRFI is currently in ``final'' status. To see an explanation of each status that a SRFI can hold, see here. You can access the discussion via the archive of the mailing list.

Abstract

This SRFI specifies an extremely simple facility for making an extension or library available to a Scheme toplevel environment.

Rationale

The (requires ...) clause of SRFI 7 (Feature-based program configuration language) is one possible way for a program to declare that it requires certain features or extensions in order to run. There are two limitations with this facility: first, an implementation of SRFI 7 is not actually required to do anything as the result of encountering a (requires ...) clause. At the time of this writing, some implementations do in fact load and make available the specified extension in this case, but some do not. Second, the SRFI 7 language is most appropriate as an annotation to program text. It is not designed for interactive use.

This SRFI therefore defines a simple mechanism specifically for requiring that extensions be made immediately available to subsequent code at compile-time or runtime, as appropriate. In particular, the intent is that a trivial, portable means exist for loading SRFI functionality within a program or interactive session; but the mechanism described here is general enough to be used for other types of extensions, at the implementation's discretion.

Most implementations of Scheme include a form very similar to require-extension. This SRFI can therefore be viewed, in the context of those Schemes, as merely a standard naming convention.

It is possible for an implementation's design, contrary to common practice, to conflict with the semantics of require-extension. Such an implementation would provide an alternative means of specifying requirements. This SRFI does not aim to be ubiquitous, only to capture current idiom.

Specification

The require-extension form is used to make an extension available in the toplevel scope in which it appears. The definition of a "toplevel scope" and the exact meaning of what it means to make an extension available in one is implementation-defined, but we expect likely scopes will include the default scope in which program expressions are evaluated; the scope in which program expressions within a module are evaluated, as defined by a module system; and the interactive REPL ("read-eval-print loop"). When require-extension is used to make an extension available in a non-interactive context, it is implementation-defined whether the extension will be available to code lexically preceding the require-extension form in the same scope, but it should be available to code in the same scope lexically succeeding the require-extension form. An implementation should default to signalling a warning or an error in the event that a requested extension cannot be made available. An implementation is encouraged but not required to signal a warning or an error if the user attempts to access incompatible extensions simultaneously.

An implementation claiming to support this SRFI must support require-extension in at least one scope.

The syntax of require-extension is as follows:

(require-extension <clause> ...)

A clause has the form:

(<extension-identifier> <extension-argument> ...)

where <extension-identifier> is a symbol and the zero or more <extension-argument>s may be any Scheme values.

This SRFI defines only one extension-identifier, the identifier srfi, which implementations purporting to conform to this SRFI must support. The extension-arguments of a srfi clause may be any Scheme values, at an implementation's discretion, but an implementation must support nonnegative integer extension-arguments and should treat them as a directive to make the functionality of the indicated SRFIs available in the context in which the require-extension form appears. For example:

(require-extension (srfi 1))              ; Make the SRFI 1 List Library available
(require-extension (srfi 1 13 14))        ; Make the SRFI 1, 13 and 14 libraries available

Implementation

The implementation of require-extension is necessarily implementation-specific.
Here is a (very simple) example implementation that is based on the optional R5RS load procedure:

;;;; Reference implementation for SRFI-55
;
; Requirements: SRFI-23 (error reporting)

(define available-extensions '())

(define (register-extension id action . compare)
  (set! available-extensions
    (cons (list (if (pair? compare) (car compare) equal?)
		id 
		action)
	  available-extensions)) )

(define (find-extension id)
  (define (lookup exts)
    (if (null? exts)
	(error "extension not found - please contact your vendor" id)
	(let ((ext (car exts)))
	  (if ((car ext) (cadr ext) id)
	      ((caddr ext))
	      (lookup (cdr exts)) ) ) ) )
  (lookup available-extensions) )

(define-syntax require-extension 
  (syntax-rules (srfi)
    ((_ "internal" (srfi id ...))
     (begin (find-extension '(srfi id) ...)) )
    ((_ "internal" id)
     (find-extension 'id) )
    ((_ clause ...)
     (begin (require-extension "internal" clause) ...)) ) )

; Example of registering extensions:
;
;   (register-extension '(srfi 1) (lambda () (load "/usr/local/lib/scheme/srfi-1.scm")))

Copyright

Copyright (c) Felix L. Winkelmann and D.C. Frost (2004). All Rights Reserved.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


Editor: Mike Sperber
Last modified: Sun Jan 28 13:40:37 MET 2007