I don't know how many avid windows batchers are out there ( I was one some years ago ), but perhaps a few of you can use / be horrified by this little helper. Ever get annoyed because you can't easily reuse functions between scripts since they'll stomp all over each others environment variables? Probably not. Just in case, here's how to create lexically scoped batch file functions.


:: blah blah do anything to namespace blah

::now pass the full name / status back out of the setlocal
for /F "usebackq tokens=1,2 delims=~" %%a in (`echo.%ServiceName%~"%Status%"`) do (
set CACHE~%%a=%%b
goto :eof


Even better if you structure them such that the first argument is the name of the variable to receive the value from the function call and then write your exit similar to this :

::now pass the full name / status back out of the setlocal
for /F "usebackq tokens=1,2 delims=~" %%a in (`echo.%ServiceName%~"%Status%"`) do (
set %1=%%b

BTW, I don't really recommend writing large programs in batch, but if draconian network policies make it all you've got, good luck.

Remember that it is two phase, first variable expansion happens, then execution occurs. Execution of lines starting with `:' makes these lines into labels. Lines that start `::' are label errors and dropped ( making for better comments than rem, which executes and freaks out all to hell if special characters are in its argument list / comment area ). Lines starting `%%en_var%%' where the environment variable `en_var' has the value `::' are label errors and dropped. ( This can be used to great effect. I can't take credit for this hack though. I found it on Rob van der Woude's scripting site ).


Function chaining in arc.

I noticed some complaints about a lack of the equivalent of Haskell's point-free programming style for Arc, I decided to implement one of Haskell's more useful operators.

The $ operator in Haskell breaks a statement into two statements. It executes the second and then uses the output as the final variable to the first.

main = print $ "hello" ++ " " ++ "world"

is the same as

main = print ( "hello" ++ " " ++ "world )

Lacking infix operators I cannot recreate the functionality exactly. Nor, given that Arc is a lisp and doing so would be decidedly unlispy, would I want to. Instead I have created the following chain macro that will allow a similar form of composition. I do not believe it would be difficult to turn the following into a mutli-argument compose macro either.

 ;; chains similar to haskells $ operator.                                                                                                                                                                         
(mac chain args
(if (is 0 (len args))
(is 1 (len args))
(args 0)
(let n (uniq)
`(let ,n ,(eval `(chain ,@(cdr args)))
(eval (+ ',(args 0) (list ,n)))))))

This allows for the following :

arc>  (chain (+ 3) (+ 4 5) (- 2) (+ 6) 8)
arc> (chain)
arc> (chain (+ 4))
arc> (chain (+ 4) (+ 4 8))
arc> (chain (+ 4) (+ 5 6) (- 5) 50)
arc> (chain (+ 3) ([/ _ 3]) ([- _ 2]) (+ 100) 12)

If it didn't wrap a (list ...) around each return value and required each return value to be a list in its own right ( or only wrapped non-cons structures ) it would have similar semantics to perls execution model, compressing each list into the current argument chain.

The chain macro needs all of the function calls to be wrapped in paren for it to operate properly, since it takes each value and appends it to the next function.

About Me

(2) the subculture of the compulsive programmer, whose ethics prescribe that one silly idea and a month of frantic coding should suffice to make him a life-long millionaire. --ewd1036