Commit b07e3b1d authored by Basil L. Contovounesios's avatar Basil L. Contovounesios
Browse files

Improve format-spec documentation (bug#41571)

* doc/lispref/text.texi (Interpolated Strings): Move from here...
* doc/lispref/strings.texi (Custom Format Strings): here,
renaming the node and clarifying the documentation.
(Formatting Strings): End node with sentence referring to the next
* lisp/format-spec.el (format-spec): Clarify docstring.
parent 0260d2d2
Pipeline #5744 passed with stage
in 60 minutes and 57 seconds
......@@ -28,6 +28,7 @@ keyboard character events.
* Text Comparison:: Comparing characters or strings.
* String Conversion:: Converting to and from characters and strings.
* Formatting Strings:: @code{format}: Emacs's analogue of @code{printf}.
* Custom Format Strings:: Formatting custom @code{format} specifications.
* Case Conversion:: Case conversion functions.
* Case Tables:: Customizing case conversion.
@end menu
......@@ -1122,6 +1123,181 @@ may be problematic; for example, @samp{%d} and @samp{%g} can mishandle
NaNs and can lose precision and type, and @samp{#x%x} and @samp{#o%o}
can mishandle negative integers. @xref{Input Functions}.
The functions described in this section accept a fixed set of
specification characters. The next section describes a function
@code{format-spec} which can accept custom specification characters,
such as @samp{%a} or @samp{%z}.
@node Custom Format Strings
@section Custom Format Strings
@cindex custom format string
@cindex custom @samp{%}-sequence in format
Sometimes it is useful to allow users and Lisp programs alike to
control how certain text is generated via custom format control
strings. For example, a format string could control how to display
someone's forename, surname, and email address. Using the function
@code{format} described in the previous section, the format string
could be something like @w{@code{"%s %s <%s>"}}. This approach
quickly becomes impractical, however, as it can be unclear which
specification character corresponds to which piece of information.
A more convenient format string for such cases would be something like
@w{@code{"%f %l <%e>"}}, where each specification character carries
more semantic information and can easily be rearranged relative to
other specification characters, making such format strings more easily
customizable by the user.
The function @code{format-spec} described in this section performs a
similar function to @code{format}, except it operates on format
control strings that use arbitrary specification characters.
@defun format-spec template spec-alist &optional only-present
This function returns a string produced from the format string
@var{template} according to conversions specified in @var{spec-alist},
which is an alist (@pxref{Association Lists}) of the form
@w{@code{(@var{letter} . @var{replacement})}}. Each specification
@code{%@var{letter}} in @var{template} will be replaced by
@var{replacement} when formatting the resulting string.
The characters in @var{template}, other than the format
specifications, are copied directly into the output, including their
text properties, if any. Any text properties of the format
specifications are copied to their replacements.
Using an alist to specify conversions gives rise to some useful
@itemize @bullet
If @var{spec-alist} contains more unique @var{letter} keys than there
are unique specification characters in @var{template}, the unused keys
are simply ignored.
If @var{spec-alist} contains more than one association with the same
@var{letter}, the closest one to the start of the list is used.
If @var{template} contains the same specification character more than
once, then the same @var{replacement} found in @var{spec-alist} is
used as a basis for all of that character's substitutions.
The order of specifications in @var{template} need not correspond to
the order of associations in @var{spec-alist}.
@end itemize
The optional argument @var{only-present} indicates how to handle
specification characters in @var{template} that are not found in
@var{spec-alist}. If it is @code{nil} or omitted, the function
signals an error. Otherwise, those format specifications and any
occurrences of @samp{%%} in @var{template} are left verbatim in the
output, including their text properties, if any.
@end defun
The syntax of format specifications accepted by @code{format-spec} is
similar, but not identical, to that accepted by @code{format}. In
both cases, a format specification is a sequence of characters
beginning with @samp{%} and ending with an alphabetic letter such as
Unlike @code{format}, which assigns specific meanings to a fixed set
of specification characters, @code{format-spec} accepts arbitrary
specification characters and treats them all equally. For example:
(setq my-site-info
(list (cons ?s system-name)
(cons ?t (symbol-name system-type))
(cons ?c system-configuration)
(cons ?v emacs-version)
(cons ?e invocation-name)
(cons ?p (number-to-string (emacs-pid)))
(cons ?a user-mail-address)
(cons ?n user-full-name)))
(format-spec "%e %v (%c)" my-site-info)
@result{} "emacs 27.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)"
(format-spec "%n <%a>" my-site-info)
@result{} "Emacs Developers <>"
@end group
@end example
A format specification can include any number of the following flag
characters immediately after the @samp{%} to modify aspects of the
@table @samp
@item 0
This flag causes any padding specified by the width to consist of
@samp{0} characters instead of spaces.
@item -
This flag causes any padding specified by the width to be inserted on
the right rather than the left.
@item <
This flag causes the substitution to be truncated on the left to the
given width, if specified.
@item >
This flag causes the substitution to be truncated on the right to the
given width, if specified.
@item ^
This flag converts the substituted text to upper case (@pxref{Case
@item _
This flag converts the substituted text to lower case (@pxref{Case
@end table
The result of using contradictory flags (for instance, both upper and
lower case) is undefined.
As is the case with @code{format}, a format specification can include
a width, which is a decimal number that appears after any flags. If a
substitution contains fewer characters than its specified width, it is
padded on the left:
(format-spec "%8a is padded on the left with spaces"
'((?a . "alpha")))
@result{} " alpha is padded on the left with spaces"
@end group
@end example
Here is a more complicated example that combines several
aforementioned features:
(setq my-battery-info
(list (cons ?p "73") ; Percentage
(cons ?L "Battery") ; Status
(cons ?t "2:23") ; Remaining time
(cons ?c "24330") ; Capacity
(cons ?r "10.6"))) ; Rate of discharge
(format-spec "%>^-3L : %3p%% (%05t left)" my-battery-info)
@result{} "BAT : 73% (02:23 left)"
(format-spec "%>^-3L : %3p%% (%05t left)"
(cons (cons ?L "AC")
@result{} "AC : 73% (02:23 left)"
@end group
@end example
As the examples in this section illustrate, @code{format-spec} is
often used for selectively formatting an assortment of different
pieces of information. This is useful in programs that provide
user-customizable format strings, as the user can choose to format
with a regular syntax and in any desired order only a subset of the
information that the program makes available.
@node Case Conversion
@section Case Conversion in Lisp
@cindex upper case
......@@ -58,7 +58,6 @@ the character after point.
of another buffer.
* Decompression:: Dealing with compressed data.
* Base 64:: Conversion to or from base 64 encoding.
* Interpolated Strings:: Formatting Customizable Strings.
* Checksum/Hash:: Computing cryptographic hashes.
* GnuTLS Cryptography:: Cryptographic algorithms imported from GnuTLS.
* Parsing HTML/XML:: Parsing HTML and XML.
......@@ -4662,69 +4661,6 @@ If optional argument @var{base64url} is non-@code{nil}, then padding
is optional, and the URL variant of base 64 encoding is used.
@end defun
@node Interpolated Strings
@section Formatting Customizable Strings
It is, in some circumstances, useful to present users with a string to
be customized that can then be expanded programmatically. For
instance, @code{erc-header-line-format} is @code{"%n on %t (%m,%l)
%o"}, and each of those characters after the percent signs are
expanded when the header line is computed. To do this, the
@code{format-spec} function is used:
@defun format-spec format specification &optional only-present
@var{format} is the format specification string as in the example
above. @var{specification} is an alist that has elements where the
@code{car} is a character and the @code{cdr} is the substitution.
If @var{only-present} is @code{nil}, errors will be signaled if a
format character has been used that's not present in
@var{specification}. If it's non-@code{nil}, that format
specification is left verbatim in the result.
@end defun
Here's a trivial example:
(format-spec "su - %u %l"
`((?u . ,(user-login-name))
(?l . "ls")))
@result{} "su - foo ls"
@end example
In addition to allowing padding/limiting to a certain length, the
following modifiers can be used:
@table @asis
@item @samp{0}
Pad with zeros instead of the default spaces.
@item @samp{-}
Pad to the right.
@item @samp{^}
Use upper case.
@item @samp{_}
Use lower case.
@item @samp{<}
If the length needs to be limited, remove characters from the left.
@item @samp{>}
Same as previous, but remove characters from the right.
@end table
If contradictory modifiers are used (for instance, both upper and
lower case), then what happens is undefined.
As an example, @samp{"%<010b"} means ``insert the @samp{b} expansion,
but pad with leading zeros if it's less than ten characters, and if
it's more than ten characters, shorten by removing characters from the
@node Checksum/Hash
@section Checksum/Hash
@cindex MD5 checksum
......@@ -29,35 +29,46 @@
(defun format-spec (format specification &optional only-present)
"Return a string based on FORMAT and SPECIFICATION.
FORMAT is a string containing `format'-like specs like \"su - %u %k\",
while SPECIFICATION is an alist mapping from format spec characters
to values.
FORMAT is a string containing `format'-like specs like \"su - %u %k\".
SPECIFICATION is an alist mapping format specification characters
to their substitutions.
For instance:
(format-spec \"su - %u %l\"
`((?u . ,(user-login-name))
\\=`((?u . ,(user-login-name))
(?l . \"ls\")))
Each format spec can have modifiers, where \"%<010b\" means \"if
the expansion is shorter than ten characters, zero-pad it, and if
it's longer, chop off characters from the left side\".
Each %-spec may contain optional flag and width modifiers, as
The following modifiers are allowed:
* 0: Use zero-padding.
* -: Pad to the right.
* ^: Upper-case the expansion.
* _: Lower-case the expansion.
* <: Limit the length by removing chars from the left.
* >: Limit the length by removing chars from the right.
The following flags are allowed:
Any text properties on a %-spec itself are propagated to the text
that it generates.
* 0: Pad to the width, if given, with zeros instead of spaces.
* -: Pad to the width, if given, on the right instead of the left.
* <: Truncate to the width, if given, on the left.
* >: Truncate to the width, if given, on the right.
* ^: Convert to upper case.
* _: Convert to lower case.
If ONLY-PRESENT, format spec characters not present in
SPECIFICATION are ignored, and the \"%\" characters are left
where they are, including \"%%\" strings."
The width modifier behaves like the corresponding one in `format'
when applied to %s.
For example, \"%<010b\" means \"substitute into the output the
value associated with ?b in SPECIFICATION, either padding it with
leading zeros or truncating leading characters until it's ten
characters wide\".
Any text properties of FORMAT are copied to the result, with any
text properties of a %-spec itself copied to its substitution.
ONLY-PRESENT indicates how to handle %-spec characters not
present in SPECIFICATION. If it is nil or omitted, emit an
error; otherwise leave those %-specs and any occurrences of
\"%%\" in FORMAT verbatim in the result, including their text
properties, if any."
(insert format)
(goto-char (point-min))
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