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Today I want to review this library because it is used in other hu.dwim.* libraries. Understanding how does hu.dwim.def works will help to read other libraries code.

The main concept of the hu.dwim.def is the definer. Definer has a name and a function which is used to macro-expand the code.

This is how usual definition can be used and what it expands to:

POFTHEDAY> (def function foo ()
             (format nil "Hello from ~A!"
-> (defun foo ()
     (symbol-macrolet ((-this-function/name- 'foo))
       (format nil "Hello from ~A!"

"Hello from FOO!"

As you can see, this macro expands into a usual function definition, plus a symbol-macrolet, useful to refer to a current function name.

When definer is called, a number of options can be passed. Options allow tuning optimization settings and export rules.

Option "o" adds declaration to maximize performance:

POFTHEDAY> (def (function o) foo ()
             (format nil "Hello World!"))
-> (locally
       (declare (optimize (speed 3) (debug 0) (safety 2)))
     (defun foo ()
       (format nil "Hello World!")))

Options "d" adds an opposite declaration to make debugging easier:

POFTHEDAY> (def (function d) foo ()
             (format nil "Hello World!"))

-> (progn
     (declaim (notinline foo))
         (declare (optimize (speed 0) (debug 3)))
       (defun foo ()
         (format nil "Hello World!"))))

Also, these declaration depends on the value of the hu.dwim.asdf:*load-as-production?* variable. When it is nil, then "o" option will lead to these two declarations:

  • (declaim (notinline foo))
  • (declare (optimize (speed 0) (debug 1)))

and "d" option will generate:

  • (declaim (notinline foo))
  • (declare (optimize (speed 0) (debug 3)))

This way, functions will be inlined only when compiled for production.

There is a separate option "i" to add (declaim (inline foo)) declaration. But it works only when hu.dwim.asdf:*load-as-production?* is nil and debug is turned off.

On SBCL debug level is also controlled by a level, declaimed in the REPL. To have a reproducable results you'll need to evaluate: (declaim (optimize (debug 0))) otherwise a notinline declaration will be added.

Another cool option is "e". It will export the function, class or other defined entity:

POFTHEDAY> (def (function e) foo ()
             (format nil "Hello World!"))
-> (progn
     (eval-when (:compile-toplevel :load-toplevel :execute)
       (export 'foo))
     (defun foo ()
       (format nil "Hello World!")))

Also, a class's slots can be exported automatically:

POFTHEDAY> (def (class ea) user ()
             ((name :reader get-name)
              (email :reader get-email)))
-> (progn
     (export 'user)
     (export '(get-name get-email))
     (defclass user ()
       ((name :reader get-name)
        (email :reader get-email))))

Isn't this amazing? But what is really cool, it that these options will also work with your own custom definers.

Here is how to transform a macro generating a function into a definer:

POFTHEDAY> (defmacro blah (name &body body)
             `(defun ,name ()
                (format nil "A function ~S was called"

POFTHEDAY> (blah 'me)
-> (defun 'me ()
     (format nil "A function ~S was called" me))

;; Now we'll make from a usual macro a new definer:

POFTHEDAY> (def (definer :available-flags "eodi") blah ()
             (hu.dwim.def::function-like-definer blah))

POFTHEDAY> (def (blah eoi) me)
-> (progn
     (declaim (inline me))
         (declare (optimize (speed 3) (debug 0) (safety 2)))
       (eval-when (:compile-toplevel :load-toplevel :execute)
         (export 'me))
       (defun me ()
         (format nil "A function ~S was called" 'me))))

Also, you might write a definer with a body. These special variables will be available during the macro-expansion:

  • hu.dwim.def:-definer-
  • hu.dwim.def:-whole-
  • hu.dwim.def:-options-
  • hu.dwim.def:-environment-

We can define an experimental definer to see what is accessable during macro-expansion:

POFTHEDAY> (def (definer :available-flags "doe") guts ()
             (format t "hu.dwim.def:-definer- = ~A~%"
             (format t "hu.dwim.def:-options- = ~A~%"
             (format t "hu.dwim.def:-whole- = ~A~%"
             (format t "hu.dwim.def:-environment- = ~A~%"

POFTHEDAY> (def (guts de :any-other 'option))
hu.dwim.def:-definer- = #<definer GUTS>
hu.dwim.def:-options- = (EXPORT T DEBUG T ANY-OTHER 'OPTION)
hu.dwim.def:-whole- = (DEF (GUTS DE ANY-OTHER 'OPTION))
hu.dwim.def:-environment- = #<NULL-LEXENV>

As you can see, any values can be passed into the definer besides builtin flag and you might implement whatever logic you want.

Final great thing I want to tell you about definers is that there is a registry of them. This makes all definers are easily discoverable.

Well, not so easy because you need to digg into some internals:

POFTHEDAY> (loop for definer being the hash-values
                   of hu.dwim.def::*definers*
                 for name = (hu.dwim.def::name-of definer)
                 for doc = (when (slot-boundp definer
                             (hu.dwim.def::documentation-of definer))
                 unless doc
                   count 1 into undocumented
                 when doc
                 do (format t "~A -> ~S~2%"
                            name doc)
                 finally (when (> undocumented 0)
                           (format t "~2&Also, there are ~A undocumented definers.~%"

CLASS -> "Example that exports all the class name and all the readers, writers and slot names:
    (def (class eas) foo (bar baz)
     ((slot1 :reader readerr)
      (slot2 :writer writerr :accessor accessorr))
     (:metaclass fofofo))"

CONDITION -> "See the CLASS definer."

CONSTANT -> "Use like: (def (constant e :test #'string=) alma \"korte\")
             test defaults to equal."

SPECIAL-VARIABLE -> "Uses defvar/defparameter based on whether a
                     value was provided or not, and accepts
                    :documentation definer parameter
                     for value-less defvars."

  An example:
  (def print-object parenscript-dispatcher ; could be (parenscript-dispatcher :identity nil)
    (when (cachep self)
      (princ \"cached\")
      (princ \" \"))
    (princ (parenscript-file self)))"

WITH-MACRO -> "(def with-macro with-foo (arg1 arg2)
     (let ((*zyz* 42)
           (local 43))
       (do something)
       (-body- local)))
   (with-foo arg1 arg2

WITH-MACRO* -> "(def with-macro* with-foo (arg1 arg2 &key alma)
     (let ((*zyz* 42)
           (local 43))
       (do something)
       (-body- local)))
   (with-foo (arg1 arg2 :alma alma)

GUTS -> "This definer shows debug information about environment
         where is expanded."

Also, there are 33 undocumented definers.

To conclude, hu.dwim.def is a great library now I'll use it in my projects!

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