chickadee » eval

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Unit eval

This unit has support for evaluation and macro-handling. This unit is used by default, unless the program is compiled with the -explicit-use option.

Loading code


load FILE #!optional EVALPROCprocedure

Loads and evaluates expressions from the given source file, which may be either a string or an input port. Each expression read is passed to EVALPROC (which defaults to eval). On platforms that support it (currently BSD, Haiku, MacOS X, Linux, Solaris, and Windows), load can be used to load compiled programs:

% cat x.scm
(define (hello) (print "Hello!"))
% csc -s x.scm
% csi -q
#;1> (load "")
; loading ...
#;2> (hello)

The second argument to load is ignored when loading compiled code. If source code is loaded from a port, then that port is closed after all expressions have been read.

A compiled file can only be loaded once. Subsequent attempts to load the same file have no effect.


load-relative FILE #!optional EVALPROCprocedure

Similar to load, but loads FILE relative to the path of the currently loaded file.


load-noisily FILE #!key EVALUATOR TIME PRINTERprocedure

As load but the result(s) of each evaluated toplevel-expression is written to standard output. If EVALUATOR is given and not #f, then each expression is evaluated by calling this argument with the read expression as argument. If TIME is given and not false, then the execution time of each expression is shown (as with the time macro). If PRINTER is given and not false, then each expression is printed before evaluation by applying the expression to the value of this argument, which should be a one-argument procedure.

See also the load-verbose parameter.


load-library UNIT #!optional LIBRARYFILEprocedure

On platforms that support dynamic loading, load-library loads the compiled library unit UNIT (which should be a symbol). If the string LIBRARYFILE is given, then the given shared library will be loaded and the toplevel code of the contained unit will be executed. If no LIBRARYFILE argument is given, then the following libraries are checked for the required unit:

  • a file named <UNIT>.so
  • the files given in the parameter dynamic-load-libraries

If the unit is not found, an error is signaled. When the library unit can be successfully loaded, a feature-identifier named UNIT is registered. If the feature is already registered before loading, the load-library does nothing.


set-dynamic-load-mode! MODELISTprocedure

On systems that support dynamic loading of compiled code via the dlopen(3) interface (for example Linux and Solaris), some options can be specified to fine-tune the behaviour of the dynamic linker. MODE should be a list of symbols (or a single symbol) taken from the following set:

If local is given, then any C/C++ symbols defined in the dynamically loaded file are not available for subsequently loaded files and libraries. Use this if you have linked foreign code into your dynamically loadable file and if you don't want to export them (for example because you want to load another file that defines the same symbols).
The default is global, which means all C/C++ symbols are available to code loaded at a later stage.
If now is specified, all symbols are resolved immediately.
Unresolved symbols are resolved as code from the file is executed. This is the default.

Note that this procedure does not control the way Scheme variables are handled - this facility is mainly of interest when accessing foreign code.

Read-eval-print loop


repl #!optional EVALUATORprocedure

Start a new read-eval-print loop. Sets the reset-handler so that any invocation of reset restarts the read-eval-print loop. Also changes the current exception-handler to display a message, write any arguments to the value of (current-error-port) and reset.

If EVALUATOR is given, it should be a procedure of one argument that is used in place of eval to evaluate each entered expression.

You can use quit to terminate the current read-eval-print loop.

Loading extension libraries

This functionality is only available on platforms that support dynamic loading of compiled code. Currently Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows (with Cygwin) and HP/UX are supported.



Contains a string naming the path to the extension repository, which defaults to either the value of the environment variable CHICKEN_REPOSITORY or the default library path (usually /usr/local/lib/chicken on UNIX systems).


extension-information IDprocedure

If an extension with the name ID is installed and if it has a setup-information list registered in the extension repository, then the info-list is returned. Otherwise extension-information returns #f.


provide ID ...procedure

Registers the extension IDs ID ... as loaded. This is mainly intended to provide aliases for certain extension identifiers.


provided? ID ...procedure

Returns #t if the extension with the IDs ID ... are currently loaded, or #f otherwise.


require ID ...procedure

If the extension library ID is not already loaded into the system, then require will lookup the location of the shared extension library and load it. If ID names a library-unit of the base system, then it is loaded via load-library. If no extension library is available for the given ID, then an attempt is made to load the file or ID.scm (in that order) from one of the following locations:

  • the current include path, which defaults to the pathnames given in CHICKEN_INCLUDE_PATH.
  • the current directory

ID should be a string or a symbol.

System information



Returns a string which represents the installation directory (usually /usr/local/share/chicken on UNIX-like systems). As a last option, if the environment variable CHICKEN_PREFIX is set, then chicken-home will return $CHICKEN_PREFIX/share/chicken.



eval EXP #!optional ENVIRONMENTprocedure

Evaluates EXP and returns the result of the evaluation. The second argument is optional and defaults to the value of (interaction-environment).

Note: if you want to eval an expression containing chicken special forms you must

 (use chicken-syntax)

before calling eval.

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