chickadee » utils

Unit utils

This unit contains a "grab bag" of procedures without a good home, and which don't have to be available by default (as compared to the extras unit).

This unit uses the extras and srfi-13 units.

Executing shell commands with formatstring and error checking


system* FORMATSTRING ARGUMENT1 ...procedure

Similar to (system (sprintf FORMATSTRING ARGUMENT1 ...)), but signals an error should the invoked program return a nonzero exit status.

Reading a file's contents


read-all #!optional FILE-OR-PORTprocedure

If FILE-OR-PORT is a string, then this procedure returns the contents of the file as a string. If FILE-OR-PORT is a port, all remaining input is read and returned as a string. The port is not closed. If no argument is provided, input will be read from the port that is the current value of (current-input-port).

Shell argument quoting


qs STRING #!optional PLATFORMprocedure

Escapes STRING suitably for passing to a shell command on PLATFORM. PLATFORM defaults to the value of (build-platform) and indicates in which style the argument should be quoted. On Windows systems, the string is simply enclosed in double-quote (") characters, on UNIXish systems, characters that would have a special meaning to the shell are escaped using backslash (\).

Dynamic compilation


compile-file FILENAME #!key options output-file loadprocedure

Compiles the Scheme source file FILENAME into a dynamically loadable library by invoking the csc compiler driver. If the library can be successfully created and load is not given or true, the file is loaded into the current Scheme process. options may be a list of strings which are passed as additional command line options to csc. If output-file is not given, then the compiled file is stored in a temporary location and will be deleted when the process exits successfully. When compilation and loading succeeds, the name of the compiled file is returned, otherwise #f is returned.


  • loading the same compiled file multiple times is only supported on Linux in the moment and should be considered unreliable. For this reason, a new temporary file is created for every invocation of compile-file, unless an explicit output file name is given.
  • this procedure is compatible to the scheme-compile-file command in emacs' scheme-mode.



A parameter that holds a list of default options that should be given to csc after invocation of the compile-file procedure. The initial default options are -scrutinize -O2 -d2.

Scanning through an input port


scan-input-lines REGEXP #!optional PORTprocedure

Reads lines from PORT (defaults to the result of (current-input-port)) using read-line and returns the result of (irregex-search REGEXP LINE), if the match succeeds. If no match could be found, #f is returned.

REGEXP may also be a procedure of one argument which is called for each input line and should return a non-false value on success, which will then be the result of the call to scan-input-lines.

Asking the user for confirmation


yes-or-no? MESSAGE #!key default title abortprocedure

Prints the string MESSAGE and asks for entering "yes", "no" or "abort". If running under Windows in GUI mode, then a suitable dialog box is shown. Returns either #t or #f depending on whether yes or no was entered. The default keyword argument specifies the default answer that is effective if the user just presses ENTER (or the default button in case of a dialog box). title specifies the text shown in the caption of the dialog box and is ignored when not running in GUI mode. abort should be a zero-argument procedure that is called when the user selects "abort". The default value for abort is the reset procedure. A value of #f for abort disables aborting completely.

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