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Version 1.17.4


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erl_eval

MODULE

erl_eval

MODULE SUMMARY

The Erlang Meta Interpreter

DESCRIPTION

This module provides an interpreter for Erlang expressions. The expressions are in the abstract syntax as returned by erl_parse, the Erlang parser, or io.

DATA TYPES

bindings() = [{ name(), value()}]

binding_struct() = orddict:orddict()

A binding structure.

expression() = erl_parse:abstract_expr()

expressions() = [ erl_parse:abstract_expr()]

expression_list() = [ expression()]

func_spec() = {Module :: module(), Function :: atom()}
            | function()

lfun_eval_handler() =
    fun((Name :: atom(),
         Arguments :: expression_list(),
         Bindings :: binding_struct()) ->
            {value,
             Value :: value(),
             NewBindings :: binding_struct()})

lfun_value_handler() =
    fun((Name :: atom(), Arguments :: [term()]) ->
            Value :: value())

local_function_handler() = {value, lfun_value_handler()}
                         | {eval, lfun_eval_handler()}
                         | none

Further described below.

name() = term()

nlfun_handler() =
    fun((FuncSpec :: func_spec(), Arguments :: [term()]) -> term())

non_local_function_handler() = {value, nlfun_handler()} | none

Further described below.

value() = term()

EXPORTS

exprs(Expressions, Bindings) -> {value, Value, NewBindings}
exprs(Expressions, Bindings, LocalFunctionHandler) ->
         {value, Value, NewBindings}

exprs(Expressions,
      Bindings,
      LocalFunctionHandler,
      NonLocalFunctionHandler) ->
         {value, Value, NewBindings}

Types:

Expressions = expressions()
Bindings = binding_struct()
LocalFunctionHandler = local_function_handler()
NonLocalFunctionHandler = non_local_function_handler()
Value = value()
NewBindings = binding_struct()

Evaluates Expressions with the set of bindings Bindings, where Expressions is a sequence of expressions (in abstract syntax) of a type which may be returned by io:parse_erl_exprs/2. See below for an explanation of how and when to use the arguments LocalFunctionHandler and NonLocalFunctionHandler.

Returns {value, Value, NewBindings}

expr(Expression, Bindings) -> {value, Value, NewBindings}
expr(Expression, Bindings, LocalFunctionHandler) ->
        {value, Value, NewBindings}

expr(Expression,
     Bindings,
     LocalFunctionHandler,
     NonLocalFunctionHandler) ->
        {value, Value, NewBindings}

expr(Expression,
     Bindings,
     LocalFunctionHandler,
     NonLocalFunctionHandler,
     ReturnFormat) ->
        {value, Value, NewBindings} | Value

Types:

Expression = expression()
Bindings = binding_struct()
LocalFunctionHandler = local_function_handler()
NonLocalFunctionHandler = non_local_function_handler()
ReturnFormat = none | value
Value = value()
NewBindings = binding_struct()

Evaluates Expression with the set of bindings Bindings. Expression is an expression in abstract syntax. See below for an explanation of how and when to use the arguments LocalFunctionHandler and NonLocalFunctionHandler.

Returns {value, Value, NewBindings} by default. But if the ReturnFormat is value only the Value is returned.

expr_list(ExpressionList, Bindings) -> {ValueList, NewBindings}
expr_list(ExpressionList, Bindings, LocalFunctionHandler) ->
             {ValueList, NewBindings}

expr_list(ExpressionList,
          Bindings,
          LocalFunctionHandler,
          NonLocalFunctionHandler) ->
             {ValueList, NewBindings}

Types:

ExpressionList = expression_list()
Bindings = binding_struct()
LocalFunctionHandler = local_function_handler()
NonLocalFunctionHandler = non_local_function_handler()
ValueList = [ value()]
NewBindings = binding_struct()

Evaluates a list of expressions in parallel, using the same initial bindings for each expression. Attempts are made to merge the bindings returned from each evaluation. This function is useful in the LocalFunctionHandler. See below.

Returns {ValueList, NewBindings}.

new_bindings() -> binding_struct()

Returns an empty binding structure.

bindings(BindingStruct :: binding_struct()) -> bindings()

Returns the list of bindings contained in the binding structure.

binding(Name, BindingStruct) -> {value, value()} | unbound

Types:

Name = name()
BindingStruct = binding_struct()

Returns the binding of Name in BindingStruct.

add_binding(Name, Value, BindingStruct) -> binding_struct()

Types:

Name = name()
Value = value()
BindingStruct = binding_struct()

Adds the binding Name = Value to BindingStruct. Returns an updated binding structure.

del_binding(Name, BindingStruct) -> binding_struct()

Types:

Name = name()
BindingStruct = binding_struct()

Removes the binding of Name in BindingStruct. Returns an updated binding structure.

Local Function Handler

During evaluation of a function, no calls can be made to local functions. An undefined function error would be generated. However, the optional argument LocalFunctionHandler may be used to define a function which is called when there is a call to a local function. The argument can have the following formats:

{value,Func}

This defines a local function handler which is called with:

Func(Name, Arguments)        

Name is the name of the local function (an atom) and Arguments is a list of the evaluated arguments. The function handler returns the value of the local function. In this case, it is not possible to access the current bindings. To signal an error, the function handler just calls exit/1 with a suitable exit value.

{eval,Func}

This defines a local function handler which is called with:

Func(Name, Arguments, Bindings)        

Name is the name of the local function (an atom), Arguments is a list of the unevaluated arguments, and Bindings are the current variable bindings. The function handler returns:

{value,Value,NewBindings}        

Value is the value of the local function and NewBindings are the updated variable bindings. In this case, the function handler must itself evaluate all the function arguments and manage the bindings. To signal an error, the function handler just calls exit/1 with a suitable exit value.

none

There is no local function handler.

Non-local Function Handler

The optional argument NonlocalFunctionHandler may be used to define a function which is called in the following cases: a functional object (fun) is called; a built-in function is called; a function is called using the M:F syntax, where M and F are atoms or expressions; an operator Op/A is called (this is handled as a call to the function erlang:Op/A). Exceptions are calls to erlang:apply/2,3; neither of the function handlers will be called for such calls. The argument can have the following formats:

{value,Func}

This defines an nonlocal function handler which is called with:

Func(FuncSpec, Arguments)        

FuncSpec is the name of the function on the form {Module,Function} or a fun, and Arguments is a list of the evaluated arguments. The function handler returns the value of the function. To signal an error, the function handler just calls exit/1 with a suitable exit value.

none

There is no nonlocal function handler.

Note

For calls such as erlang:apply(Fun, Args) or erlang:apply(Module, Function, Args) the call of the non-local function handler corresponding to the call to erlang:apply/2,3 itself--Func({erlang, apply}, [Fun, Args]) or Func({erlang, apply}, [Module, Function, Args])--will never take place. The non-local function handler will however be called with the evaluated arguments of the call to erlang:apply/2,3: Func(Fun, Args) or Func({Module, Function}, Args) (assuming that {Module, Function} is not {erlang, apply}).

Calls to functions defined by evaluating fun expressions "fun ... end" are also hidden from non-local function handlers.

The nonlocal function handler argument is probably not used as frequently as the local function handler argument. A possible use is to call exit/1 on calls to functions that for some reason are not allowed to be called.

Bugs

The evaluator is not complete. receive cannot be handled properly.

Any undocumented functions in erl_eval should not be used.