Website Meta Language / src / wml_backend / p9_slice / slice.pod

=encoding utf8

=head1 NAME

Slice -- Extract pre-defined slices from an ASCII file


[B<-y> I<outputpolicy>]
[B<-o> I<sliceterm>:I<outputfile>[@I<chmodcmd>][#I<outputpolicy>] ..]


=head1 VERSION



=head2 Input Principle

The F<slice> program reads I<inputfile> (or from F<STDIN> if I<inputfile> is
not given or equal ``C<->'') and divides its already prepared ASCII contents
into possibly overlapping areas, called I<slices>.   These slices are
determined by enclosing blocks defined by begin and end delimiters which have
to be I<already> in the file. These block delimiters use the syntax

  [NAME: ... :NAME]

or alternatively (if there is no misinterpretation possible, i.e. no
overlapping or stacked slices)

  [NAME: ... :]

The I<NAME> identifier has to match against the regular expression
``C<[_A-Z0-9]+>'', i.e. I<NAME> is a string consisting only of uppercase
letters, digits or underscore characters.

There can be as many such slice definitions as you like and there can be more
than one slice with the same name. The resulting slice is the union of all
equal named slices. Actually use this to spread a big slice over disjunct
peaces of I<inputfile>.

=head2 Output Selection Scheme

The final output data gets calculated by a slice term consisting of slice
names and set theory operators. The following syntax is recognized (in order
of LR(1) grammar parsing) for slice terms:


=item SLICE_TERM ::= C<NAME>

The slice NAME itself. This name has to match against the regex
``C<[_A-Z0-9*{}]+>''. Here two cases are possible: C<NAME> is either a plain
slice name consisting only of uppercase letters, digits or an underscore
character. Or it is a wildcarded slice name indicated by an asterisk

The first variant just expands to the union of all slices named exactly
C<NAME>.  The second variant expands to the union of all slices which match
against the wildcard pattern C<NAME>. Here the asterisk has the semantical
meaning of none or any number of characters.  There is one special case,
when the asterisk is immediately followed by characters enclosed within
braces, it means none or any number of characters, but not this sequence
of characters.

=item SLICE_TERM ::= C<!NAME> | C<~NAME>

The B<complement> of slice NAME (i.e. ALL\NAME). 

In formula: {x in ALL: x B<not> in NAME}


The B<exclusive-or> relation between slice NAME1 and slice NAME2. In set theory
also called B<symmetric difference>: (NAME1uNAME2)\(NAME1nNAME2) or alternatively

In formula: {x in ALL: (x in NAME1 or x in NAME2) and not (x in NAME1 and x in


The B<difference> of slice NAME1 and slice NAME2, i.e. NAME1 minus NAME2.

In formula: {x in ALL: x in NAME1 B<and> x B<not> in NAME2}


The B<intersection> of slice NAME1 and slice NAME2.

In formula: {x in ALL: x in NAME1 B<and> x in NAME2}


The B<union> of slice NAME1 and slice NAME2.

In formula: {x in ALL: x in NAME1 B<or> x in NAME2}

=item SLICE_TERM ::= C<(> SLICE_TERM C<)>

A grouped slice term. Use this to force a different order of evaluation.
By default, all operators are left-associative, except complement which
is right-associative.  Operators are listed below from lowest to highest

    -  u  x  n  !


=head2 Advanced Selection: Slice Levels

Because slices can be overlapping and stacked, a definition level is assigned
to each slice while the input is parsed. These levels range from 1 to the
maximum encountered (the level 0 is the whole file, i.e. C<ALL>).  When a
slice begins, it is assigned the lowest free level, beginning with level 1. As
long as one level is in use, it cannot be assigned again until the end
delimiter of the corresponding slice is seen. 

An example:


  3                     E-----------E
  2      B--B        D--------D 
  1   A--------A  C--------C     F-----F

Here slice A is assigned level 1. Then B is assigned level 2 because level 1
is still in use by A. Then the end of B is reached, level 2 is freed.  Then
the end of A is reached and level 1 is also free now, so C is assigned level 1
again. Now only level 1 is in use, so D is assigned level 2. Then E is
assigned level 3. Then the end of C is seen and level 1 freed. Then the end of
D is seen and level 2 is freed. Now F begins and because only level 3 is in
use, it gets level 1 assigned. Then the end of E frees level 3 and the end of
F frees level 1. Finally no levels are still in use. This indicates that the
slicing is correct. 

If there are any used levels left at the end of this process this indicates an
input error and F<slice> responds with an error message displaying the still
open slices.

This complicated level mechanism is needed for granular set operations where
particular slices should be included or excluded only. So, to make life
easier, a few pseudo-slices are automatically defined:


=item C<DEFn>

The union of all user-defined slices at exactly level n (0 <= n <= oo).

=item C<UNDEFn>

The union of all B<non>-user-defined slices at exactly level n (0 <= n <= oo).
This actually is just C<!DEFn>.

=item C<DEF>

The union of all user-defined slices at B<all> levels, beginning at level
B<1>.  This actually is the union of all C<DEFn> slices.

=item C<UNDEF>

The union of all B<non>-user-defined slices at B<all> levels, beginning with
B<1>. This actually is just C<!DEF>.

=item C<ALL>

The whole file. This actually is just C<UNDEF0>, because at level 0 there are
no user defined slices, so all is undefined.

=item I<NAME>C<@>

This is the slice I<NAME> minus the union of all C<DEFn> slices with min(NAME)
<= n <= oo. Here min(NAME) is the lowest level plus one where I<NAME> ever
occurred.  You can read this as ``NAME without all other slices at higher
levels which overwrite it''. This sounds a little bit crazy, but actually is
the most important construct. Try to understand it or your slice terms become
very complicated.


=head1 OPTIONS


=item [B<-y> I<outputpolicy>]

This flag changes output policy depending on events: C<u> when an
undefined set is encountered, C<w> for an unmatched wildcard set, C<z> when
output is empty and C<s> if it only consists of whitespace characters.
Each letter is followed by a digit telling which action is bound to such
events: C<0> to ignore such events, C<1> to display a warning message
and continue, C<2> to skip concerned file and continue, and C<3> to
abort with an error message.

This flag consists of one or more events specifications, and default is

=item [B<-o> I<sliceterm>:I<outputfile>[@I<chmodcmd>][#I<outputpolicy>] ..]

This redirects the output to a file. Usually the whole file will be send to
C<STDOUT> (same as C<ALL:->). You can use this option I<more than once> to
output to more than one file while the corresponding I<sliceterm> determines
which output data will be included into each output file. 

The optional I<chmodcmd> string is intended for specifying options for the
F<chmod> command, which is applied to I<outputfile> after writing. For
instance use ``C<a+r>'' to make sure the file is readable by a webserver of
``C<u+x>'' to create a file with the execution bit set (usually used for SSI
files on a webserver with the C<XBitHack> option available).

The optional I<outputpolicy> string allows changing output policy for
only this output file without changing its global meaning.  See above
for informations on output policy.

Be careful here: When you use parenthesis or asterisks inside I<sliceterm> you
have to make sure it is really passed to F<slice> this way, i.e. usually you
have to escape these characters from interpolation by the used shell. Do this
either by adding backslashes in front of these characters or just surround the
complete option argument with single quotes ('').

=item B<-v>

This sets verbose mode where some processing information will be given on the
console for debugging purpose.

=item B<-V>

Displays the version identification string.

=item B<-h>

Displays the usage page.



Sometimes it can be very useful to be able to provide command line options
directly within the input file, for instance to setup one or more B<-o>
options. For this F<slice> recognizes lines of the form

   %!slice OPTIONS

in the input file and automatically adds OPTIONS to the argument line options.
These lines have to start in column 0.


   %!slice -oTOC:contents.txt

=head1 EXAMPLE

Assume the following simple multi-language article file F<article.src>,
written in HTML:


  <h1>[EN:The Title itself:][DE:Der Titel selbst:]</h1>

  [EN:...English Abstract...:]
  [DE:...Deutsche Zusammenfassung...:]

  [EN:...English Text...:]
  [DE:...Deutscher Text...:]


The command 

  slice -o ENuUNDEF:article.html.en -o

then creates the following to files:


=item F<article.html.en>:


  <h1>The Title itself</h1>

  ...English Abstract...

  ...English Text...

=item F<>:


  <h1>Der Titel selbst</h1>

  ...Deutsche Zusammenfassung...

  ...Deutscher Text...



The current implementation only handles anonymous end delimiters ``C<:]>''
correct in clear cases where no mis-interpretation is possible, i.e. when no
overlapping occurs. For instance in


the end delimiter is not correctly assign to the `B' slice. So, be careful
when using anonymous end delimiters in overlapping situations. Pure stacking


is allowed and handled correctly, but only when you interpret this as



  Copyright (c) 1997-2002 Ralf S. Engelschall.
  Copyright (c) 1999-2002 Denis Barbier.

=head1 SEEALSO

Slice Home:

=head1 AUTHORS

  Ralf S. Engelschall

  Denis Barbier