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XEmacs / man / lispref / strings.texi

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@c -*-texinfo-*-
@c This is part of the XEmacs Lisp Reference Manual.
@c Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@c See the file lispref.texi for copying conditions.
@setfilename ../../info/strings.info
@node Strings and Characters, Lists, Numbers, Top
@chapter Strings and Characters
@cindex strings
@cindex character arrays
@cindex characters
@cindex bytes

  A string in XEmacs Lisp is an array that contains an ordered sequence
of characters.  Strings are used as names of symbols, buffers, and
files, to send messages to users, to hold text being copied between
buffers, and for many other purposes.  Because strings are so important,
XEmacs Lisp has many functions expressly for manipulating them.  XEmacs
Lisp programs use strings more often than individual characters.

@menu
* String Basics::             Basic properties of strings and characters.
* Predicates for Strings::    Testing whether an object is a string or char.
* Creating Strings::          Functions to allocate new strings.
* Predicates for Characters:: Testing whether an object is a character.
* Character Codes::           Each character has an equivalent integer.
* Text Comparison::           Comparing characters or strings.
* String Conversion::         Converting characters or strings and vice versa.
* Modifying Strings::	      Changing characters in a string.
* String Properties::	      Additional information attached to strings.
* Formatting Strings::        @code{format}: XEmacs's analog of @code{printf}.
* Character Case::            Case conversion functions.
* Case Tables::		      Customizing case conversion.
* Char Tables::               Mapping from characters to Lisp objects.
@end menu

@node String Basics
@section String and Character Basics

  Strings in XEmacs Lisp are arrays that contain an ordered sequence of
characters.  Characters are their own primitive object type in XEmacs
20.  However, in XEmacs 19, characters are represented in XEmacs Lisp as
integers; whether an integer was intended as a character or not is
determined only by how it is used.  @xref{Character Type}.

  The length of a string (like any array) is fixed and independent of
the string contents, and cannot be altered.  Strings in Lisp are
@emph{not} terminated by a distinguished character code.  (By contrast,
strings in C are terminated by a character with @sc{ascii} code 0.)
This means that any character, including the null character (@sc{ascii}
code 0), is a valid element of a string.@refill

  Since strings are considered arrays, you can operate on them with the
general array functions.  (@xref{Sequences Arrays Vectors}.)  For
example, you can access or change individual characters in a string
using the functions @code{aref} and @code{aset} (@pxref{Array
Functions}).

  Strings use an efficient representation for storing the characters
in them, and thus take up much less memory than a vector of the same
length.

  Sometimes you will see strings used to hold key sequences.  This
exists for backward compatibility with Emacs 18, but should @emph{not}
be used in new code, since many key chords can't be represented at
all and others (in particular meta key chords) are confused with
accented characters.

@ignore @c Not accurate any more
  Each character in a string is stored in a single byte.  Therefore,
numbers not in the range 0 to 255 are truncated when stored into a
string.  This means that a string takes up much less memory than a
vector of the same length.

  Sometimes key sequences are represented as strings.  When a string is
a key sequence, string elements in the range 128 to 255 represent meta
characters (which are extremely large integers) rather than keyboard
events in the range 128 to 255.

  Strings cannot hold characters that have the hyper, super or alt
modifiers; they can hold @sc{ASCII} control characters, but no other
control characters.  They do not distinguish case in @sc{ASCII} control
characters.  @xref{Character Type}, for more information about
representation of meta and other modifiers for keyboard input
characters.
@end ignore

  Strings are useful for holding regular expressions.  You can also
match regular expressions against strings (@pxref{Regexp Search}).  The
functions @code{match-string} (@pxref{Simple Match Data}) and
@code{replace-match} (@pxref{Replacing Match}) are useful for
decomposing and modifying strings based on regular expression matching.

  Like a buffer, a string can contain extents in it.  These extents are
created when a function such as @code{buffer-substring} is called on a
region with duplicable extents in it.  When the string is inserted into
a buffer, the extents are inserted along with it.  @xref{Duplicable
Extents}.

  @xref{Text}, for information about functions that display strings or
copy them into buffers.  @xref{Character Type}, and @ref{String Type},
for information about the syntax of characters and strings.

@node Predicates for Strings
@section The Predicates for Strings

For more information about general sequence and array predicates,
see @ref{Sequences Arrays Vectors}, and @ref{Arrays}.

@defun stringp object
  This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a string, @code{nil}
otherwise.
@end defun

@defun char-or-string-p object
  This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a string or a
character, @code{nil} otherwise.

In XEmacs addition, this function also returns @code{t} if @var{object}
is an integer that can be represented as a character.  This is because
of compatibility with previous XEmacs and should not be depended on.
@end defun

@node Creating Strings
@section Creating Strings

  The following functions create strings, either from scratch, or by
putting strings together, or by taking them apart.

@defun string &rest characters
  This function returns a new string made up of @var{characters}.

@example
(string ?X ?E ?m ?a ?c ?s)
     @result{} "XEmacs"
(string)
     @result{} ""
@end example

Analogous functions operating on other data types include @code{list},
@code{cons} (@pxref{Building Lists}), @code{vector} (@pxref{Vectors})
and @code{bit-vector} (@pxref{Bit Vectors}).  This function has not been
available in XEmacs prior to 21.0 and FSF Emacs prior to 20.3.
@end defun

@defun make-string length character
This function returns a new string consisting entirely of @var{length}
successive copies of @var{character}.  @var{length} must be a
non-negative fixnum.

@example
(make-string 5 ?x)
     @result{} "xxxxx"
(make-string 0 ?x)
     @result{} ""
@end example

  Other functions to compare with this one include @code{char-to-string}
(@pxref{String Conversion}), @code{make-vector} (@pxref{Vectors}), and
@code{make-list} (@pxref{Building Lists}).
@end defun

@defun substring string start &optional end
This function returns a new string which consists of those characters
from @var{string} in the range from (and including) the character at the
index @var{start} up to (but excluding) the character at the index
@var{end}.  The first character is at index zero.

In this implementation, @code{substring} is an alias for @code{subseq},
so @var{string} can be any sequence.  In GNU Emacs, @var{string} can be
a string or a vector, and in older XEmacs it can only be a string.

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" 0 3)
     @result{} "abc"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
Here the index for @samp{a} is 0, the index for @samp{b} is 1, and the
index for @samp{c} is 2.  Thus, three letters, @samp{abc}, are copied
from the string @code{"abcdefg"}.  The index 3 marks the character
position up to which the substring is copied.  The character whose index
is 3 is actually the fourth character in the string.

A negative number counts from the end of the string, so that @minus{}1
signifies the index of the last character of the string.  For example:

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" -3 -1)
     @result{} "ef"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
In this example, the index for @samp{e} is @minus{}3, the index for
@samp{f} is @minus{}2, and the index for @samp{g} is @minus{}1.
Therefore, @samp{e} and @samp{f} are included, and @samp{g} is excluded.

When @code{nil} is used as an index, it stands for the length of the
string.  Thus,

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" -3 nil)
     @result{} "efg"
@end group
@end example

Omitting the argument @var{end} is equivalent to specifying @code{nil}.
It follows that @code{(substring @var{string} 0)} returns a copy of all
of @var{string}.

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" 0)
     @result{} "abcdefg"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
But we recommend @code{copy-sequence} for this purpose (@pxref{Sequence
Functions}).

If the characters copied from @var{string} have duplicable extents or
text properties, those are copied into the new string also.
@xref{Duplicable Extents}.

A @code{wrong-type-argument} error is signaled if either @var{start} or
@var{end} is not a fixnum or @code{nil}.  An @code{args-out-of-range}
error is signaled if @var{start} indicates a character following
@var{end}, or if either integer is out of range for @var{string}.

Contrast this function with @code{buffer-substring} (@pxref{Buffer
Contents}), which returns a string containing a portion of the text in
the current buffer.  The beginning of a string is at index 0, but the
beginning of a buffer is at index 1.
@end defun

@defun concat &rest sequences
@cindex copying strings
@cindex concatenating strings
This function returns a new string consisting of the characters in the
arguments passed to it (along with their text properties, if any).  The
arguments may be strings, lists of numbers, or vectors of numbers; they
are not themselves changed.  If @code{concat} receives no arguments, it
returns an empty string.

@example
(concat "abc" "-def")
     @result{} "abc-def"
(equal (concat "abc" (list 120 (+ 256 121)) [122]) (format "abcx%cz" 377))
     @result{} t
;; @r{@code{nil} is an empty sequence.}
(concat "abc" nil "-def")
     @result{} "abc-def"
(concat "The " "quick brown " "fox.")
     @result{} "The quick brown fox."
(concat)
     @result{} ""
@end example

@noindent
The @code{concat} function always constructs a new string that is
not @code{eq} to any existing string.

For information about other concatenation functions, see the description
of @code{mapconcat} in @ref{Mapping Functions}, @code{vconcat} in
@ref{Vectors}, @code{bvconcat} in @ref{Bit Vectors}, and @code{append}
in @ref{Building Lists}.
@end defun

The function @code{split-string}, in @ref{Regexp Search}, generates a
list of strings by splitting a string on occurrences of a regular
expression.

@node Predicates for Characters
@section The Predicates for Characters

@defun characterp object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a character.

Some functions that work on integers (e.g. the comparison functions
<, <=, =, /=, etc. and the arithmetic functions +, -, *, etc.)
accept characters and implicitly convert them into integers.  In
general, functions that work on characters also accept char-ints and
implicitly convert them into characters.  WARNING: Neither of these
behaviors is very desirable, and they are maintained for backward
compatibility with old E-Lisp programs that confounded characters and
integers willy-nilly.  These behaviors may change in the future; therefore,
do not rely on them.  Instead, convert the characters explicitly
using @code{char-int}.
@end defun

@defun integer-or-char-p object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is an integer or character.
@end defun

@node Character Codes
@section Character Codes

@defun char-int character
This function converts a character into an equivalent integer.
The resulting integer will always be non-negative.  The integers in
the range 0 - 255 map to characters as follows:

@table @asis
@item 0 - 31
Control set 0
@item 32 - 127
@sc{ascii}
@item 128 - 159
Control set 1
@item 160 - 255
Right half of ISO-8859-1
@end table

If support for @sc{mule} does not exist, these are the only valid
character values.  When @sc{mule} support exists, the values assigned to
other characters may vary depending on the particular version of XEmacs,
the order in which character sets were loaded, etc., and you should not
depend on them.
@end defun

@defun int-char integer
This function converts an integer into the equivalent character.  Not
all integers correspond to valid characters; use @code{char-int-p} to
determine whether this is the case.  If the integer cannot be converted,
@code{nil} is returned.
@end defun

@defun char-int-p object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is an integer that can be
converted into a character.
@end defun

@defun char-or-char-int-p object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a character or an
integer that can be converted into one.
@end defun

@need 2000
@node Text Comparison
@section Comparison of Characters and Strings
@cindex string equality

@defun char-equal character1 character2 &optional buffer
This function returns @code{t} if the arguments represent the same
character, @code{nil} otherwise.  This function ignores differences
in case if the value of @code{case-fold-search} is non-@code{nil} in
@var{buffer}, which defaults to the current buffer.

@example
(char-equal ?x ?x)
     @result{} t
(let ((case-fold-search t))
  (char-equal ?x ?X))
     @result{} t
(let ((case-fold-search nil))
  (char-equal ?x ?X))
     @result{} nil
@end example
@end defun

@defun char= character1 character2
This function returns @code{t} if the arguments represent the same
character, @code{nil} otherwise.  Case is significant.

@example
(char= ?x ?x)
     @result{} t
(char= ?x ?X)
     @result{} nil
(let ((case-fold-search t))
  (char-equal ?x ?X))
     @result{} nil
(let ((case-fold-search nil))
  (char-equal ?x ?X))
     @result{} nil
@end example
@end defun

@defun string= string1 string2
This function returns @code{t} if the characters of the two strings
match exactly; case is significant.

@example
(string= "abc" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string= "abc" "ABC")
     @result{} nil
(string= "ab" "ABC")
     @result{} nil
@end example

@ignore @c `equal' in XEmacs does not compare text properties
The function @code{string=} ignores the text properties of the
two strings.  To compare strings in a way that compares their text
properties also, use @code{equal} (@pxref{Equality Predicates}).
@end ignore
@end defun

@defun string-equal string1 string2
@code{string-equal} is another name for @code{string=}.
@end defun

@cindex lexical comparison
@defun string< string1 string2
@c (findex string< causes problems for permuted index!!)
This function compares two strings a character at a time.  First it
scans both the strings at once to find the first pair of corresponding
characters that do not match.  If the lesser character of those two is
the character from @var{string1}, then @var{string1} is less, and this
function returns @code{t}.  If the lesser character is the one from
@var{string2}, then @var{string1} is greater, and this function returns
@code{nil}.  If the two strings match entirely, the value is @code{nil}.

Pairs of characters are compared by their @sc{ascii} codes.  Keep in
mind that lower case letters have higher numeric values in the
@sc{ascii} character set than their upper case counterparts; numbers and
many punctuation characters have a lower numeric value than upper case
letters.

@example
@group
(string< "abc" "abd")
     @result{} t
(string< "abd" "abc")
     @result{} nil
(string< "123" "abc")
     @result{} t
@end group
@end example

When the strings have different lengths, and they match up to the
length of @var{string1}, then the result is @code{t}.  If they match up
to the length of @var{string2}, the result is @code{nil}.  A string of
no characters is less than any other string.

@example
@group
(string< "" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string< "ab" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string< "abc" "")
     @result{} nil
(string< "abc" "ab")
     @result{} nil
(string< "" "")
     @result{} nil
@end group
@end example
@end defun

@defun string-lessp string1 string2
@code{string-lessp} is another name for @code{string<}.
@end defun

  See also @code{compare-buffer-substrings} in @ref{Comparing Text}, for
a way to compare text in buffers.  The function @code{string-match},
which matches a regular expression against a string, can be used
for a kind of string comparison; see @ref{Regexp Search}.

@node String Conversion
@section Conversion of Characters and Strings
@cindex conversion of strings

  This section describes functions for conversions between characters,
strings and integers.  @code{format} and @code{prin1-to-string}
(@pxref{Output Functions}) can also convert Lisp objects into strings.
@code{read-from-string} (@pxref{Input Functions}) can ``convert'' a
string representation of a Lisp object into an object.

  @xref{Documentation}, for functions that produce textual descriptions
of text characters and general input events
(@code{single-key-description} and @code{text-char-description}).  These
functions are used primarily for making help messages.

@defun char-to-string character
@cindex character to string
  This function returns a new string with a length of one character.
The value of @var{character}, modulo 256, is used to initialize the
element of the string.

This function is similar to @code{make-string} with an integer argument
of 1.  (@xref{Creating Strings}.)  This conversion can also be done with
@code{format} using the @samp{%c} format specification.
(@xref{Formatting Strings}.)

@example
(char-to-string ?x)
     @result{} "x"
(char-to-string (+ 256 ?x))
     @result{} "x"
(make-string 1 ?x)
     @result{} "x"
@end example
@end defun

@defun string-to-char string
@cindex string to character
  This function returns the first character in @var{string}.  If the
string is empty, the function returns 0. (Under XEmacs 19, the value is
also 0 when the first character of @var{string} is the null character,
@sc{ascii} code 0.)

@example
(string-to-char "ABC")
     @result{} ?A   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 65   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 19.}
(string-to-char "xyz")
     @result{} ?x   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 120  ;; @r{Under XEmacs 19.}
(string-to-char "")
     @result{} 0
(string-to-char "\000")
     @result{} ?\^@ ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 0    ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
@end example

This function may be eliminated in the future if it does not seem useful
enough to retain.
@end defun

@defun number-to-string number
@cindex integer to string
@cindex integer to decimal
This function returns a string consisting of the printed
representation of @var{number}, which may be an integer or a floating
point number.  The value starts with a sign if the argument is
negative.

@example
(number-to-string 256)
     @result{} "256"
(number-to-string -23)
     @result{} "-23"
(number-to-string -23.5)
     @result{} "-23.5"
@end example

@cindex int-to-string
@code{int-to-string} is a semi-obsolete alias for this function.

See also the function @code{format} in @ref{Formatting Strings}.
@end defun

@defun string-to-number string &optional base
@cindex string to number
This function returns the numeric value represented by @var{string},
read in @var{base}.  It skips spaces and tabs at the beginning of
@var{string}, then reads as much of @var{string} as it can interpret as
a number.  (On some systems it ignores other whitespace at the
beginning, not just spaces and tabs.)  If the first character after the
ignored whitespace is not a digit or a minus sign, this function returns
0.

If @var{base} is not specified, it defaults to ten.  With @var{base}
other than ten, only integers can be read.

@example
(string-to-number "256")
     @result{} 256
(string-to-number "25 is a perfect square.")
     @result{} 25
(string-to-number "X256")
     @result{} 0
(string-to-number "-4.5")
     @result{} -4.5
(string-to-number "ffff" 16)
     @result{} 65535
@end example

@findex string-to-int
@code{string-to-int} is an obsolete alias for this function.
@end defun

@node Modifying Strings
@section Modifying Strings
@cindex strings, modifying

You can modify a string using the general array-modifying primitives.
@xref{Arrays}.  The function @code{aset} modifies a single character;
the function @code{fillarray} sets all characters in the string to
a specified character.

Each string has a tick counter that starts out at zero (when the string
is created) and is incremented each time a change is made to that
string.

@defun string-modified-tick string
This function returns the tick counter for @samp{string}.
@end defun

@node String Properties
@section String Properties
@cindex string properties
@cindex properties of strings

Just as with symbols, extents, faces, and glyphs, you can attach
additional information to strings in the form of @dfn{string
properties}.  These differ from text properties, which are logically
attached to particular characters in the string.

To attach a property to a string, use @code{put}.  To retrieve a property
from a string, use @code{get}.  You can also use @code{remprop} to remove
a property from a string and @code{object-plist} to retrieve a list of
all the properties in a string.

@node Formatting Strings
@section Formatting Strings
@cindex formatting strings
@cindex strings, formatting them

  @dfn{Formatting} means constructing a string by substitution of
computed values at various places in a constant string.  This string
controls how the other values are printed as well as where they appear;
it is called a @dfn{format string}.

  Formatting is often useful for computing messages to be displayed.  In
fact, the functions @code{message} and @code{error} provide the same
formatting feature described here; they differ from @code{format} only
in how they use the result of formatting.

@defun format string &rest objects
  This function returns a new string that is made by copying
@var{string} and then replacing any format specification
in the copy with encodings of the corresponding @var{objects}.  The
arguments @var{objects} are the computed values to be formatted.
@end defun

@cindex @samp{%} in format
@cindex format specification
  A format specification is a sequence of characters beginning with a
@samp{%}.  Thus, if there is a @samp{%d} in @var{string}, the
@code{format} function replaces it with the printed representation of
one of the values to be formatted (one of the arguments @var{objects}).
For example:

@example
@group
(format "The value of fill-column is %d." fill-column)
     @result{} "The value of fill-column is 72."
@end group
@end example

  If @var{string} contains more than one format specification, the
format specifications correspond with successive values from
@var{objects}.  Thus, the first format specification in @var{string}
uses the first such value, the second format specification uses the
second such value, and so on.  Any extra format specifications (those
for which there are no corresponding values) cause unpredictable
behavior.  Any extra values to be formatted are ignored.

  Certain format specifications require values of particular types.
However, no error is signaled if the value actually supplied fails to
have the expected type.  Instead, the output is likely to be
meaningless.

  Here is a table of valid format specifications:

@table @samp
@item %s
Replace the specification with the printed representation of the object,
made without quoting.  Thus, strings are represented by their contents
alone, with no @samp{"} characters, and symbols appear without @samp{\}
characters.  This is equivalent to printing the object with @code{princ}.

If there is no corresponding object, the empty string is used.

@item %S
Replace the specification with the printed representation of the object,
made with quoting.  Thus, strings are enclosed in @samp{"} characters,
and @samp{\} characters appear where necessary before special characters.
This is equivalent to printing the object with @code{prin1}.

If there is no corresponding object, the empty string is used.

@item %o
@cindex integer to octal
Replace the specification with the base-eight representation of an
integer.

@item %d
@itemx %i
Replace the specification with the base-ten representation of an
integer.

@item %x
@cindex integer to hexadecimal
Replace the specification with the base-sixteen representation of an
integer, using lowercase letters.

@item %X
@cindex integer to hexadecimal
Replace the specification with the base-sixteen representation of an
integer, using uppercase letters.

@item %b
@cindex integer to binary
Replace the specification with the base-two representation of an
integer.

@item %c
Replace the specification with the character which is the value given.

@item %e
Replace the specification with the exponential notation for a floating
point number (e.g. @samp{7.85200e+03}).

@item %f
Replace the specification with the decimal-point notation for a floating
point number.

@item %g
Replace the specification with notation for a floating point number,
using a ``pretty format''.  Either exponential notation or decimal-point
notation will be used (usually whichever is shorter), and trailing
zeroes are removed from the fractional part.

@item %%
A single @samp{%} is placed in the string.  This format specification is
unusual in that it does not use a value.  For example, @code{(format "%%
%d" 30)} returns @code{"% 30"}.
@end table

  Any other format character results in an @samp{Invalid format
operation} error.

  Here are several examples:

@example
@group
(format "The name of this buffer is %s." (buffer-name))
     @result{} "The name of this buffer is strings.texi."

(format "The buffer object prints as %s." (current-buffer))
     @result{} "The buffer object prints as #<buffer strings.texi>."

(format "The octal value of %d is %o,
         and the hex value is %x." 18 18 18)
     @result{} "The octal value of 18 is 22,
         and the hex value is 12."
@end group
@end example

  There are many additional flags and specifications that can occur
between the @samp{%} and the format character, in the following order:

@enumerate
@item
An optional repositioning specification, which is a positive
integer followed by a @samp{$}.

@item
Zero or more of the optional flag characters @samp{-}, @samp{+},
@samp{ }, @samp{0}, and @samp{#}.

@item
An asterisk (@samp{*}, meaning that the field width is now assumed to
have been specified as an argument.

@item
An optional minimum field width.

@item
An optional precision, preceded by a @samp{.} character.
@end enumerate

@cindex repositioning format arguments
@cindex multilingual string formatting
  A @dfn{repositioning} specification changes which argument to
@code{format} is used by the current and all following format
specifications.  Normally the first specification uses the first
argument, the second specification uses the second argument, etc.  Using
a repositioning specification, you can change this.  By placing a number
@var{n} followed by a @samp{$} between the @samp{%} and the format
character, you cause the specification to use the @var{n}th argument.
The next specification will use the @var{n}+1'th argument, etc.

For example:

@example
@group
(format "Can't find file `%s' in directory `%s'."
        "ignatius.c" "loyola/")
     @result{} "Can't find file `ignatius.c' in directory `loyola/'."

(format "In directory `%2$s', the file `%1$s' was not found."
        "ignatius.c" "loyola/")
     @result{} "In directory `loyola/', the file `ignatius.c' was not found."

(format
    "The numbers %d and %d are %1$x and %x in hex and %1$o and %o in octal."
    37 12)
@result{} "The numbers 37 and 12 are 25 and c in hex and 45 and 14 in octal."
@end group
@end example

As you can see, this lets you reprocess arguments more than once or
reword a format specification (thereby moving the arguments around)
without having to actually reorder the arguments.  This is especially
useful in translating messages from one language to another: Different
languages use different word orders, and this sometimes entails changing
the order of the arguments.  By using repositioning specifications,
this can be accomplished without having to embed knowledge of particular
languages into the location in the program's code where the message is
displayed.

@cindex numeric prefix
@cindex field width
@cindex padding
  All the specification characters allow an optional numeric prefix
between the @samp{%} and the character, and following any repositioning
specification or flag.  The optional numeric prefix defines the minimum
width for the object.  If the printed representation of the object
contains fewer characters than this, then it is padded.  The padding is
normally on the left, but will be on the right if the @samp{-} flag
character is given.  The padding character is normally a space, but if
the @samp{0} flag character is given, zeros are used for padding.

@example
(format "%06d is padded on the left with zeros" 123)
     @result{} "000123 is padded on the left with zeros"

(format "%-6d is padded on the right" 123)
     @result{} "123    is padded on the right"
@end example

  @code{format} never truncates an object's printed representation, no
matter what width you specify.  Thus, you can use a numeric prefix to
specify a minimum spacing between columns with no risk of losing
information.

  In the following three examples, @samp{%7s} specifies a minimum width
of 7.  In the first case, the string inserted in place of @samp{%7s} has
only 3 letters, so 4 blank spaces are inserted for padding.  In the
second case, the string @code{"specification"} is 13 letters wide but is
not truncated.  In the third case, the padding is on the right.

@smallexample
@group
(format "The word `%7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "foo" (length "foo"))
     @result{} "The word `    foo' actually has 3 letters in it."
@end group

@group
(format "The word `%7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "specification" (length "specification"))
     @result{} "The word `specification' actually has 13 letters in it."
@end group

@group
(format "The word `%-7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "foo" (length "foo"))
     @result{} "The word `foo    ' actually has 3 letters in it."
@end group
@end smallexample

@cindex format precision
@cindex precision of formatted numbers
  After any minimum field width, a precision may be specified by
preceding it with a @samp{.} character.  The precision specifies the
minimum number of digits to appear in @samp{%d}, @samp{%i}, @samp{%o},
@samp{%x}, and @samp{%X} conversions (the number is padded on the left
with zeroes as necessary); the number of digits printed after the
decimal point for @samp{%f}, @samp{%e}, and @samp{%E} conversions; the
number of significant digits printed in @samp{%g} and @samp{%G}
conversions; and the maximum number of non-padding characters printed in
@samp{%s} and @samp{%S} conversions.  The default precision for
floating-point conversions is six.

The other flag characters have the following meanings:

@itemize @bullet
@item
The @samp{ } flag means prefix non-negative numbers with a space.

@item
The @samp{+} flag means prefix non-negative numbers with a plus sign.

@item
The @samp{#} flag means print numbers in an alternate, more verbose
format: octal numbers begin with zero; hex numbers begin with a
@samp{0x} or @samp{0X}; a decimal point is printed in @samp{%f},
@samp{%e}, and @samp{%E} conversions even if no numbers are printed
after it; and trailing zeroes are not omitted in @samp{%g} and @samp{%G}
conversions.
@end itemize

@node Character Case
@section Character Case
@cindex upper case
@cindex lower case
@cindex character case

  The character case functions change the case of single characters or
of the contents of strings.  The functions convert only alphabetic
characters (the letters @samp{A} through @samp{Z} and @samp{a} through
@samp{z}); other characters are not altered.  The functions do not
modify the strings that are passed to them as arguments.

  The examples below use the characters @samp{X} and @samp{x} which have
@sc{ascii} codes 88 and 120 respectively.

@defun downcase string-or-char &optional buffer
This function converts a character or a string to lower case.

When the argument to @code{downcase} is a string, the function creates
and returns a new string in which each letter in the argument that is
upper case is converted to lower case.  When the argument to
@code{downcase} is a character, @code{downcase} returns the
corresponding lower case character. (This value is actually an integer
under XEmacs 19.) If the original character is lower case, or is not a
letter, then the value equals the original character.

Optional second arg @var{buffer} specifies which buffer's case tables to
use, and defaults to the current buffer.

@example
(downcase "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "the cat in the hat"

(downcase ?X)
     @result{} ?x   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 120  ;; @r{Under XEmacs 19.}

@end example
@end defun

@defun upcase string-or-char &optional buffer
This function converts a character or a string to upper case.

When the argument to @code{upcase} is a string, the function creates
and returns a new string in which each letter in the argument that is
lower case is converted to upper case.

When the argument to @code{upcase} is a character, @code{upcase} returns
the corresponding upper case character. (This value is actually an
integer under XEmacs 19.)  If the original character is upper case, or
is not a letter, then the value equals the original character.

Optional second arg @var{buffer} specifies which buffer's case tables to
use, and defaults to the current buffer.

@example
(upcase "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "THE CAT IN THE HAT"

(upcase ?x)
     @result{} ?X   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 88   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 19.}
@end example
@end defun

@defun capitalize string-or-char &optional buffer
@cindex capitalization
This function capitalizes strings or characters.  If
@var{string-or-char} is a string, the function creates and returns a new
string, whose contents are a copy of @var{string-or-char} in which each
word has been capitalized.  This means that the first character of each
word is converted to upper case, and the rest are converted to lower
case.

The definition of a word is any sequence of consecutive characters that
are assigned to the word constituent syntax class in the current syntax
table (@pxref{Syntax Class Table}).

When the argument to @code{capitalize} is a character, @code{capitalize}
has the same result as @code{upcase}.

Optional second arg @var{buffer} specifies which buffer's case tables to
use, and defaults to the current buffer.

@example
(capitalize "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "The Cat In The Hat"

(capitalize "THE 77TH-HATTED CAT")
     @result{} "The 77th-Hatted Cat"

@group
(capitalize ?x)
     @result{} ?X   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 20.}
     @result{} 88   ;; @r{Under XEmacs 19.}
@end group
@end example
@end defun

@node Case Tables
@section The Case Table

  You can customize case conversion by installing a special @dfn{case
table}.  A case table specifies the mapping between upper case and lower
case letters.  It affects both the string and character case conversion
functions (see the previous section) and those that apply to text in the
buffer (@pxref{Case Changes}).  You need a case table if you are using a
language which has letters other than the standard @sc{ascii} letters.

  A case table is a list of this form:

@example
(@var{downcase} @var{upcase} @var{canonicalize} @var{equivalences})
@end example

@noindent
where each element is either @code{nil} or a string of length 256.  The
element @var{downcase} says how to map each character to its lower-case
equivalent.  The element @var{upcase} maps each character to its
upper-case equivalent.  If lower and upper case characters are in
one-to-one correspondence, use @code{nil} for @var{upcase}; then XEmacs
deduces the upcase table from @var{downcase}.

  For some languages, upper and lower case letters are not in one-to-one
correspondence.  There may be two different lower case letters with the
same upper case equivalent.  In these cases, you need to specify the
maps for both directions.

  The element @var{canonicalize} maps each character to a canonical
equivalent; any two characters that are related by case-conversion have
the same canonical equivalent character.

  The element @var{equivalences} is a map that cyclicly permutes each
equivalence class (of characters with the same canonical equivalent).
(For ordinary @sc{ascii}, this would map @samp{a} into @samp{A} and
@samp{A} into @samp{a}, and likewise for each set of equivalent
characters.)

  When you construct a case table, you can provide @code{nil} for
@var{canonicalize}; then Emacs fills in this string from @var{upcase}
and @var{downcase}.  You can also provide @code{nil} for
@var{equivalences}; then Emacs fills in this string from
@var{canonicalize}.  In a case table that is actually in use, those
components are non-@code{nil}.  Do not try to specify @var{equivalences}
without also specifying @var{canonicalize}.

  Each buffer has a case table.  XEmacs also has a @dfn{standard case
table} which is copied into each buffer when you create the buffer.
Changing the standard case table doesn't affect any existing buffers.

  Here are the functions for working with case tables:

@defun case-table-p object
This predicate returns non-@code{nil} if @var{object} is a valid case
table.
@end defun

@defun set-standard-case-table case-table
This function makes @var{case-table} the standard case table, so that it
will apply to any buffers created subsequently.
@end defun

@defun standard-case-table
This returns the standard case table.
@end defun

@defun current-case-table &optional buffer
This function returns the case table of @var{buffer}, which defaults to
the current buffer.
@end defun

@defun set-case-table case-table
This sets the current buffer's case table to @var{case-table}.
@end defun

  The following three functions are convenient subroutines for packages
that define non-@sc{ascii} character sets.  They modify a string
@var{downcase-table} provided as an argument; this should be a string to
be used as the @var{downcase} part of a case table.  They also modify
the standard syntax table.  @xref{Syntax Tables}.

@defun set-case-syntax-pair uc lc downcase-table
This function specifies a pair of corresponding letters, one upper case
and one lower case.
@end defun

@defun set-case-syntax-delims l r downcase-table
This function makes characters @var{l} and @var{r} a matching pair of
case-invariant delimiters.
@end defun

@defun set-case-syntax char syntax downcase-table
This function makes @var{char} case-invariant, with syntax
@var{syntax}.
@end defun

@deffn Command describe-buffer-case-table
This command displays a description of the contents of the current
buffer's case table.
@end deffn

@cindex ISO Latin 1
@pindex iso-syntax
You can load the library @file{iso-syntax} to set up the standard syntax
table and define a case table for the 8-bit ISO Latin 1 character set.

@node Char Tables
@section The Char Table

A char table is a table that maps characters (or ranges of characters)
to values.  Char tables are specialized for characters, only allowing
particular sorts of ranges to be assigned values.  Although this
loses in generality, it makes for extremely fast (constant-time)
lookups, and thus is feasible for applications that do an extremely
large number of lookups (e.g. scanning a buffer for a character in
a particular syntax, where a lookup in the syntax table must occur
once per character).

Note that char tables as a primitive type, and all of the functions in
this section, exist only in XEmacs 20.  In XEmacs 19, char tables are
generally implemented using a vector of 256 elements.

When @sc{mule} support exists, the types of ranges that can be assigned
values are

@itemize @bullet
@item
all characters
@item
an entire charset
@item
a single row in a two-octet charset
@item
a single character
@end itemize

When @sc{mule} support is not present, the types of ranges that can be
assigned values are

@itemize @bullet
@item
all characters
@item
a single character
@end itemize

@defun char-table-p object
This function returns non-@code{nil} if @var{object} is a char table.
@end defun

@menu
* Char Table Types::            Char tables have different uses.
* Working With Char Tables::    Creating and working with char tables.
@end menu

@node Char Table Types
@subsection Char Table Types

Each char table type is used for a different purpose and allows different
sorts of values.  The different char table types are

@table @code
@item category
Used for category tables, which specify the regexp categories
that a character is in.  The valid values are @code{nil} or a
bit vector of 95 elements.  Higher-level Lisp functions are
provided for working with category tables.  Currently categories
and category tables only exist when @sc{mule} support is present.
@item char
A generalized char table, for mapping from one character to
another.  Used for case tables, syntax matching tables,
@code{keyboard-translate-table}, etc.  The valid values are characters.
@item generic
An even more generalized char table, for mapping from a
character to anything.
@item display
Used for display tables, which specify how a particular character
is to appear when displayed.  #### Not yet implemented.
@item syntax
Used for syntax tables, which specify the syntax of a particular
character.  Higher-level Lisp functions are provided for
working with syntax tables.  The valid values are fixnums.
@end table

@defun char-table-type char-table
This function returns the type of char table @var{char-table}.
@end defun

@defun char-table-type-list
This function returns a list of the recognized char table types.
@end defun

@defun valid-char-table-type-p type
This function returns @code{t} if @var{type} if a recognized char table type.
@end defun

@node Working With Char Tables
@subsection Working With Char Tables

@defun make-char-table type
This function makes a new, empty char table of type @var{type}.
@var{type} should be a symbol, one of @code{char}, @code{category},
@code{display}, @code{generic}, or @code{syntax}.
@end defun

@defun put-char-table range value char-table
This function sets the value for chars in @var{range} to be @var{value} in
@var{char-table}.

@var{range} specifies one or more characters to be affected and should be
one of the following:

@itemize @bullet
@item
@code{t} (all characters are affected)
@item
A charset (only allowed when @sc{mule} support is present)
@item
A vector of two elements: a two-octet charset and a row number
(only allowed when @sc{mule} support is present)
@item
A single character
@end itemize

@var{value} must be a value appropriate for the type of @var{char-table}.
@end defun

@defun get-char-table character char-table
This function finds the value for @var{character} in @var{char-table}.
@end defun

@defun get-range-char-table range char-table &optional multi
This function finds the value for a range in @var{char-table}.  If there is
more than one value, @var{multi} is returned (defaults to @code{nil}).
@end defun

@defun reset-char-table char-table
This function resets @var{char-table} to its default state.
@end defun

@defun map-char-table function char-table &optional range
This function maps @var{function} over entries in @var{char-table}, calling
it with two args, each key and value in the table.

@var{range} specifies a subrange to map over and is in the same format
as the @var{range} argument to @code{put-range-table}.  If omitted or
@code{t}, it defaults to the entire table.
@end defun

@defun valid-char-table-value-p value char-table-type
This function returns non-@code{nil} if @var{value} is a valid value for
@var{char-table-type}.
@end defun

@defun check-valid-char-table-value value char-table-type
This function signals an error if @var{value} is not a valid value for
@var{char-table-type}.
@end defun