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File System Interface

Lpp provides a small collection of file system interface functions that are somewhat similar to corresponding Common Lisp functions. Since C++ provides a library of file stream functions these Lpp file system interface functions are not absolutely necessary. They do however make it easy to bring the file system into Lisp semantics. For example the fileDirectory function returns a Lisp list of file names.

currentDirectory Function

currentDirectory returns an Lpp String that represents the environment's notion of the current directory that the Lpp program is executing in. For example in Unix this is the current directory when main was executed. The returned String has a terminating directory identifier (if such exists) such that if the String were concatenated with a plain file name the result would be a complete file specification. For example suppose on a Unix system the current directory is /home/me/lpp/lib then

     stringConcat(currentDirectory(), L("filex"))
                             => "/home/me/lpp/lib/filex"

fileDirectory file Function

Given a file specification file fileDirectory will return a list of names of the files in the directory if the given specification names a directory in the file system or a file specification relative to the current directory. An error is signaled if the the given file can not be opened as a directory. The file argument can be an Lpp String or a char* string. The returned list of names are Lpp Strings. Here are some examples

     let dirList = fileDirectory(currentDirectory());
     int dirLength = length(fileDirectory("/home/me/lpp/lib/test"));
     let filtered = mapcan(L(filterFunction), fileDirectory("test"));

Note that fileDirectory is similar to the directory function in Common Lisp. But while the argument to directory is a file pattern string in Common Lisp the argument to fileDirectory is an exact directory name.

probeFile file pred Function

Given a file specification file and a predicate symbol pred returns t if what pred indicates is true of the given file and nil otherwise. The argument file is a file specification in the file system or a specification relative to the current directory. It can be a char* string or an Lpp String. The pred argument can be one of the symbols: exist, readable, writable, executable, directory, regular, symbolicLink.

If given the symbol exist probeFile returns t if the given file specification exists. If give readable, writable or executable it will return t if the file is readable, writable or executable respectively. If given directory it returns true if the file specification is a directory. If given regular it will return t if the file is a regular file. Note that a regular file can be other than a non-directory in some file systems, such as a Unix file system. For file systems that have symbolic links, if given the symbol symbolicLink it returns t if the file is a symbolic link.

For example the directory symbol can be used to recursively descend directories

     void recursiveDescend(let directory) {
       dolist(file, fileDirectory(directory)) {
         // Do something with this file.
         if (probeFile(file, S(directory))) recursiveDescend(file);}}

Note that calling probeFile with the symbol exist is similar to the probe-file of Common Lisp, that is, it is a predicate for the existence of the file. But where probe-file in Common Lisp returns the true name of the file probeFile just returns t if the file exists. This was done on purpose in Lpp to avoid generating a String object that would just need to be garbage collected if all that we wanted to use probeFile for was as a predicate.