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12. Preprocessing Using gnatprep

The gnatprep utility provides a simple preprocessing capability for Ada programs. It is designed for use with GNAT, but is not dependent on any special features of GNAT.

12.1 Using gnatprep  
12.2 Switches for gnatprep  
12.3 Form of definitions file  
12.4 Form of input text for gnatprep  

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12.1 Using gnatprep

To call gnatprep use

   $ gnatprep [-bcrsu] [-Dsymbol=value] infile outfile [deffile]


is the full name of the input file, which is an Ada source file containing preprocessor directives.

is the full name of the output file, which is an Ada source in standard Ada form. When used with GNAT, this file name will normally have an ads or adb suffix.

is the full name of a text file containing definitions of symbols to be referenced by the preprocessor. This argument is optional, and can be replaced by the use of the -D switch.

is an optional sequence of switches as described in the next section.

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12.2 Switches for gnatprep

Causes both preprocessor lines and the lines deleted by preprocessing to be replaced by blank lines in the output source file, preserving line numbers in the output file.

Causes both preprocessor lines and the lines deleted by preprocessing to be retained in the output source as comments marked with the special string "--! ". This option will result in line numbers being preserved in the output file.

Defines a new symbol, associated with value. If no value is given on the command line, then symbol is considered to be True. This switch can be used in place of a definition file.

Causes a Source_Reference pragma to be generated that references the original input file, so that error messages will use the file name of this original file. The use of this switch implies that preprocessor lines are not to be removed from the file, so its use will force -b mode if -c has not been specified explicitly.

Note that if the file to be preprocessed contains multiple units, then it will be necessary to gnatchop the output file from gnatprep. If a Source_Reference pragma is present in the preprocessed file, it will be respected by gnatchop -r so that the final chopped files will correctly refer to the original input source file for gnatprep.

Causes a sorted list of symbol names and values to be listed on the standard output file.

Causes undefined symbols to be treated as having the value FALSE in the context of a preprocessor test. In the absence of this option, an undefined symbol in a #if or #elsif test will be treated as an error.

Note: if neither -b nor -c is present, then preprocessor lines and deleted lines are completely removed from the output, unless -r is specified, in which case -b is assumed.

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12.3 Form of definitions file

The definitions file contains lines of the form

   symbol := value

where symbol is an identifier, following normal Ada (case-insensitive) rules for its syntax, and value is one of the following:

Comment lines may also appear in the definitions file, starting with the usual --, and comments may be added to the definitions lines.

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12.4 Form of input text for gnatprep

The input text may contain preprocessor conditional inclusion lines, as well as general symbol substitution sequences. The preprocessor conditional inclusion commands have the form

   #if expression [then]
   #elsif expression [then]
   #elsif expression [then]
   #end if;

In this example, expression is defined by the following grammar:
   expression ::=  <symbol>
   expression ::=  <symbol> = "<value>"
   expression ::=  <symbol> = <symbol>
   expression ::=  <symbol> 'Defined
   expression ::=  not expression
   expression ::=  expression and expression
   expression ::=  expression or expression
   expression ::=  expression and then expression
   expression ::=  expression or else expression
   expression ::=  ( expression )

For the first test (expression ::= <symbol>) the symbol must have either the value true or false, that is to say the right-hand of the symbol definition must be one of the (case-insensitive) literals True or False. If the value is true, then the corresponding lines are included, and if the value is false, they are excluded.

The test (expression ::= <symbol> 'Defined) is true only if the symbol has been defined in the definition file or by a -D switch on the command line. Otherwise, the test is false.

The equality tests are case insensitive, as are all the preprocessor lines.

If the symbol referenced is not defined in the symbol definitions file, then the effect depends on whether or not switch -u is specified. If so, then the symbol is treated as if it had the value false and the test fails. If this switch is not specified, then it is an error to reference an undefined symbol. It is also an error to reference a symbol that is defined with a value other than True or False.

The use of the not operator inverts the sense of this logical test, so that the lines are included only if the symbol is not defined. The then keyword is optional as shown

The # must be in column one, but otherwise the format is free form. Spaces or tabs may appear between the # and the keyword. The keywords and the symbols are case insensitive as in normal Ada code. Comments may be used on a preprocessor line, but other than that, no other tokens may appear on a preprocessor line. Any number of elsif clauses can be present, including none at all. The else is optional, as in Ada.

The # marking the start of a preprocessor line must be the first non-blank character on the line, i.e. it must be preceded only by spaces or horizontal tabs.

Symbol substitution outside of preprocessor lines is obtained by using the sequence


anywhere within a source line, except in a comment. The identifier following the $ must match one of the symbols defined in the symbol definition file, and the result is to substitute the value of the symbol in place of $symbol in the output file.

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This document was generated by Tom Bennet on August, 25 2000 using texi2html