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README.macros.gz

-*- mode: text; mode: fold; -*-
The purpose of this note is to provide some instructions on extending the
newsreader in its macro language.

{{{ Introduction 
      
When slrn is started, it reads the .slrnrc user initialization file.
That file may contain one or more `interpret' commands causing the
newsreader to load the specified S-Lang scripts, e.g.,

    interpret ".slrn.sl"
    interpret "src/slrn/macros/search.sl"

Each script must obey the syntax of the S-Lang language.  See the
slang documentation from www.s-lang.org more more information about
the syntax.

Several pre-written macros are included in the slrn distribution in
the macro subdirectory and many more are available from various pages all
over the web.

}}}
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Defining Key Macros {{{
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although one is able to bind keys to specific functions via lines
    of the form
    
         setkey group "refresh_groups"  "G"
	 
    in the .slrnrc file, it is not possible to defined more
    complicated actions in this manner.  However, macros can be
    defined by using a S-Lang script.  For example, the
    `refresh_groups' internal function refreshes the newsgroups but it
    does not cause the cursor to move to the top of the newsgroup
    list.  On the other hand, the internal function `bob' moves to the
    top of the list but it does not refresh the groups.  One can
    define a S-Lang function to perform both actions:
    
         define refresh_groups_bob ()
	 {
	     call ("refresh_groups");
	     call ("bob");
	 }
	 
    and bind it to a key:
    
         definekey ("refresh_groups_bob", "g", "group");
	 
    The `definekey' function takes 3 arguments:
    
         function to execute
	 keybinding
	 keymap name   ("article" or "group")
	 
    Here is another macro that may be used in article mode.  It
    performs a regular expression search for subjects.
	
	variable Last_Search_Str = "";
	define re_subject_search_forward ()
	{
	   variable str;
	   
	   ERROR_BLOCK
	     {
	       () = header_up (1);
	     }
	
	   !if (header_down (1)) return;
	
	   str = read_mini ("Subject re-search fwd", Last_Search_Str, "");
	
	   !if (strlen (str))
	     return;
	
	   Last_Search_Str = str;
	   !if (re_fsearch_subject (str))
	     error ("Not found.");
	}
	
    To bind it to, e.g., `s' in the article keymap, use:
   
	definekey ("re_subject_search_forward", "s", "article");
    

    Some slrn keyboard functions require a ``prefix argument''.
    Many people find the use of prefix arguments somewhat strange.
    For example, instead of typing `ESC 1 ESC p' to reconstruct a thread,
    one can simply use the function:
    
        define my_recreate_thread ()
	{
	    set_prefix_argument (1);
	    call ("get_parent_header");
	}
	
   Here is a function that pipes the current article to a
   command called `most' (a paging program similar to more/less):
   
        define pipe_to_most ()
	{
	    pipe_article ("most");
	}
	definekey ("pipe_to_most", "&", "article");
 
   Here it has been bound to the `&' key.  Most likely one will want
   to pipe the article to a shell script for further processing.
   
   Some of the built-in keyboard functions will prompt for a
   string.  For example, in article mode, pressing the `:' key will
   prompt for an filename.  The function `set_input_string' may be
   used to provide a response to such a prompt, e.g.,
   
      % The `:' command will prompt for a filename.
      set_input_string ("/tmp/decoded");
      call ("decode");

   For functions that prompt for a single character, such as 
   
      Do you really want to quit? [Y]es No
      
   a similar intrinsic function, set_input_chars, may be used to
   provide the answer.
   
}}}   
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hooks and Command Reference
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The above examples used ``intrinsic'' functions such as `call',
`set_integer_variable', etc.  A description of all slrn intrinsic functions
that are available via the interpreter is included in slrnfuns.txt.  A
comprehensive list of all hooks into the newsreader is now also included in
that file.

The S-Lang language includes many other intrinsics, such as `strcmp' and
`is_substr' which are described in the file slangfun.txt that comes with
S-Lang itself.
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