D.2 Additional interface libraries

This section describes Some of the predicates available from the XPCE/Prolog library.

D.2.1 Library ``pce_util''

The predicates in this section used to be XPCE principal predicates. Changes to XPCE, the interface and our current understanding about programming the XPCE/Prolog environment have made these predicates less important.

send_list(+Receiver, +Selector [, +Argument])
Invoke send-behaviour as send/[2-12]. Each of the arguments is either as accepted by send/[2-12] or a list of such arguments. The definition of send_list/2 is below.
send_list([], _) :- !.
send_list(_, []) :- !.
send_list([Object|Objects], Selectors) :- !, 
        send_list(Object, Selectors), 
        send_list(Objects, Selectors).
send_list(Object, [Selector|Selectors]) :- !, 
        send_list(Object, Selector), 
        send_list(Object, Selectors).
send_list(Object, Selector) :-
        send(Object, Selector).

Note that, since send/2 accepts Selector(Arg...) the following is now valid code:

                  [ colour(red),
get_object(+Receiver, +Selector, +Argument..., -Result)
Equivalent to get/[3-13], but instead of unifying a variable with a reference the variable is unified with the term-description. The arguments are unified as in get/[3-13]. Normally only used from the Prolog top level for debugging purposes.
chain_list(?Chain, ?List)
Converts between a XPCE chain and a Prolog list. This may be useful to exploit Prolog's list-processing primitives. Note however that XPCE chains define various operations that may be exploited to avoid the translation. Suppose `Pict' is a picture and `Pos' is a point object. We want to determine the topmost graphical object overlapping with `Pos'. The following two programs are identical:
topmost_graphical(Pict, Pos, Gr) :-
        get(Pict, graphicals, Grs0),
        chain_list(Grs0, Grs1),
        topmost(Grs1, Pos, @nil, Gr),
        Gr \== @nil.

topmost([], _, Gr, Gr).
topmost([H|T], Pos, _, Gr) :-
        send(H, overlap, Pos), !,
        topmost(T, Pos, H, Gr).
topmost([_|T], Pos, Gr0, Gr) :-
        topmost(T, Pos, Gr0, Gr).

Or, using XPCE's list processing:

topmost_graphical(Dev, Pos, Gr) :-
        get(Dev, graphicals, Grs),
        get(Grs, find_all,
            message(@arg1, overlap, Pos), O),
        get(O, tail, Gr),
        send(O, done).

The second implementation is not only shorter, it also requires far less data conversions between Prolog and XPCE and is therefore much faster.

get_chain(+Receiver, +Selector, -List)
Utility predicate implemented as:
get_chain(Receiver, Selector, List) :-
        get(Receiver, Selector, Chain),
        chain_list(Chain, List).

See comments with chain_list/2.

D.2.2 Library ``pce_debug''

The predicates in this section provide shorthands for common commands for debugging XPCE programs. See section 12 for more information on debugging XPCE/Prolog programs.

tracepce(+Class <-|->|- Selector)
Find send- (->), get- (<-) method or variable (-) and cause invocations thereof to be printed on the console.

Syntax note: (->) is a standard Prolog operator with priority > 1000. Therefore many Prolog systems require additional brackets:

1 ?- tracepce((graphical ->selected)).

In SWI-Prolog this is not necessary. To be able to trace get-methods with this predicate (<-) must be declared as an infix operator.

notracepce(+Class <-|->|- Selector)
Disables trace-point set with tracepce/1.
Collect all global (named-) objects and run `object->_check' on them. This performs various consistency checks on the objects and prints diagnostic messages if something is wrong. `object->_check' checks all objects it can (recursively) find through slot-references, chains, vectors and hash-tables and deals properly with loops in the data-structure.
Prints the values of all instance variables of Reference:
1 ?- new(@move_gesture, move_gesture).
2 ?- show_slots(@move_gesture).
        active                @on/bool
        button                middle
        modifier              @810918/modifier
        condition             @nil/constant
        status                inactive
        cursor                @default/constant
        offset                @548249/point

A graphical tool for inspecting instance variables is described in section 12.5.

D.2.3 Accessing the XPCE manual

Start the XPCE online manual tools. This opens a small GUI console at the top-left of the screen, providing access to the manual, demo programs and tools described in this manual. See chapter 3.
As manpce/0, but immediately opens the the manual from Spec. Spec is either a class-name, opening the ClassBrowser, or a term Class <-|->|- Selector (see tracepce/1) to open the manual-card of the specified behaviour. Examples:
1 ?- manpce(box).
2 ?- manpce((view->caret)).