Provided by: tcl8.4-doc_8.4.19-4ubuntu3_all bug

NAME

       Tcl_TraceVar,    Tcl_TraceVar2,    Tcl_UntraceVar,    Tcl_UntraceVar2,   Tcl_VarTraceInfo,
       Tcl_VarTraceInfo2 - monitor accesses to a variable

SYNOPSIS

       #include <tcl.h>

       int
       Tcl_TraceVar(interp, varName, flags, proc, clientData)

       int
       Tcl_TraceVar2(interp, name1, name2, flags, proc, clientData)

       Tcl_UntraceVar(interp, varName, flags, proc, clientData)

       Tcl_UntraceVar2(interp, name1, name2, flags, proc, clientData)

       ClientData
       Tcl_VarTraceInfo(interp, varName, flags, proc, prevClientData)

       ClientData
       Tcl_VarTraceInfo2(interp, name1, name2, flags, proc, prevClientData)

ARGUMENTS

       Tcl_Interp         *interp          (in)      Interpreter containing variable.

       CONST char         *varName         (in)      Name of variable.  May  refer  to  a  scalar
                                                     variable,  to  an  array  variable  with  no
                                                     index,  or  to  an  array  variable  with  a
                                                     parenthesized index.

       int                flags            (in)      OR-ed     combination    of    the    values
                                                     TCL_TRACE_READS,           TCL_TRACE_WRITES,
                                                     TCL_TRACE_UNSETS,           TCL_TRACE_ARRAY,
                                                     TCL_GLOBAL_ONLY,         TCL_NAMESPACE_ONLY,
                                                     TCL_TRACE_RESULT_DYNAMIC                 and
                                                     TCL_TRACE_RESULT_OBJECT.  Not all flags  are
                                                     used  by all procedures.  See below for more
                                                     information.

       Tcl_VarTraceProc   *proc            (in)      Procedure to  invoke  whenever  one  of  the
                                                     traced operations occurs.

       ClientData         clientData       (in)      Arbitrary one-word value to pass to proc.

       CONST char         *name1           (in)      Name  of  scalar  or array variable (without
                                                     array index).

       CONST char         *name2           (in)      For a trace on an element of an array, gives
                                                     the  index  of  the  element.  For traces on
                                                     scalar variables  or  on  whole  arrays,  is
                                                     NULL.

       ClientData         prevClientData   (in)      If  non-NULL,  gives  last value returned by
                                                     Tcl_VarTraceInfo  or  Tcl_VarTraceInfo2,  so
                                                     this call will return information about next
                                                     trace.   If  NULL,  this  call  will  return
                                                     information about first trace.
_________________________________________________________________

DESCRIPTION

       Tcl_TraceVar allows a C procedure to monitor and control access to a Tcl variable, so that
       the C procedure is invoked whenever the variable is read or  written  or  unset.   If  the
       trace  is  created  successfully  then  Tcl_TraceVar returns TCL_OK.  If an error occurred
       (e.g. varName specifies an element of an array, but the actual variable  isn't  an  array)
       then TCL_ERROR is returned and an error message is left in the interpreter's result.

       The flags argument to Tcl_TraceVar indicates when the trace procedure is to be invoked and
       provides information for setting up the trace.  It consists of an OR-ed combination of any
       of the following values:

       TCL_GLOBAL_ONLY
              Normally,  the  variable  will be looked up at the current level of procedure call;
              if this bit is set then the variable will be looked up at  global  level,  ignoring
              any active procedures.

       TCL_NAMESPACE_ONLY
              Normally,  the  variable  will be looked up at the current level of procedure call;
              if this bit is set then the variable will be looked up in  the  current  namespace,
              ignoring any active procedures.

       TCL_TRACE_READS
              Invoke proc whenever an attempt is made to read the variable.

       TCL_TRACE_WRITES
              Invoke proc whenever an attempt is made to modify the variable.

       TCL_TRACE_UNSETS
              Invoke  proc  whenever  the  variable  is  unset.   A  variable may be unset either
              explicitly by an unset command, or implicitly when a procedure returns  (its  local
              variables  are  automatically  unset)  or  when  the  interpreter  is  deleted (all
              variables are automatically unset).

       TCL_TRACE_ARRAY
              Invoke proc whenever the array command is invoked.  This gives the trace  procedure
              a  chance to update the array before array names or array get is called.  Note that
              this is called before an array set, but that will trigger write traces.             │

       TCL_TRACE_RESULT_DYNAMIC                                                                   │
              The result of invoking the proc is a dynamically  allocated  string  that  will  be │
              released  by  the  Tcl  library via a call to ckfree.  Must not be specified at the │
              same time as TCL_TRACE_RESULT_OBJECT.                                               │

       TCL_TRACE_RESULT_OBJECT                                                                    │
              The result of invoking the proc is a Tcl_Obj* (cast to a char*)  with  a  reference │
              count  of at least one.  The ownership of that reference will be transferred to the │
              Tcl core for  release  (when  the  core  has  finished  with  it)  via  a  call  to │
              Tcl_DecrRefCount.     Must    not    be    specified    at   the   same   time   as │
              TCL_TRACE_RESULT_DYNAMIC.

       Whenever one of the specified operations occurs on the variable, proc will be invoked.  It
       should have arguments and result that match the type Tcl_VarTraceProc:
              typedef char *Tcl_VarTraceProc(
                ClientData clientData,
                Tcl_Interp *interp,
                char *name1,
                char *name2,
                int flags);
       The  clientData  and  interp  parameters  will  have  the  same  values as those passed to
       Tcl_TraceVar when the trace was created.  ClientData typically points to  an  application-
       specific  data  structure that describes what to do when proc is invoked.  Name1 and name2
       give the name of the traced variable in the normal two-part form (see the  description  of
       Tcl_TraceVar2 below for details).  Flags is an OR-ed combination of bits providing several
       pieces   of   information.    One   of   the   bits   TCL_TRACE_READS,   TCL_TRACE_WRITES,
       TCL_TRACE_ARRAY,  or  TCL_TRACE_UNSETS will be set in flags to indicate which operation is
       being performed on the variable.   The  bit  TCL_GLOBAL_ONLY  will  be  set  whenever  the
       variable being accessed is a global one not accessible from the current level of procedure
       call:  the trace procedure will need to pass this flag back to variable-related procedures
       like Tcl_GetVar if it attempts to access the variable.  The bit TCL_NAMESPACE_ONLY will be
       set whenever the variable being accessed is  a  namespace  one  not  accessible  from  the
       current  level of procedure call:  the trace procedure will need to pass this flag back to
       variable-related procedures like Tcl_GetVar if it attempts to access  the  variable.   The
       bit  TCL_TRACE_DESTROYED will be set in flags if the trace is about to be destroyed;  this
       information may be useful to proc so that it can clean up its own internal data structures
       (see   the   section  TCL_TRACE_DESTROYED  below  for  more  details).   Lastly,  the  bit
       TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED will be set if the entire interpreter is being destroyed.  When  this
       bit  is  set,  proc  must  be  especially  careful  in the things it does (see the section
       TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED below).  The trace procedure's return value should normally be  NULL;
       see ERROR RETURNS below for information on other possibilities.

       Tcl_UntraceVar  may  be  used  to  remove  a  trace.  If the variable specified by interp,
       varName,  and  flags  has  a  trace  set  with  flags,  proc,  and  clientData,  then  the
       corresponding  trace is removed.  If no such trace exists, then the call to Tcl_UntraceVar
       has no effect.  The same bits are valid for flags as for calls to Tcl_TraceVar.

       Tcl_VarTraceInfo may be used to retrieve information about traces set on a given variable.
       The  return  value  from  Tcl_VarTraceInfo  is the clientData associated with a particular
       trace.  The trace must be on the variable specified by  the  interp,  varName,  and  flags
       arguments (only the TCL_GLOBAL_ONLY and TCL_NAMESPACE_ONLY bits from flags is used;  other
       bits are ignored) and its trace procedure must the same as  the  proc  argument.   If  the
       prevClientData  argument  is  NULL  then  the  return value corresponds to the first (most
       recently created) matching trace, or NULL  if  there  are  no  matching  traces.   If  the
       prevClientData  argument  isn't  NULL,  then it should be the return value from a previous
       call to Tcl_VarTraceInfo.  In this case, the new return value will correspond to the  next
       matching  trace after the one whose clientData matches prevClientData, or NULL if no trace
       matches prevClientData or if there are no more matching traces after it.   This  mechanism
       makes  it  possible  to  step through all of the traces for a given variable that have the
       same proc.

TWO-PART NAMES

       The procedures Tcl_TraceVar2, Tcl_UntraceVar2,  and  Tcl_VarTraceInfo2  are  identical  to
       Tcl_TraceVar,  Tcl_UntraceVar, and Tcl_VarTraceInfo, respectively, except that the name of
       the variable consists of two parts.  Name1 gives the name of a scalar variable  or  array,
       and  name2  gives  the  name of an element within an array.  When name2 is NULL, name1 may │
       contain both an array and an element name: if the name contains an  open  parenthesis  and │
       ends  with  a  close  parenthesis, then the value between the parentheses is treated as an │
       element name (which can have any string value) and the characters before  the  first  open │
       parenthesis are treated as the name of an array variable.  If name2 is NULL and name1 does │
       not refer to an array element it means that either the variable is a scalar or  the  trace
       is to be set on the entire array rather than an individual element (see WHOLE-ARRAY TRACES
       below for more information).

ACCESSING VARIABLES DURING TRACES

       During read, write, and array traces, the trace procedure can read, write,  or  unset  the
       traced  variable  using  Tcl_GetVar2,  Tcl_SetVar2,  and  other procedures.  While proc is
       executing, traces are temporarily disabled for the variable, so that calls to  Tcl_GetVar2
       and  Tcl_SetVar2  will  not  cause  proc  or  other  trace procedures to be invoked again.
       Disabling only occurs for the variable whose trace procedure is active;  accesses to other
       variables  will  still  be traced.  However, if a variable is unset during a read or write
       trace then unset traces will be invoked.

       During unset traces the variable has already been completely expunged.  It is possible for
       the  trace  procedure to read or write the variable, but this will be a new version of the
       variable.  Traces are not disabled during unset traces as they  are  for  read  and  write
       traces,  but  existing  traces  have  been  removed  from  the  variable  before any trace
       procedures are invoked.  If new traces are set by unset  trace  procedures,  these  traces
       will be invoked on accesses to the variable by the trace procedures.

CALLBACK TIMING

       When  read  tracing has been specified for a variable, the trace procedure will be invoked
       whenever the variable's value is read.  This includes set Tcl commands, $-notation in  Tcl
       commands,  and  invocations of the Tcl_GetVar and Tcl_GetVar2 procedures.  Proc is invoked
       just before the variable's value is returned.  It may modify the value of the variable  to
       affect  what  is returned by the traced access.  If it unsets the variable then the access
       will return an error just as if the variable never existed.

       When write tracing has been specified for a variable, the trace procedure will be  invoked
       whenever  the  variable's  value  is  modified.  This includes set commands, commands that
       modify variables as side effects (such as catch and scan), and calls to the Tcl_SetVar and
       Tcl_SetVar2  procedures).   Proc  will  be  invoked  after  the  variable's value has been
       modified, but before the new value of the variable has been returned.  It may  modify  the
       value  of the variable to override the change and to determine the value actually returned
       by the traced access.  If it deletes the variable then the traced access  will  return  an
       empty string.

       When  array  tracing  has  been  specified,  the  trace  procedure  will be invoked at the
       beginning of the array command implementation, before any of the operations like get, set,
       or  names  have  been  invoked.   The  trace  procedure can modify the array elements with
       Tcl_SetVar and Tcl_SetVar2.

       When unset tracing has been specified, the trace procedure will be  invoked  whenever  the
       variable  is  destroyed.  The traces will be called after the variable has been completely
       unset.

WHOLE-ARRAY TRACES

       If a call to Tcl_TraceVar or Tcl_TraceVar2 specifies the name of an array variable without
       an  index  into the array, then the trace will be set on the array as a whole.  This means
       that proc will be invoked whenever any element of  the  array  is  accessed  in  the  ways
       specified  by  flags.   When  an  array is unset, a whole-array trace will be invoked just
       once, with name1 equal to the name of the array and name2 NULL;  it will  not  be  invoked
       once for each element.

MULTIPLE TRACES

       It  is possible for multiple traces to exist on the same variable.  When this happens, all
       of the trace procedures will be invoked on  each  access,  in  order  from  most-recently-
       created  to  least-recently-created.   When there exist whole-array traces for an array as
       well as traces on individual elements, the  whole-array  traces  are  invoked  before  the
       individual-element  traces.   If a read or write trace unsets the variable then all of the
       unset traces will be invoked but the remainder of  the  read  and  write  traces  will  be
       skipped.

ERROR RETURNS

       Under  normal  conditions  trace  procedures  should  return  NULL,  indicating successful
       completion.  If proc returns a non-NULL value it signifies that an  error  occurred.   The
       return  value  must be a pointer to a static character string containing an error message, │
       unless (exactly one of) the TCL_TRACE_RESULT_DYNAMIC and TCL_TRACE_RESULT_OBJECT flags  is │
       set, which specify that the result is either a dynamic string (to be released with ckfree) │
       or a Tcl_Obj* (cast to char* and to be  released  with  Tcl_DecrRefCount)  containing  the │
       error  message.   If a trace procedure returns an error, no further traces are invoked for
       the access and the traced access aborts with the given message.  Trace procedures can  use
       this  facility  to  make  variables read-only, for example (but note that the value of the
       variable will already have been modified before the trace  procedure  is  called,  so  the
       trace procedure will have to restore the correct value).

       The  return  value  from  proc  is  only used during read and write tracing.  During unset
       traces, the return value is ignored and all  relevant  trace  procedures  will  always  be
       invoked.

RESTRICTIONS

       A  trace procedure can be called at any time, even when there is a partially-formed result
       in the interpreter's result area.  If the trace procedure does anything that could  damage
       this  result  (such  as  calling  Tcl_Eval)  then  it must save the original values of the
       interpreter's result and freeProc fields and restore them before it returns.

UNDEFINED VARIABLES

       It is legal to set a trace on an undefined variable.  The variable will still appear to be
       undefined  until  the first time its value is set.  If an undefined variable is traced and
       then unset, the unset will fail with an  error  (``no  such  variable''),  but  the  trace
       procedure will still be invoked.

TCL_TRACE_DESTROYED FLAG

       In  an unset callback to proc, the TCL_TRACE_DESTROYED bit is set in flags if the trace is
       being removed as part of the deletion.  Traces on a variable are always  removed  whenever
       the variable is deleted;  the only time TCL_TRACE_DESTROYED isn't set is for a whole-array
       trace invoked when only a single element of an array is unset.

TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED

       When an interpreter is destroyed, unset traces are called for all of its  variables.   The
       TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED bit will be set in the flags argument passed to the trace procedures.
       Trace procedures must be extremely careful in what they do if the TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED bit
       is  set.   It  is  not  safe  for  the  procedures  to  invoke  any  Tcl procedures on the
       interpreter, since its state is partially deleted.  All that trace  procedures  should  do
       under these circumstances is to clean up and free their own internal data structures.

BUGS

       Tcl  doesn't  do  any  error  checking  to  prevent  trace  procedures  from  misusing the
       interpreter during traces with TCL_INTERP_DESTROYED set.

       Array traces are not yet integrated with the Tcl "info exists" command, nor is there  Tcl-
       level access to array traces.

KEYWORDS

       clientData, trace, variable