Provided by: libterm-query-perl_2.0-10_all bug

NAME

       Term::Query - Table-driven query routine.

SYNOPSIS

       "use Term::Query"
                        "qw( query query_table query_table_set_defaults query_table_process );"

       "$result = query $prompt, $flags, [ $optional_args ];"

       "$ok = query_table \@array;"

       "query_table_set_defaults \@array;"

       "$ok = query_table_process \@array, \&flagsub, \&querysub;"

DESCRIPTION

   query
       The query subroutine fulfills the need for a generalized question-response subroutine,
       with programmatic defaulting, validation, condition and error checking.

       Given $prompt and $flags, and possibly additional arguments, depending upon the characters
       in $flags, query issues a prompt to STDOUT and solicits input from STDIN.  The input is
       validated against a set of test criteria as configured by the characters in $flags; if any
       of the tests fail, an error message is noted, and the query is reattempted.

       When STDIN is not a tty (not interactive), prompts are not issued, and errors cause a
       return rather than attempting to obtain more input.  This non-interactive behaviour can be
       disabled by setting the variable $Foce_Interactive as below:

           $Term::Query::Force_Interactive = 1;

       When $Force_Interactive is a non-null, non-zero value, query will issue prompts, error
       messages, and ask for additional input even when the input is not interactive.

   query_table
       The query_table subroutine performs multiple queries, by invoking query, setting
       associated variables with the results of each query.  Prompts, flags, and other arguments
       for each query are given in an array, called a query table, which is passed to the
       query_table subroutine by reference.

   query_table_set_defaults
       The query_table_set_defaults subroutine causes any variables named in the given query
       table array to be assigned their corresponding default values, if any.  This is a non-
       interactive subroutine.

   query_table_process
       A general interface to processing a query table is available with the query_table_process
       subroutine.  It accepts a query table array, and two subroutine references, a &flagsub and
       a &querysub.  The &flagsub is invoked on each each flag character given in the $flags
       argument of the query table (see below).  The &querysub is invoked for each query in the
       query table.

       The query_table and query_table_set_defaults subroutines both use query_table_process to
       perform their functions.

   Query Table
       The format of the query table array passed to query_table, query_table_set_defaults, and
       query_table_process subroutines is:

        @array = ( $prompt1, $flags1, [ $arglist1, ... ],
                   $prompt2, $flags2, [ $arglist2, ... ],
                   ...
                   $promptN, $flagsN, [ $arglistN, ... ] );

       In English, there are three items per query: a prompt string, a flags string, and an array
       of arguments.  Note that the syntax used above uses "[ ... ]" to denote a Perl 5 anonymous
       array, not an optional set of arguments.  Of course, if there are no arguments for a
       particular query, the corresponding anonymous array can be the null string or zero.

       The query table design is such that a query table can be created with a set of variables,
       their defaults, value constraints, and help strings, and it can be used to both initialize
       the variables' values and to interactively set their new values.  The
       query_table_set_defaults subroutine performs the former, while query_table does the
       latter.

   Flag Characters
       With typical usage, given $prompt and $flags, query prints $prompt and then waits for
       input from the user.  The handling of the response depends upon the flag characters given
       in the $flags string.

       The flag characters indicate the type of input, how to process it, acceptable values, etc.
       Some flags simply indicate the type or processing of the input, and do not require
       additional arguments.  Other flags require that subsequent arguments to the query
       subroutine be given.  The arguments must be given in the same order as their corresponding
       flag characters.

       The ordering of the flags in the $flags argument is important -- it determines the
       ordering of the tests.  For example, if both the a and m flags are given as "am", then
       this indicates that an after subroutine call should be performed first, followed by a
       regular expression match test.

       All tests are applied in the order given in the $flags until a particular test fails.
       When a test fails, an error message is generated and the input is reattempted, except in
       the case of the I flag.

   Flag Characters Without Arguments
       i    The input must be an integer.

       n    The input must be a number, real or integer.

       Y    The input is a "yes" or "no", with a default answer of "yes".

       N    The input is a "yes" or "no", with a default answer of "no".

       r    Some input is required; an empty response will be refused.  This option is only
            meaningful when there is no default input (see the d flag character below).

       s    Strip and squeeze the input.  Leading and trailing blanks are eliminated, and
            embedded whitespace is "squeezed" to single blank characters.  This flag is implied
            by the k and K flags.

       H    Do not treat input of ? as a request for help.  This disables automatic help, unless
            implemented with the after (a flag) subroutine.

   Flag Characters With Arguments
       The following flag characters indicate the presence of an argument to query.  The
       arguments must occur in the same order as their corresponding flag characters.  For
       example, if both the V and h flags are given as "Vh", then the first argument must be the
       variable name, and the next the help string, in that order.

       a \&after
            The next argument is the after subroutine, to be invoked after the input has been
            solicited.  This feature provides for an "open ended" input validation, completely at
            the control of the user of the Query module.    The after subroutine is invoked in
            this manner:

              &$after( \$input );

            If the after sub returns an "undef", then query processing stops with an immediate
            "undef" return value.

            If the after sub returns a null or zero value, then the input is rejected and
            resolicted.  No error messages are displayed except the "Please try again." message.

            Since the after sub has the reference to the $input variable, it is free to change
            the value of input indirectly; ie:

              $$input = $some_new_value;

       b \&before
            The next argument is the before subroutine, to be invoked before any input is
            attempted.    If the before sub returns a non-null, non-zero value, the current query
            will be attempted.  If a null or zero value is returned, the current query will be
            abandoned, with a null return.

            This feature, used in a query table, allows for selective queries to be programmed by
            using before subs on the optional queries.  For example, using the following
            anonymous sub as the b flag argument:

              sub { $> == 0; }

            will cause the corresponding query to only be issued for the "root" user.

            The ordering of the b flag in the $flags argument is unimportant, since, by
            definition, this test is always performed before attempting any input.

       d $default
            The next argument is the default input.  This string is used instead of an empty
            response from the user.  The default value can be a scalar value, a reference to a
            scalar value, or a reference to a subroutine, which will be invoked for its result
            only if a default value is needed (no input is given).

       h $help_string
            The next argument is the help string, which is printed in response to an input of
            "?".  In order to enter a ? as actual text, it must be prefixed with a backslash:
            "\".

       k \@array
            The next argument is a reference to an array of allowable keywords.  The input is
            matched against the array elements in a case-insensitive manner, with unambiguous
            abbreviations allowed.  This flag implies the s flag.

            The matching can be made case-sensitive by setting the following variable prior to
            the invocation of query:

              $Query::Case_sensitive = 1;

            By default, this variable is null.

       K \@array
            The next argument is a reference to an array of disallowed keywords In this case, for
            the input to be unacceptable, it must match exactly, case-insensitive, one of the
            array elements.  This flag implies the s flag.

            The k option is useful for soliciting new, unique keywords to a growing list.  Adding
            new fields to a database, for example.

            The matching can be made case-sensitive by setting the $Query::Case_sensitive
            variable (see above).

       l $maxlen
            The next argument specifies the maximum length of the input.

       m $regular_expression
            The next argument specifies a regular expression pattern against which the input will
            be matched.

       I $reference
            The next argument is the input: either a simple scalar value, or a reference to a
            value, such as a "SCALAR" variable reference (eg: "\$somevar"), or a "CODE" reference
            (eg: "sub {..}").  In any case, the resulting value is used as input instead of
            reading from STDIN.

            If the input returned by the reference does not match other constraints, additional
            input is not attempted.  An error message is noted, and an "undef" return is taken.

            This option is handy for applications which have already acquired the input, and wish
            to use the validation features of "query".

            It is also useful to embed a query definition in a query table which does not
            actually perform a query, but instead does a variable assignment dynamically, using
            the I reference value.

       J $reference
            The next argument is the input reference, as with the I flag, except that if the
            input fails any of the constraints, additional input is solicited from the input.  In
            other words, the J flag sets a one-time only input reference.  Think of it as jumping
            into the query loop with an initial input.

       V variable_name_or_ref
            The next argument is the variable name or reference to receive the validated input as
            its value.  This option, and its corresponding variable name, would normally be
            present on all entries used with query_table in order to retain to the values
            resulting from each query.

            The value can either be a string representing the variable name, or a reference to a
            variable, eg: "\$some_var".

   Details
       The query processing proceeds basically in the same order as defined by the flags
       argument, with some exceptions.  For example, the before subroutine is always performed
       prior to input.

       There are implicit precedences in the ordering of some of the flag tests.  Generally,
       flags have their corresponding tests performed in the same order as the given flags.  Some
       flag tests, however, require that other flags' tests be performed beforehand in order to
       be effective.  For example, when given the k flag and an s flag, stripping the input would
       only be effective if the strip were done on the input before testing the input against the
       keyword table.  In other words, the s flag has precedence over the k flag.  If the user
       supplies the flags string as "ks", the effective ordering would still be "sk".

       The table below indicates the precedences of the flag tests:

         Given Flag       Flags With Higher Precedence
         ==========       ================================
         i (int)          s (strip), d (default), h (help)
         k (key)          s (strip), d (default), h (help)
         K (nonkey)       s (strip), d (default), h (help)
         l (maxlen)                  d (default), h (help)
         m (match)                   d (default), h (help)
         n (numeric)      s (strip), d (default), h (help)
         N (no)           s (strip), d (default), h (help)
         r (required)                d (default), h (help)
         s (strip)                   d (default), h (help)
         Y (yes)          s (strip), d (default), h (help)

       Except for the implied precedence indicated in the table above, the ordering of the flag
       tests proceeds in the same order as given in the flags argument.

       Excepting the precedences above, query processing proceeds generally as described below.

       ·    If the b flag was given, the "before" subroutine is invoked as a "pre-input" test.
            If the sub returns a 0, empty string, or undef, the query is abandoned.  Otherwise,
            processing continues.

       ·    If the I or J flags were given, then input is obtained, without prompting, from the
            associated reference.  If the reference type is "CODE", then it is invoked and the
            resulting return value is used as the input.  Otherwise the reference is evaluated in
            a scalar context and used as the input.  The J flag test is only done once, on the
            first entry into the input loop.

       ·    In the absence either the I or J flags, "query" will issue the given prompt and
            obtain input from STDIN.  If an EOF occurs, an "undef" value will result.

       ·    The input is examined for "null" input (that is, the empty string), and processing
            quits in this case.  Since most input is obtained from STDIN, a null input indicates
            an end-of-file (EOF).  If the input is not null, a terminating newline is removed,
            and the input testing continues.  At this point, an empty input string does not
            indicate an EOF.

       ·    If the s, k, or K flags were given, the input is trimmed of leading and trailing
            blanks, and all whitespace is "squeezed" to single blanks.

       ·    If the input is an empty response, and there is a default input (d flag), use it
            instead.

       ·    Unless the H flag is given, if the input is the character "?"  with nothing else,
            then print some helpful information.  If the user had supplied a help string, it is
            printed, otherwise the message:

            You are being asked "$prompt"

            is displayed.  Also, some information about the expected response, according to any
            given flag characters, is displayed.  Finally, the user is returned to the prompt,
            and given another opportunity to enter a response.

       ·    If input is required (indicated by the r flag), and if the input is empty, produce an
            error message, and query again.

       ·    If there was a a flag, the corresponding after subroutine is invoked with the input
            reference as its argument.  If the subroutine returns a non-null, non-zero value, the
            input succeeds, otherwise it fails.  It is up to the after subroutine to display any
            appropriate error messages.

       ·    If the query was flagged Y or N, match the input against the pattern:

                /^(y(es?)?|no?)$/i

            If the match fails, print an error message, and query again.  When the match
            succeeds, replace the input with the complete word "yes" or "no";

       ·    If an integer response is required (i flagged), check for integer input.  If not,
            print an error, and query again.  A successful integer input is returned.

       ·    If a numeric response is required (n flagged), check for proper numeric input (either
            integer or real format).  Errors produce a warning, and another query.

       ·    If the query was given a keyword table (flagged with k), the input is matched against
            the allowable keyword list.  If an exact match is found, the keyword is returned as
            the input.  Failing an exact match, an abbreviation search is performed against the
            keywords.  If a single match is found, it is returned as the input.  If no match is
            found, an error message is produced, and the user is returned to the query to try
            again.  Otherwise, the input was ambiguous, an error noted showing the matches, and
            the user is queried again.

            The matching is case-insensitive or not, according to the value of the variable
            $Query::Case_sensitive, which is nil, by default.  The variable may be set by the
            user to change the matching from case-insensitive to case-sensitive.

       ·    If the query was given an unacceptable keyword list (flagged with K), the input is
            compared against the unacceptable keywords.  If it matches any keywords exactly, an
            error is noted, and the query is performed again.

            The matching is case-insensitive by default.  Set the variable $Query::Case_sensitive
            to a non-null, non-zero value to make the keyword matching case-sensitive.

       ·    If the query was m flagged with a Perl regular expression pattern, then the input is
            matched against the pattern.  Failures are noted with an error message, and the query
            reattempted.

       ·    If the query was l flagged with a maximum input length, the length of the input is
            checked against the maximum.  A length violation is noted with an error message and
            the user is queried again.

       ·    If the query has a variable defined with the V flag, the variable is assigned the
            input string.  This is always done last, after and only if all tests are successful.

            If the variable is a string name and not qualified with a package name (ie:
            $foo::variable), then the variable is qualified at the level outside of the Query.pm
            module.

       ·    Finally, having passed whatever conditions were flagged, the input is returned to the
            user.

EXAMPLE

       The following are typical usage samples:

       ·    To perform a simple "yes" or "no" query, with "no" as the default answer:

             $ans = &query("Do you wish to quit? (yn)",'N');

       ·    An equivalent alternative is:

                query "Do you wish to quit? (yn)", 'NV', \$ans;

       ·    To perform the same query, with some supplied helpful information:

             $ans = &query("Do you wish to quit? (yn)",'Nh',<<'EOF');
             You are being asked if you wish to quit.  If you answer "yes",
             then all changes will be lost.  An answer of "no", will allow
             you to return to continue making changes.
             EOF

       ·    To solicit an integer input:

             $mode = &query("Please enter the file mode:",'idh','644',<<'EOF');
             Please enter the 3 digit numeric file mode; if you are unsure
             of how the file mode is used, please see the man page for "chmod".
             EOF

       ·    To solicit one of several keywords:

             @keys = split(' ','SGI DEC IBM Sun HP Apple');
             $vendor = &query('Please enter a vendor:','rkd',\@keys,'SGI');

       ·    To solicit a new, unique keyword to be used as a database field name, with a regexp
            pattern to check it against:

             @fields = split(' ','Index Vendor Title'); # existing fields
             $newfield = &query('New field name:','rKm',\@fields,'^\w+$');

ENVIRONMENT

       COLUMNS
            This variable is used to control the width of output when listing the keyword arrays.
            If not defined, 80 is used by default.

DEPENDENCIES

       Carp.pm
            Used to produce usage error messages.

       Array::PrintCols::print_cols
            Used to produce displays of the keyword arrays.

FILES

       None.

AUTHOR

       Copyright (C) 1995  Alan K. Stebbens <aks@hub.ucsb.edu>

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of
       the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either
       version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

       This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
       without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
       See the GNU General Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program;
       if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139,
       USA.

DIAGNOSTICS

        Input is required.
            Issued when an empty response is given, and there is no default input.

        Please answer with 'yes' or 'no', or enter '?' for help.
            Issued for Y or N flagged queries, and the input is not reconizeable.

        Please enter an integer number.
            Printed when non-integer input is given for i flagged queries.

        Please enter a number, real or integer.
            Printed when non-numeric input is given for n flagged queries.

        The input '$input' is ambiguous; it matches the following:
            Issued in response to k flagged queries with input which matches more than one of the
            allowed keywords.

        The input '$input' fails to match any of the allowed keywords:
            Printed when input to a k flagged query does not match any of the keywords.

        The input '%s' matches a disallowed keyword '%s'.
            Printed when the input matches one of the unacceptable keywords given on a K flagged
            query.

        '%s' fails to match '%s'
            This results from input failing to match the regular expression given on a m flagged
            query.

        Input is %d characters too long; cannot exceed %d characters.
            The length of the input exceeded the maximum length given with the l flag argument.

        Please try again, or enter '?' for help.
        query: The k flag needs an array reference.
            The next argument in the argument list to query wasn't an array reference.

        query: The K flag needs an array reference.
            The next argument in the argumentlist to query wasn't an array reference.

BUGS