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13 Miscellaneous Macros

The macro YY_USER_ACTION can be defined to provide an action which is always executed prior to the matched rule’s action. For example, it could be #define’d to call a routine to convert yytext to lower-case. When YY_USER_ACTION is invoked, the variable yy_act gives the number of the matched rule (rules are numbered starting with 1). Suppose you want to profile how often each of your rules is matched. The following would do the trick:

    #define YY_USER_ACTION ++ctr[yy_act]

where ctr is an array to hold the counts for the different rules. Note that the macro YY_NUM_RULES gives the total number of rules (including the default rule), even if you use ‘-s)’, so a correct declaration for ctr is:

    int ctr[YY_NUM_RULES];

The macro YY_USER_INIT may be defined to provide an action which is always executed before the first scan (and before the scanner’s internal initializations are done). For example, it could be used to call a routine to read in a data table or open a logging file.

The macro yy_set_interactive(is_interactive) can be used to control whether the current buffer is considered interactive. An interactive buffer is processed more slowly, but must be used when the scanner’s input source is indeed interactive to avoid problems due to waiting to fill buffers (see the discussion of the ‘-I’ flag in Scanner Options). A non-zero value in the macro invocation marks the buffer as interactive, a zero value as non-interactive. Note that use of this macro overrides %option always-interactive or %option never-interactive (see section Scanner Options). yy_set_interactive() must be invoked prior to beginning to scan the buffer that is (or is not) to be considered interactive.

The macro yy_set_bol(at_bol) can be used to control whether the current buffer’s scanning context for the next token match is done as though at the beginning of a line. A non-zero macro argument makes rules anchored with ‘^’ active, while a zero argument makes ‘^’ rules inactive.

The macro YY_AT_BOL() returns true if the next token scanned from the current buffer will have ‘^’ rules active, false otherwise.

In the generated scanner, the actions are all gathered in one large switch statement and separated using YY_BREAK, which may be redefined. By default, it is simply a break, to separate each rule’s action from the following rule’s. Redefining YY_BREAK allows, for example, C++ users to #define YY_BREAK to do nothing (while being very careful that every rule ends with a break or a return!) to avoid suffering from unreachable statement warnings where because a rule’s action ends with return, the YY_BREAK is inaccessible.

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