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In general, a particular feature may be available for one of two reasons. Either because the Guile library was configured and compiled with that feature enabled — i.e. the feature is built into the library on your system. Or because some C or Scheme code that was dynamically loaded by Guile has added that feature to the list.

In the first category, here are the features that the current version of Guile may define (depending on how it is built), and what they mean.


Indicates support for arrays (see section Arrays).


Indicates availability of array-for-each and other array mapping procedures (see section Arrays).


Indicates that the char-ready? function is available (see section Reading).


Indicates support for complex numbers.


Indicates availability of time-related functions: times, get-internal-run-time and so on (see section Time).


Indicates that the debugging evaluator is available, together with the options for controlling it.


Indicates support for promises (see section Delayed Evaluation).


Indicates that the geteuid and getegid really return effective user and group IDs (see section Processes).


Indicates support for inexact numbers.


Indicates availability of the following extended I/O procedures: ftell, redirect-port, dup->fdes, dup2, fileno, isatty?, fdopen, primitive-move->fdes and fdes->ports (see section Ports and File Descriptors).


Indicates availability of network database functions: scm_gethost, scm_getnet, scm_getproto, scm_getserv, scm_sethost, scm_setnet, scm_setproto, scm_setserv, and their ‘byXXX’ variants (see section Network Databases).


Indicates support for POSIX functions: pipe, getgroups, kill, execl and so on (see section POSIX System Calls and Networking).


Indicates support for the POSIX fork function (see section primitive-fork). This is a prerequisite for the (ice-9 popen) module (see section Pipes).


Indicates availability of random number generation functions: random, copy-random-state, random-uniform and so on (see section Random Number Generation).


Indicates that Guile was built with important checks omitted — you should never see this!


Indicates support for POSIX regular expressions using make-regexp, regexp-exec and friends (see section Regexp Functions).


Indicates availability of socket-related functions: socket, bind, connect and so on (see section Network Sockets and Communication).


Indicates availability of sorting and merging functions (see section Sorting).


Indicates that the system function is available (see section Processes).


Indicates support for multithreading (see section Threads).


Indicates support for multiple return values using values and call-with-values (see section Returning and Accepting Multiple Values).

Available features in the second category depend, by definition, on what additional code your Guile process has loaded in. The following table lists features that you might encounter for this reason.


Indicates that the defmacro macro is available (see section Macros).


Indicates that the (oop goops describe) module has been loaded, which provides a procedure for describing the contents of GOOPS instances.


Indicates that Guile has loaded in Readline support, for command line editing (see section Readline Support).


Indicates support for record definition using make-record-type and friends (see section Records).

Although these tables may seem exhaustive, it is probably unwise in practice to rely on them, as the correspondences between feature symbols and available procedures/behaviour are not strictly defined. If you are writing code that needs to check for the existence of some procedure, it is probably safer to do so directly using the defined? procedure than to test for the corresponding feature using provided?.

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