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  ANSI Common Lisp   22 Printer   22.3 Formatted Output   22.3.7 FORMAT Control-Flow Operations Tilde Left-Bracket: Conditional Expression


This is a set of control strings, called clauses, one of which is chosen and used. The clauses are separated by ~; and the construct is terminated by ~]. For example,

"~[Siamese~;Manx~;Persian~] Cat"

The argth clause is selected, where the first clause is number 0. If a prefix parameter is given (as ~n[), then the parameter is used instead of an argument. If arg is out of range then no clause is selected and no error is signaled. After the selected alternative has been processed, the control string continues after the ~].

~[str0~;str1~;...~;strn~:;default~] has a default case. If the last ~; used to separate clauses is ~:; instead, then the last clause is an else clause that is performed if no other clause is selected. For example:

"~[Siamese~;Manx~;Persian~:;Alley~] Cat"

~:[alternative~;consequent~] selects the alternative control string if arg is false, and selects the consequent control string otherwise.

~@[consequent~] tests the argument. If it is true, then the argument is not used up by the ~[ command but remains as the next one to be processed, and the one clause consequent is processed. If the arg is false, then the argument is used up, and the clause is not processed. The clause therefore should normally use exactly one argument, and may expect it to be non-nil. For example:

 (setq *print-level* nil *print-length* 5)
 (format nil
        "~@[ print level = ~D~]~@[ print length = ~D~]"
        *print-level* *print-length*)
  " print length = 5"

Note also that

 (format stream "...~@[str~]..." ...)
==(format stream "...~:[~;~:*str~]..." ...)

The combination of ~[ and # is useful, for example, for dealing with English conventions for printing lists:

 (setq foo "Items:~#[ none~; ~S~; ~S and ~S~
           ~:;~@{~#[~; and~] ~S~^ ,~}~].")
 (format nil foo)   "Items: none."
 (format nil foo 'foo)   "Items: FOO."
 (format nil foo 'foo 'bar)   "Items: FOO and BAR."
 (format nil foo 'foo 'bar 'baz)   "Items: FOO, BAR, and BAZ."
 (format nil foo 'foo 'bar 'baz 'quux)   "Items: FOO, BAR, BAZ, and QUUX."

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