This is not necessarily the current version of this TIP.
|Title:||Specify and Unify Variable Linking Commands|
|Version:||$Revision: 1.9 $|
|Author:||Miguel Sofer <msofer at users dot sourceforge dot net>|
|Created:||Sunday, 01 October 2006|
|Keywords:||Tcl, global, variable, upvar, namespace upvar|
The purpose of this TIP is to simplify and clarify the semantics of the commands in Tcl that couple variables in different scopes together.
This TIP proposes to specify and document the behaviour of the different variable linking commands in Tcl: global, variable, upvar and namespace upvar.
In particular, as many of these commands were initially designed to be mainly useful from within procedure bodies, the documentation does not specify their behaviour with respect to qualified variable names.
This TIP proposes to specify and document this behaviour, insuring that it is essentially the same in all these commands.
There have been a few bug reports concerning the behaviour of variable linking commands with respect to qualified variable names: 604226, 1274916, 1274918. Some are real bugs, some are just surprising but correct behaviour, some are surprising unspecified behaviour.
Within proc bodies all of these commands create local variables that are linked to original variables elsewhere (the following assumes that local is a non-qualified name):
"global var" creates a local variable "[namespace tail var]" that is linked to "var" as resolved from the global namespace.
"variable var" creates a local variable "[namespace tail var]" that is linked to "var" as resolved from [namespace current].
"upvar level var local" creates a local variable "local" that is linked to "var" as resolved in the context of the frame identified by level. It is an error to try to link to a proc-local variable from a namespace context. It is an error to link a variable to itself.
"namespace upvar ns var local" creates a local variable "local" that is linked to "var" as resolved from namespace ns (itself resolved in the current context). It is an error to link a variable to itself.
One undocumented issue is what should happen when local is a qualified name.
Another issue is the behaviour of these commands when invoked outside of procedure bodies:
"global var" is documented to be a no-op.
"variable var" is documented to create a namespace variable in the current namespace, without any mention of the behaviour when "var" is qualified. Currently that is a a no-op in terms of creating a variable, but it can change the value of the target, see [Bug #604226]. If var is a simple name and the corresponding variable already existed, variable may set its value (and an internal flag), but does no linking.
"upvar level var local" creates a variable "local" (as resolved from [namespace current]) that is linked to "var" as resolved in the context of the frame identified by level. It is an error to try to lin