Cost 2 Reference Manual

Joe English
Last updated: Sunday 27 June 1999, 15:31 PDT

1 Introduction

Cost is a structure-controlled SGML application programming tool. It is implemented as a Tcl extension, and works in conjunction with James Clark's nsgmls and/or sgmls parsers.

Cost provides a flexible set of low-level primitives upon which sophisticated applications can be built. These include

Cost can be dynamically loaded into a Tcl application with the usual package mechanism, or it can be statically linked into a custom Tcl interpreter. There is also a command-line interface, costsh, which can be used interactively or as part of a command pipeline. A windowing interface, costwish, is also available for building GUI applications with Cost and Tk.

Cost provides a relatively low-level interface: it's a toolkit for building SGML applications rather than an SGML application itself. One application, Simple.tcl, is provided as an example and as a starting point.

2 Running Cost

Cost can be included in a Tcl shell in the usual way, by calling Cost_Init(interp); from Tcl_AppInit and linking the executable with the Cost library (libcost2.2.a under Unix). It can also be dynamically loaded into an existing Tcl shell with the Tcl command:

package require Cost

2.1 Environment Variables

Cost uses the following environment variables, all of which are optional:

Points to the directory containing costinit.tcl and other library scripts.
A colon-separated list of directories to be searched by the cost:require command; see 9.5. ``Script management''.
Used by Tcl to find its script libraries; see the Tcl documentation for details.
If set, the loaddoc command passes its value on the command line when running a subprocess to parse SGML documents. It should point to a file containing the default SGML declaration for your site. (This is primarily useful if you're using sgmls, which uses the Reference Concrete Syntax by default. Most document types won't work with this SGML declaration, so you usually have to provide a different one. nsgmls uses a more sensible set of defaults.)
Used by nsgmls and later versions of sgmls to find catalog files to resolve PUBLIC identifiers.

2.2 Loading documents

The Cost command loadsgmls reads a document into memory:

loadsgmls filehandle

Reads an ESIS event stream in sgmls format from filehandle and constructs the internal document tree. The current node is set to the root of the document. filehandle must be a Tcl file handle such as stdin or the return value of open. Returns the document handle of the new document.

Cost provides two convenience functions as wrappers around loadsgmls. loadfile file reads a pre-parsed ESIS stream from a file and is essentially the same as

set fp [open "filename" r]
loadsgmls $fp
close $fp

loaddoc invokes sgmls as a subprocess:

loaddoc args...

Invokes sgmls with the arguments args... and reads the ESIS output stream. If the $SGML_DECLARATION environment variable is set, passes that as the first argument to sgmls.

loadxml parses and loads an XML document:

loadxml filehandle

Reads an XML document from filehandle and constructs the internal document tree, where filehandle is a Tcl file handle. Sets the current node is set to the root of the document, and returns a new document handle.

All of the above commands return a document handle, which may be passed to selectDocument or withDocument to change the current document:

selectDocument documentHandle

Sets the current document to the document referred to by documentHandle, and sets the current node to the root node of that document.

withDocument documentHandle { script }

Sets the current document to the document referred to by documentHandle, sets the current node to the root node of that document, then evaluates script as a Tcl script. When the script returns -- either normally or with an error, return, break, or continue statement -- restores the previous current document and current node. Returns: whatever script does (including Tcl result codes).


Returns the document handle of the currently active document.

2.3 Running costsh

Normally costsh is used in a pipeline with [n]sgmls:

sgmls [ options ] sgml-document ...
    | costsh -S specfile [ script-options ... ]

The -S flag specifies that costsh is to operate as a filter: it reads a parsed document instance in sgmls format from standard input, then evaluates the Tcl script specfile. The remaining script-options ... are available in the global list argv. Finally, costsh calls the Tcl procedure main if one was defined in specfile, then exits. main should take zero arguments.

Calling costsh with no arguments starts an interactive shell:


3 Element Structure

An SGML document is represented in Cost as a hierarchical collection of nodes. Each node has an ordered list of children, and an unordered collection of named attributes. Every node except the root node has a unique parent.

There are several types of nodes, each with a different set of characteristics:

An SGML document or subdocument
An element
A ``pseudo-element'' or data container
A sequence of data characters (excluding record-ends)
A record-end character
System data, from an SDATA entity reference
A data entity reference
A processing instruction
An entity
An attribute or data attribute
A multi-ended link between nodes. (ILINK nodes do not come from the source document: they are created by application code. See 8. ``Links and relations'')

The root node of a document is always an SD node. Elements are represented by EL nodes. Data content matched by a #PCDATA content model token is represented by a PEL node. Collectively, these three node types are called tree nodes.

Sequences of characters other than record-ends are represented by CDATA nodes, and record-end characters appear as RE nodes. (Technically, record-ends are character data, but it is often useful to handle them separately so Cost creates distinguished nodes for them.)

PI nodes represent processing instructions and references to PI entities.

SDATA nodes represent internal system data entity references, and ENTREF nodes represent external data entity references. References to SGML text entities are expanded by the parser and are not directly represented as tree nodes.

CDATA, RE, SDATA, and ENTREF nodes always appear as children of PEL nodes. PI nodes may appear anywhere in the tree.

AT and ENTITY nodes do not appear as children of any node in the tree; instead, they are accessed by name.

Node properties are accessed with the query and query* commands; see 4. ``Queries'' for full details.

3.1 General properties

query nodetype

Returns the node type of the current node (SD, EL, PEL, et cetera).

Specific node types may be selected with the sd, el, pel, cdata, sdata, re, and pi query clauses. These test the type of the current node, and fail if it does not match.

3.2 Element nodes

query? el

Tests if the current node is an EL node.

query gi

Returns the generic identifier (element type name) of the current node. Fails if the current node is not an EL node.

query? withgi gi

Tests if the current node is an EL node with generic identifier gi. Matching is case-insensitive.

query? element gi

Synonym for query withgi gi

query? elements "gi..."

The argument gi... is a space-separated list of name tokens. Succeeds if the current node's generic identifier is any one of the listed tokens. Matching is case-insensitive.

EL nodes may also have a dcn (data content notation) property. The DCN of an element is the value of the attribute, if any, with declared value NOTATION.

3.3 Data nodes

Data nodes are those which directly contain data. This includes CDATA, SDATA, RE, PI, and AT nodes (but not PEL nodes, which are containers for data nodes).

query content

Returns the character data content of the current node. For RE nodes, this is always a newline character (\n). For SDATA nodes it is the system data of the referenced entity. For PI nodes it is the system data of the processing instruction. For AT nodes it is the attribute value. Fails for all other node types.

The content query clause only returns the content of data nodes. The content command returns the character data content of any node:


If the current node is a data node, equivalent to query content. Otherwise, equivalent to join [query* subtree textnode content] "", i.e., returns the text content of the current node.

The textnode clause filters out data nodes which are not part of the document's ``primary content'' (e.g., processing instructions).

query? textnode

Tests if the current node is a CDATA (character data), RE (record end), or SDATA (system data) node.

3.4 Entities

query? dataent

Tests if the current node is an ENTITY (data entity) or ENTREF (entity reference) node.

ENTREF nodes appear in the document tree at the point of a data entity reference. ENTITY nodes represent the entity itself and do not appear as children of any tree node. All properties of ENTITY nodes, including their content and data attributes, are accessible from ENTREF nodes which reference them.

The entity query clause navigates directly to an ENTITY node:

query entity ename

Selects the ENTITY node corresponding to the entity named ename in the current subdocument, if any. The entity name is case-sensitive.

ENTITY nodes will only be present for external data entities which are referenced in the document, and data entities named in an attribute with declared value ENTITY or ENTITIES.

query ename

Returns the entity name of the current node if it is a ENTITY or ENTREF node; fails otherwise.

Note that the entity name is not available for SDATA nodes.

The content command returns the replacement text of internal data entity nodes.

External entities have a system identifier, a public identifier, or both.

query sysid

Returns the system identifier of the entity referenced by the current node if one was declared; fails otherwise.

query pubid

Like sysid but returns the public identifier of the entity referenced by the current node.

External data entities have an associated data content notation.

NOTE -- Elements (EL nodes) may also have a data content notation. This is determined by the value of an attribute with declared value NOTATION if one is specified for the element.

query dcn

Returns the name of the current node's data content notation, if any.

query? withdcn name

Tests if the current node's data content notation is defined and is equal to name. Comparison is case-insensitive.

External data entities may also have data attributes if any are declared for the entity's associated data content notation. Data attributes are accessed in the same way as regular attributes.

3.5 Attributes

AT nodes do not appear in the tree directly; instead, they are accessed by name from their parent node.

Only EL nodes and ENTITY nodes have attributes.

query attval attname

Returns the value of attribute attname on the current node. If the attribute has an implied value, returns the empty string. Fails if attname is not a declared attribute of the current node.

query? hasatt attname

Tests if the current node has an attribute named attname with a non-implied value (i.e., the attribute was specified in the start-tag or a default value appeared in the <!ATTLIST> declaration).

query? withattval attname value

Tests if the value of the attribute attname on the current node has the value value. Comparison is case-insensitive.

The attribute and attlist clauses navigate to AT nodes.

query attribute attname

Selects the attribute named attname of the current node. Fails if no such attribute is present.

Note: the attribute clause navigates to the attribute node; it does not return anything. To return an attribute value, use query attval attribute-name or query attribute attribute-name content.

query* attlist

Selects each attribute (AT node) of the current node, in an unspecified order.

Note: the attlist clause navigates to attribute nodes; it does not return anything. To return a list of attribute names, use query* attlist attname.

query attname

Returns the attribute name of the current node, if it is an AT node.

The content query clause returns the attribute value of the current node if it is an AT node.

The attlist clause selects all attributes declared for an element, even those which have an #IMPLIED value. To select only those attributes for which a value is specified, you can use

foreach attname [query* attlist attname] {
	if {[query? hasatt $attname]} {
	    ... process attribute here

4 Queries

The Cost query language is used in several places:

Cost queries are similar to Prolog statements or ``generators'' in the Icon programming language.

4.1 Syntax

A query consists of a sequence of clauses. Each clause begins with an identifying keyword, and may contain further arguments. Clause keywords are case-insensitive. Arguments may or may not be case-sensitive depending on the clause.

query ::= clause [ clause ... ] ;
clause ::= keyword [ arg ...] ;

Note that there is no ``punctuation'': clauses and arguments are delimited by spaces as per the usual Tcl parsing rules. Since each clause takes a fixed number of arguments, there is no ambiguity.

Some clauses are predicates, which test some property of the current node and either succeed or fail based on the outcome of the test. Other clauses are navigational; these traverse the document tree. Some navigational clauses select a single node (e.g., parent) and others generate a list of nodes (e.g., ancestor). Finally, value clauses are used to return information about the current node (e.g., gi, attval, content).

Queries are evaluated from left to right, evaluating each clause in turn. Each clause may take one of four actions:

If a clause succeeds, evaluation continues with the next clause. If it fails, evaluation backtracks to the previous clause, which will in turn either fail or select a new current node and continue again.

When the query is complete, the original current node is restored. It is not an error if the overall query fails; the query command just returns an empty string in this case.

4.2 Examples

For example, the command

query ancestor attval "ID"
is evaluated as follows:

Here is a simple query which returns a list of all of the hyperlinks (HREF attribute values) in an HTML document:

query* doctree element A attval HREF

The next example demonstrates a multi-step navigational query. (Each query clause is listed on a separate line for clarity.) (This could be used to generate cross-reference text from an ID reference, for example.)

proc xreftext {refid} {
    return [join [query* \
	doctree \
	element SECT \
	withattval ID $refid \
	child \
	element TITLE \
	subtree \
	textnode \

The doctree clause selects every node in the document. element SECT is a predicate which selects all the SECT elements. withattval ID $refid tests if the source node has the desired ID. child selects all the children of the selected SECT element. element TITLE selects the TITLE subelement of the selected SECT. subtree selects all the descendant nodes of the TITLE (i.e., PEL nodes and possibly subelements and all of their descendants). textnode selects all the data nodes, and finally content returns the data content.

The join command is necessary in case the TITLE element contains subelements or SDATA nodes, in which case query* ... subtree textnode content returns a list with more than one member.

4.3 Query commands

query clause...

Evaluates the query clause..., and returns the first successful result. If the query fails or does not return a value, returns the empty string. q is a synonym for query.

query? clause...

Evaluates the query clause..., and returns 1 if the query succeeds, 0 otherwise. q? is a synonym for query?.

query* clause...

Returns a Tcl list of all values produced by the query clause.... q* is a synonym for query*.

query# clause...

Returns the number of nodes selected or results returned by the query clause.... q# and countq are synonyms for query#.

withNode clause...  { stmts }

Evaluates stmts as a Tcl script with the current node set to the first node produced by the query clause.... If the query fails, does nothing.

foreachNode clause...  { stmts }

Evaluates stmts with the current node set to every node produced by the query clause... in order. The Tcl break and continue commands exit the loop and continue with the next selected node, respectively.

withNode and foreachNode both restore the original current node when evaluation is complete. The selectNode command sets the current node in the calling context:

selectNode clause...

Sets the current node to the first node produced by evaluating the query clause....

4.4 Navigational clauses


query parent

Selects the source node's parent.

query* ancestor

Selects all ancestors of the source node, beginning with the source node and ending with the root node.

query* rootpath

Selects all ancestors of the source node, beginning with the root node and ending with the source node.

Note that a node is considered to be an ancestor of itself.


query left

Selects the source node's immediate left (preceding) sibling. Fails if the source node is the first child of its parent.

query right

Selects the source node's immediate right (following) sibling. Fails if the source node is the last child of its parent.

left and right only select a single node. prev and next select multiple siblings:

query* prev

Selects all earlier siblings of the source node, starting with the immediate left sibling and continuing backwards to the first child.

query* next

Selects all later siblings of the source node.

The prev query clause selects nodes in ``reverse order''; the esib (``elder siblings'') clause selects them in the same order as they appear in the document:

query* esib

Selects all earlier siblings of the source node, starting with the first child node and ending with the immediate left sibling.

The ysib (``younger siblings'') clause is a synonym for next; it is present for symmetry with esib.

query* ysib

Selects all later siblings of the source node.

To select all of a node's siblings (including the node itself), use query parent child.

The forward, backward, later, and earlier clauses select all nodes in the subtrees before and after the current element. backward and earlier select the same set of nodes, but in a different order (earlier traverses nodes in the same order as subtree; backwards tracerses them in the reverse order). forward and later are synonyms; both names are included for symmetry with backward and earlier.

query* forward

Selects all nodes in the tree which appear after the source node.

query* backward

Selects all nodes in the tree which appear before the source node. Nodes are selected in the reverse order, beginning with the source node's immediate predecessor and ending with the root node.

query* later

Synonym for forward.

query* earlier

Selects all nodes in the tree which appear before the source node. Nodes are selected in the same order as a preorder traversal, beginning with the root node and ending with the node's immediate predecessor.


query* child

Selects all children of the source node in order.

query* subtree

Selects all descendants of the source node in preorder traversal (document) order. Note that a node is considered to be a member of its subtree.

query* descendant

Preorder traversal. This is like subtree, but does not include the source node.

4.5 Addressing

Every tree node (EL and PEL nodes) has a unique node address. This is an opaque string by which the node may be referenced.

query address

Returns the node address of the current node. Fails if the current node is not a tree node.

query node addr

Selects the node whose address is addr.

query* nodes addrlist

addrlist is a space-separated list of node addresses as returned by address. Selects each node in addrlist, in the order they appear in the list.

4.6 Miscellaneous clauses

query docroot

Selects the root node of the document.

The root node of a document is always an SD node. The top-level document element may be selected with query docroot child el.

query* doctree

Selects every node in the document. Equivalent to query docroot subtree.

query in gi

Selects the parent node if it is an EL node with generic identifier gi, fails otherwise. Shorthand for parent withGI gi.

query within gi

Selects all ancestor EL nodes with generic identifier gi. Equivalent to ancestor withGI gi.

5 Specifications

Specifications assign parameters to document nodes based on queries.

specification specName {
    { query }  { name value name value ... }
    { query }  { name value ... }

Defines a new specification associating each query to the matching list of name-value pairs. Creates a Tcl access command named specName.

Evaluating a specification tests each query in sequence, and looks for a matching name in the parameter list associated with every query that succeeds. Comparison is case-sensitive. All the names in a single parameter list must be unique.

specName has name

Tests if there is a binding for name associated with the current node in specName. Returns 0 if no such binding exists, 1 otherwise.

specName get name [ default ]

Returns the value paired with name associated with the current node in specName. If there is no such binding, then if a default argument was supplied, returns default; otherwise signals an error.

Parameter bindings may also be Tcl scripts. The do subcommand is a convenient way to define ``methods'' for document nodes.

specName do name

Equivalent to eval [specName get name ""] -- retrieves the binding (if any) of name in specName associated with the current node and evaluates it as a Tcl expression. If no match is found, does nothing.

As a special case, specName event is equivalent to specName do event for each event type (START, END, CDATA, etc.). This allows specification commands to be used as event handlers by the process command.

The order of entries in a specification is significant. More specific queries should appear before more general ones. For example, {element P withattval SECURITY TOP} {hide=1} must appear before {element P} {hide=0} or else the {hide=0} binding will always take precedence.

Tcl-style comments -- beginning with a # and extending to the end of the line -- may appear in specifications, but only at the beginning of the name-value pairs, and at the very beginning of the specification. For example:

specification foo {
    # This comment is legal
    {element P} {
	name1 	value1
	name2 	value2
    {element Q} {
	name1 value1

6 Application Properties

Document nodes may be annotated with application-defined properties. Property values are strings (like everything in Tcl), and are accessed by name.

setprop propname propval

Assigns propval to the property propname on the current node.

unsetprop propname [ propname ... ]

Removes the properties propname... on the current node. It is not an error if any of the propnames are not currently set.

Property values are retrieved with queries:

query propval propname

Returns the value of the property propname on the current node; fails if no such property has been assigned.

query? hasprop propname

Succeeds if the current node has been assigned a property named propname, fails otherwise.

query? withpropval propname propval

Succeeds if the current node has a propname property with value propval. The value comparison is case sensitive.

Property names are case-sensitive.

Property names beginning with a hash sign (#, the SGML RNI delimiter) are reserved for internal use by Cost.

7 Event handlers

Cost supports an event-driven processing model. This essentially reconstructs the source ESIS event stream for a particular subtree.

Tree traversal procedures are defined with the eventHandler command.

eventHandler -global name {
    event { script }
    event { script }

Defines a new traversal procedure named name which, when invoked, traverses the subtree rooted at the current node and evaluates the specified script for each ESIS event event. Ignores events for which no script is defined. If -global is specified, the scripts are evaluated in the top-level Tcl environment; otherwise they are evaluated in the calling context. If any script calls the Tcl break command, stops the traversal.

The following events are generated:

Invoked when entering an EL (element) node. The current node is set to the EL node.
Invoked when leaving an EL node. The current node is set to the EL node.
Invoked for each CDATA (character data) node.
Invoked for each RE (record end or ``newline'') node.
Invoked for each SDATA (system data entity reference) node.
Invoked for each PI (processing instruction) node.
Invoked for each ENTREF (data entity reference) or ENTITY (data entity) node.

Most event types correspond directly to data node types. Two events are generated for each EL node, one at the start of the element and one at the end. No events are generated for PEL nodes (events are generated for each data node child, however).

process cmd

Performs a preorder traversal of the subtree rooted at the current node, calling cmd for each ESIS event. cmd is invoked with one argument, the name of the event, with the current node set to the active node.

The process command traverses the tree and calls a user-specified event handler procedure at each event. The event handler may be any Tcl command, including an [incr tcl] object or a specification command. The handler is called with one argument, which is the name of the event.

[incr tcl] classes which are to be used as event handlers should inherit from the EventHandler base class, which defines a do-nothing method for each event type.


# File: printtree.spec
# Sample event handler
# Prints an indented listing of the tree structure

global level; set level 0

proc main {} { printtree }

eventHandler printtree -global {
    START {
	indent $level;
	puts "<[query gi]>";
	incr level;
    END {
	incr level -1;
	indent $level;
	puts "</[query gi]>";
    CDATA   { indent $level; puts "\"[query content]\"" }
    SDATA   { indent $level; puts "|[query content]|" }
    RE      { #indent $level; puts "RE" }
    DATAENT { indent $level; puts "&[query ename];" }

proc indent {n} { 
    while {$n > 0} { puts stdout "   " nonewline; incr n -1 }

8 Links and relations

NOTE -- This facility is still experimental and subject to change.

Links and relations provide a way to correlate arbitrary tree nodes.

A relation is a named collection of ilinks. An ilink is a collection of one or more named anchors. Each anchor is a reference to a node in the tree; the referenced node is the endpoint of the anchor. Ilinks also have an origin node; this is the node which was current when the ilink was created. All ilinks in the same relation typically have the same structure (number and names of anchors). It is possible to traverse to an ilink from any of its endpoints, and to any endpoint from an ilink. Cost ilinks are similar to HyTime ilinks and XML XLINKs; the chief difference is that in Cost an anchor may only reference a single node: aggregate anchors and character data spans are not (yet) supported.

Ilinks are stored as nodes in the document tree. They are accessed by queries and may be assigned properties just like other nodes.

The relation and addlink commands create a relations and ilinks. Relations must be created before ilinks are added to them.

relation relname  \
	[ anchname1 anchname2 ... anchnameN ]

Creates a new relation named relname. The anchname1 ... anchnameN parameters are currently ignored; they may be used to document the intended structure of the relation.

addlink relname [ anchname "query" ... ]

Adds a new ILINK node to the relation relname. The ilink's origin is set to the current node. A query must be specified for each anchor name anchname in the relation. The anchor's endpoint is set to the first node produced by the query. If the query fails, then the anchor is not created. Each query is evaluated with the newly created ILINK node as the source node.

Anchors are created in the order specified. The queries defining each anchor may refer to previously created anchors or to the ilink's origin.

For example,

# create a new relation with three anchors:
relation crossref source target targetsection

# create links:
foreachNode doctree element XREF {
    set refid [query attval REFID]
    addlink crossref \
	    source "origin" \
	    target "doctree el withattval ID $refid" \
	    targetsection "anchor target ancestor element SECT"

Once ilinks are created, they may not be removed or changed.

The ilink and anchor query clauses navigate to and from ILINK nodes:

query* ilink relname srcanch

Selects each ILINK in the relation relname in which the anchor named by srcanch refers to the current node.

query anchor dstanch

The current node must be an ILINK node. Selects the node referenced by the dstanch anchor.

query origin

The current node must be an ILINK node. Selects the ilink node's origin node.

For example,

foreachNode doctree element XREF {
    puts [query ilink CROSSREF SOURCE \
		anchor TARGET \
		propval TITLE]

The clause ilink CROSSREF SOURCE selects the ILINK nodes in the crossref relation having the current node as their source anchor. The clause anchor TARGET traverses to the target anchor, and the last clause returns the value of that node's TITLE property. In other words, the above example prints the TITLE of the node referenced by each XREF element in the document.

The anchtrav query clause navigates across ilinks; it combines the ilink and anchor clauses into one step. Thus the above example can be expressed more concisely as:

foreachNode doctree element XREF {
    puts [query anchtrav CROSSREF SOURCE TARGET  propval title]
query* anchtrav relname srcanch dstanch

Selects the target node of the dstanch anchor in every ilink in the relation relname for which the current node is the srcanch anchor. In other words: traverses a link.

Ilinks may be accessed independently of any of their anchors:

query* relation relname

Selects each ILINK node in the relation relname.

For example,

foreachNode relation CROSSREF {
    withNode anchor SOURCE { puts "[content]: " }
    withNode anchor TARGET { puts "[query propval title]" }

9 Miscellaneous utilities

Cost provides some extra utilities which are useful for text processing.

9.1 Environments

An environment is a set of name-value bindings, much like an associative array. Bindings may be saved and restored dynamically, similar to TeX's grouping mechanism. It is possible to create multiple independent environments.

environment envname [ name value ...]

Creates a new environment and a Tcl access command named envname. The optional name and value argument pairs define initial bindings in the environment.

envname set name value [ name value... ]

Adds the name-value pairs to the environment envname, overwriting the current binding of each name if it is already present.

envname get name [ default ]

Returns the value currently bound to name in the environment envname. If no binding for name currently exists in envname and the default argument is present, returns that instead; otherwise signals an error.

envname save [ name value ... ]

Saves the current set of name-value bindings in envname. If name and value argument pairs are supplied, adds new bindings to the environment after saving the current bindings.

envname restore

Restores the bindings in envname to their settings at the time of the last call to envname save.

If the set and save subcommands are passed one extra argument, it is treated as a list of name-value bindings.

9.2 Substitutions

When translating SGML documents to other formats (including other SGML document types), it is often necessary to ``escape'' or ``protect'' character data that might be interpreted as markup in the result language. For example, HTML requires all occurrences of <, > and & to be entered as entity references &lt;, &gt; and &amp;. TeX and LaTeX have many special characters which must be entered as control sequences.

The substitution command provides an easy and efficient way to apply fixed-string substitutions.

substitution substName { 
    string replacement 
    string replacement 

Defines a new Tcl command substName which takes a single argument and returns a copy of the input with each occurrence of any string replaced with the corresponding replacement. If multiple strings match, the earliest and longest match takes precedence.


substitution entify {
	{<} {&lt;}
	{>} {&gt;}
	{&} {&amp;}
	{<=} {&le;}
	{>=} {&ge;}
entify "a < b && b >= c"
# returns "a &lt; b &amp;&amp; b &ge; c"

9.3 Numerals

require Numerals.tcl
arabic	number
lcroman	number
ucroman	number
lcalpha	number
ucalpha	number

The file $COSTLIB/Numerals.tcl provides a set of routines for converting integers to different styles. These are useful for generating numbered lists, section and appendix numbers, etc. lcroman and ucroman return lower-case and upper-case Roman numerals, respectively. lcalpha (ucalpha) converts the numbers 1 ... 26 to the letters 'a' ... 'z' ('A' ... 'Z'). arabic returns its argument unchanged; it is provided for symmetry.


set counter 0
foreachNode child element LI {
    incr counter
    puts "[lcroman $counter]. " nonewline
    ... process content

9.4 Miscellaneous Miscellaneous

cost:undefined class value

The command cost:undefined is a debugging and maintenance aid. The first time it is called with a particular class-value pair, it prints a warning message on stderr. Subsequent calls with the same arguments are ignored.

It useful to have a default rule in each translation script that simply calls cost:undefined; for example:

specification mySpec {
    element FOO	{ ... }
    element BAR { ... }
    el { 
	startAction { cost:undefined GI [query gi] }

This will print a warning if the specification fails to account for any element types encountered in the document -- for example, if new element types are added to the DTD.

The purpose of the class argument is to keep track of different namespaces, e.g., cost:undefined NOTATION [query dcn], etc.

9.5 Script management

cost:require filename

The cost:require command looks in the Cost search path (defined by the environment variable $COSTPATH) for filename and sources it as a Tcl script. It keeps track of which files have been loaded, and will only read a file once. Multiple calls to cost:require filename are therefore safe.

The shell command costsh -S specfile uses cost:require to find specfile.

require is an alias for cost:require, for backwards-compatibility with previous releases of Cost.