On this page:
11.11.1 Creating formatted identifiers
11.11.2 Pattern variables
define/ with-syntax
11.11.3 Error reporting
11.11.4 Recording disappeared uses
syntax-local-value/ record
11.11.5 Miscellaneous utilities

11.11 Syntax Utilities

The bindings documented in this section are provided by the racket/syntax library, not racket/base or racket.

11.11.1 Creating formatted identifiers

(format-id lctx    
  v ...    
  [#:source src    
  #:props props    
  #:cert ignored])  identifier?
  lctx : (or/c syntax? #f)
  fmt : string?
  v : (or/c string? symbol? identifier? keyword? char? number?)
  src : (or/c syntax? #f) = #f
  props : (or/c syntax? #f) = #f
  ignored : (or/c syntax? #f) = #f
Like format, but produces an identifier using lctx for the lexical context, src for the source location, and props for the properties. An argument supplied with #:cert is ignored. (See datum->syntax.)

The format string must use only ~a placeholders. Identifiers in the argument list are automatically converted to symbols.


> (define-syntax (make-pred stx)
    (syntax-case stx ()
      [(make-pred name)
       (format-id #'name "~a?" (syntax-e #'name))]))
> (make-pred pair)


> (make-pred none-such)

reference to undefined identifier: none-such?

> (define-syntax (better-make-pred stx)
    (syntax-case stx ()
      [(better-make-pred name)
       (format-id #'name #:source #'name
                  "~a?" (syntax-e #'name))]))
> (better-make-pred none-such)

reference to undefined identifier: none-such?

(Scribble doesn’t show it, but the DrRacket pinpoints the location of the second error but not of the first.)

(format-symbol fmt v ...)  symbol?
  fmt : string?
  v : (or/c string? symbol? identifier? keyword? char? number?)
Like format, but produces a symbol. The format string must use only ~a placeholders. Identifiers in the argument list are automatically converted to symbols.


> (format-symbol "make-~a" 'triple)


11.11.2 Pattern variables

(define/with-syntax pattern stx-expr)
  stx-expr : syntax?
Definition form of with-syntax. That is, it matches the syntax object result of expr against pattern and creates pattern variable definitions for the pattern variables of pattern.


> (define/with-syntax (px ...) #'(a b c))
> (define/with-syntax (tmp ...) (generate-temporaries #'(px ...)))
> #'([tmp px] ...)

#<syntax:11:0 ((a7 a) (b8 b) (c9 c))>

> (define-pattern-variable name #'Alice)

reference to undefined identifier: define-pattern-variable

> #'(hello name)

#<syntax:13:0 (hello name)>

11.11.3 Error reporting

The current contextual syntax object, defaulting to #f. It determines the special form name that prefixes syntax errors created by wrong-syntax.

(wrong-syntax stx format-string v ...)  any
  stx : syntax?
  format-string : string?
  v : any/c
Raises a syntax error using the result of (current-syntax-context) as the “major” syntax object and the provided stx as the specific syntax object. (The latter, stx, is usually the one highlighted by DrRacket.) The error message is constructed using the format string and arguments, and it is prefixed with the special form name as described under current-syntax-context.


> (wrong-syntax #'here "expected ~s" 'there)

?: expected there

> (parameterize ((current-syntax-context #'(look over here)))
    (wrong-syntax #'here "expected ~s" 'there))

eval:15:0: look: expected there at: here in: (look over


A macro using wrong-syntax might set the syntax context at the very beginning of its transformation as follows:
(define-syntax (my-macro stx)
  (parameterize ((current-syntax-context stx))
    (syntax-case stx ()
Then any calls to wrong-syntax during the macro’s transformation will refer to my-macro (more precisely, the name that referred to my-macro where the macro was used, which may be different due to renaming, prefixing, etc).

11.11.4 Recording disappeared uses

Parameter for tracking disappeared uses. Tracking is “enabled” when the parameter has a non-false value. This is done automatically by forms like with-disappeared-uses.

(with-disappeared-uses stx-expr)
  stx-expr : syntax?
Evaluates the stx-expr, catching identifiers looked up using syntax-local-value/catch. Adds the caught identifiers to the 'disappeared-uses syntax property of the resulting syntax object.

(syntax-local-value/record id predicate)  any/c
  id : identifier?
  predicate : (-> any/c boolean?)
Looks up id in the syntactic environment (as syntax-local-value). If the lookup succeeds and returns a value satisfying the predicate, the value is returned and id is recorded as a disappeared use. If the lookup fails or if the value does not satisfy the predicate, #f is returned and the identifier is not recorded as a disappeared use.

(record-disappeared-uses ids)  void?
  ids : (listof identifier?)
Add ids to (current-recorded-disappeared-uses). If not used within the extent of a with-disappeared-uses form or similar, has no effect.

11.11.5 Miscellaneous utilities

(generate-temporary [name-base])  identifier?
  name-base : any/c = 'g
Generates one fresh identifier. Singular form of generate-temporaries. If name-base is supplied, it is used as the basis for the identifier’s name.

(internal-definition-context-apply intdef-ctx    
  stx)  syntax?
  intdef-ctx : internal-definition-context?
  stx : syntax?
Applies the renamings of intdef-ctx to stx.

(syntax-local-eval stx [intdef-ctx])  any
  stx : syntax?
  intdef-ctx : (or/c internal-definition-context? #f) = #f
Evaluates stx as an expression in the current transformer environment (that is, at phase level 1), optionally extended with intdef-ctx.


> (define-syntax (show-me stx)
    (syntax-case stx ()
      [(show-me expr)
         (printf "at compile time produces ~s\n"
                 (syntax-local-eval #'expr))
         #'(printf "at run time produes ~s\n"
> (show-me (+ 2 5))

at compile time produces 7

at run time produes 7

> (define-for-syntax fruit 'apple)
> (define fruit 'pear)
> (show-me fruit)

at compile time produces apple

at run time produes pear

(with-syntax* ([pattern stx-expr] ...)
  body ...+)
  stx-expr : syntax?
Similar to with-syntax, but the pattern variables of each pattern are bound in the stx-exprs of subsequent clauses as well as the bodys, and the patterns need not bind distinct pattern variables; later bindings shadow earlier bindings.


> (with-syntax* ([(x y) (list #'val1 #'val2)]
                 [nest #'((x) (y))])

#<syntax:21:0 ((val1) (val2))>