Libraries are parts of a program that can be distributed independently. The library system supports macro definitions within libraries, macro exports, and distinguishes the phases in which definitions and imports are needed. This chapter defines the notation for libraries and a semantics for library expansion and execution.
(library <library name>
A library declaration contains the following elements:
The <library name> specifies the name of the library (possibly with version).
The export subform specifies a list of exports, which name a subset of the bindings defined within or imported into the library.
The import subform specifies the imported bindings as a list of import dependencies, where each dependency specifies:
the imported library’s name, and, optionally, constraints on its version,
the relevant levels, e.g., expand or run time (see section 7.2, and
the subset of the library’s exports to make available within the importing library, and the local names to use within the importing library for each of the library’s exports.
The <library body> is the library body, consisting of a sequence of definitions followed by a sequence of expressions. The definitions may be both for local (unexported) and exported bindings, and the expressions are initialization expressions to be evaluated for their effects.
An identifier can be imported with the same local name from two or more libraries or for two levels from the same library only if the binding exported by each library is the same (i.e., the binding is defined in one library, and it arrives through the imports only by exporting and re-exporting). Otherwise, no identifier can be imported multiple times, defined multiple times, or both defined and imported. No identifiers are visible within a library except for those explicitly imported into the library or defined within the library.
A <library name> uniquely identifies a library within an implementation, and is globally visible in the import clauses (see below) of all other libraries within an implementation. A <library name> has the following form:
(<identifier1> <identifier2> ... <version>)
where <version> is empty or has the following form:(<sub-version> ...)
Each <sub-version> must represent an exact nonnegative integer object. An empty <version> is equivalent to ().
An <export spec> names a set of imported and locally defined bindings to be exported, possibly with different external names. An <export spec> must have one of the following forms:
In an <export spec>, an <identifier> names a single binding defined within or imported into the library, where the external name for the export is the same as the name of the binding within the library. A rename spec exports the binding named by <identifier1> in each (<identifier1> <identifier2>) pairing, using <identifier2> as the external name.
Each <import spec> specifies a set of bindings to be imported into the library, the levels at which they are to be available, and the local names by which they are to be known. An <import spec> must be one of the following:<import set>
An <import level> is one of the following:run
where <level> represents an exact integer object.
As an <import level>, run is an abbreviation for (meta 0), and expand is an abbreviation for (meta 1). Levels and phases are discussed in section 7.2.
An <import set> names a set of bindings from another library and possibly specifies local names for the imported bindings. It must be one of the following:
A <library reference> identifies a library by its name and optionally by its version. It has one of the following forms:
(<identifier1> <identifier2> ...)
A <library reference> whose first <identifier> is for, library, only, except, prefix, or rename is permitted only within a library <import set>. The <import set> (library <library reference>) is otherwise equivalent to <library reference>.
A <library reference> with no <version reference> (first form above) is equivalent to a <library reference> with a <version reference> of ().
A <version reference> specifies a set of <version>s that it matches. The <library reference> identifies all libraries of the same name and whose version is matched by the <version reference>. A <version reference> has the following form:(<sub-version reference1> ... <sub-version referencen>)
A <version reference> of the first form matches a <version> with at least n elements, whose <sub-version reference>s match the corresponding <sub-version>s. An and <version reference> matches a version if all <version references> following the and match it. Correspondingly, an or <version reference> matches a version if one of <version references> following the or matches it, and a not <version reference> matches a version if the <version reference> following it does not match it.
A <sub-version reference> has one of the following forms:
A <sub-version reference> of the first form matches a <sub-version> if it is equal to it. A >= <sub-version reference> of the first form matches a sub-version if it is greater or equal to the <sub-version> following it; analogously for <=. An and <sub-version reference> matches a sub-version if all of the subsequent <sub-version reference>s match it. Correspondingly, an or <sub-version reference> matches a sub-version if one of the subsequent <sub-version reference>s matches it, and a not <sub-version reference> matches a sub-version if the subsequent <sub-version reference> does not match it.
When more than one library is identified by a library reference, the choice of libraries is determined in some implementation-dependent manner.
To avoid problems such as incompatible types and replicated state, implementations should prohibit the two libraries whose library names consist of the same sequence of identifiers but whose versions do not match to co-exist in the same program.
By default, all of an imported library’s exported bindings are made visible within an importing library using the names given to the bindings by the imported library. The precise set of bindings to be imported and the names of those bindings can be adjusted with the only, except, prefix, and rename forms as described below.
An only form produces a subset of the bindings from another <import set>, including only the listed <identifier>s. The included <identifier>s must be in the original <import set>.
An except form produces a subset of the bindings from another <import set>, including all but the listed <identifier>s. All of the excluded <identifier>s must be in the original <import set>.
A prefix form adds the <identifier> prefix to each name from another <import set>.
A rename form, (rename (<identifier1> <identifier2>) ...), removes the bindings for <identifier1> ... to form an intermediate <import set>, then adds the bindings back for the corresponding <identifier2> ... to form the final <import set>. Each <identifier1> must be in the original <import set>, each <identifier2> must not be in the intermediate <import set>, and the <identifier2>s must be distinct.
It is a syntax violation if a constraint given above is not met.
The <library body> of a library form consists of forms that are classified as definitionsor expressions. Which forms belong to which class depends on the imported libraries and the result of expansion—see chapter 10. Generally, forms that are not definitions (see section 11.2 for definitions available through the base library) are expressions.
A <library body> is like a <body> (see section 11.3) except that a <library body>s need not include any expressions. It must have the following form:
<definition> ... <expression> ...
When begin, let-syntax, or letrec-syntax forms occur in a top-level body prior to the first expression, they are spliced into the body; see section 11.4.7. Some or all of the body, including portions wrapped in begin, let-syntax, or letrec-syntax forms, may be specified by a syntactic abstraction (see section 9.2).
The transformer expressions and bindings are evaluated and created from left to right, as described in chapter 10. The expressions of variable definitions are evaluated from left to right, as if in an implicit letrec*, and the body expressions are also evaluated from left to right after the expressions of the variable definitions. A fresh location is created for each exported variable and initialized to the value of its local counterpart. The effect of returning twice to the continuation of the last body expression is unspecified.
Note: The names library, export, import, for, run, expand, meta, import, export, only, except, prefix, rename, and, or, not, >=, and <= appearing in the library syntax are part of the syntax and are not reserved, i.e., the same names can be used for other purposes within the library or even exported from or imported into a library with different meanings, without affecting their use in the library form.
Bindings defined with a library are not visible in code outside of the library, unless the bindings are explicitly exported from the library. An exported macro may, however, implicitly export an otherwise unexported identifier defined within or imported into the library. That is, it may insert a reference to that identifier into the output code it produces.
All explicitly exported variables are immutable in both the exporting and importing libraries. It is thus a syntax violation if an explicitly exported variable appears on the left-hand side of a set! expression, either in the exporting or importing libraries.
All implicitly exported variables are also immutable in both the exporting and importing libraries. It is thus a syntax violation if a variable appears on the left-hand side of a set! expression in any code produced by an exported macro outside of the library in which the variable is defined. It is also a syntax violation if a reference to an assigned variable appears in any code produced by an exported macro outside of the library in which the variable is defined, where an assigned variable is one that appears on the left-hand side of a set! expression in the exporting library.
All other variables defined within a library are mutable.
Expanding a library may require run-time information from another library. For example, if a macro transformer calls a procedure from library A, then the library A must be instantiated before expanding any use of the macro in library B. Library A may not be needed when library B is eventually run as part of a program, or it may be needed for run time of library B, too. The library mechanism distinguishes these times by phases, which are explained in this section.
Every library can be characterized by expand-time information (minimally, its imported libraries, a list of the exported keywords, a list of the exported variables, and code to evaluate the transformer expressions) and run-time information (minimally, code to evaluate the variable definition right-hand-side expressions, and code to evaluate the body expressions). The expand-time information must be available to expand references to any exported binding, and the run-time information must be available to evaluate references to any exported variable binding.
A phase is a time at which the expressions within a library are evaluated. Within a library body, top-level expressions and the right-hand sides of define forms are evaluated at run time, i.e., phase 0, and the right-hand sides of define-syntax forms are evaluated at expand time, i.e., phase 1. When define-syntax, let-syntax, or letrec-syntax forms appear within code evaluated at phase n, the right-hand sides are evaluated at phase n + 1.
These phases are relative to the phase in which the library itself is used. An instance of a library corresponds to an evaluation of its variable definitions and expressions in a particular phase relative to another library—a process called instantiation. For example, if a top-level expression in a library B refers to a variable export from another library A, then it refers to the export from an instance of A at phase 0 (relative to the phase of B). But if a phase 1 expression within B refers to the same binding from A, then it refers to the export from an instance of A at phase 1 (relative to the phase of B).
A visit of a library corresponds to the evaluation of its syntax definitions in a particular phase relative to another library—a process called visiting. For example, if a top-level expression in a library B refers to a macro export from another library A, then it refers to the export from a visit of A at phase 0 (relative to the phase of B), which corresponds to the evaluation of the macro’s transformer expression at phase 1.
A level is a lexical property of an identifier that determines in which phases it can be referenced. The level for each identifier bound by a definition within a library is 0; that is, the identifier can be referenced only at phase 0 within the library. The level for each imported binding is determined by the enclosing for form of the import in the importing library, in addition to the levels of the identifier in the exporting library. Import and export levels are combined by pairwise addition of all level combinations. For example, references to an imported identifier exported for levels pa and pb and imported for levels qa, qb, and qc are valid at levels pa + qa, pa + qb, pa + qc, pb + qa, pb + qb, and pb + qc. An <import set> without an enclosing for is equivalent to (for <import set> run), which is the same as (for <import set> (meta 0)).
The export level of an exported binding is 0 for all bindings that are defined within the exporting library. The export levels of a reexported binding, i.e., an export imported from another library, are the same as the effective import levels of that binding within the reexporting library.
For the libraries defined in the library report, the export level is 0 for nearly all bindings. The exceptions are syntax-rules, identifier-syntax, ..., and _ from the (rnrs base (6)) library, which are exported with level 1, set! from the (rnrs base (6)) library, which is exported with levels 0 and 1, and all bindings from the composite (rnrs (6)) library (see library chapter on “Composite library”), which are exported with levels 0 and 1.
Macro expansion within a library can introduce a reference to an identifier that is not explicitly imported into the library. In that case, the phase of the reference must match the identifier’s level as shifted by the difference between the phase of the source library (i.e., the library that supplied the identifier’s lexical context) and the library that encloses the reference. For example, suppose that expanding a library invokes a macro transformer, and the evaluation of the macro transformer refers to an identifier that is exported from another library (so the phase-1 instance of the library is used); suppose further that the value of the binding is a syntax object representing an identifier with only a level-n binding; then, the identifier must be used only at phase n + 1 in the library being expanded. This combination of levels and phases is why negative levels on identifiers can be useful, even though libraries exist only at non-negative phases.
If any of a library’s definitions are referenced at phase 0 in the expanded form of a program, then an instance of the referenced library is created for phase 0 before the program’s definitions and expressions are evaluated. This rule applies transitively: if the expanded form of one library references at phase 0 an identifier from another library, then before the referencing library is instantiated at phase n, the referenced library must be instantiated at phase n. When an identifier is referenced at any phase n greater than 0, in contrast, then the defining library is instantiated at phase n at some unspecified time before the reference is evaluated. Similarly, when a macro keyword is referenced at phase n during the expansion of a library, then the defining library is visited at phase n at some unspecified time before the reference is evaluated.
An implementation may distinguish instances/visits of a library for different phases or to use an instance/visit at any phase as an instance/visit at any other phase. An implementation may further expand each library form with distinct visits of libraries in any phase and/or instances of libraries in phases above 0. An implementation may create instances/visits of more libraries at more phases than required to satisfy references. When an identifier appears as an expression in a phase that is inconsistent with the identifier’s level, then an implementation may raise an exception either at expand time or run time, or it may allow the reference. Thus, a library whose meaning depends on whether the instances of a library are distinguished or shared across phases or library expansions may be unportable.
Examples for various <import spec>s and <export spec>s:
Examples for macros and phases:
(library (my-helpers id-stuff)