(flex.info)Multiple buffers

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Multiple input buffers

   Some scanners (such as those which support "include" files) require
reading from several input streams.  As `flex' scanners do a large
amount of buffering, one cannot control where the next input will be
read from by simply writing a `YY_INPUT' which is sensitive to the
scanning context.  `YY_INPUT' is only called when the scanner reaches
the end of its buffer, which may be a long time after scanning a
statement such as an "include" which requires switching the input

   To negotiate these sorts of problems, `flex' provides a mechanism
for creating and switching between multiple input buffers.  An input
buffer is created by using:

     YY_BUFFER_STATE yy_create_buffer( FILE *file, int size )

which takes a `FILE' pointer and a size and creates a buffer associated
with the given file and large enough to hold SIZE characters (when in
doubt, use `YY_BUF_SIZE' for the size).  It returns a `YY_BUFFER_STATE'
handle, which may then be passed to other routines (see below).  The
`YY_BUFFER_STATE' type is a pointer to an opaque `struct'
`yy_buffer_state' structure, so you may safely initialize
YY_BUFFER_STATE variables to `((YY_BUFFER_STATE) 0)' if you wish, and
also refer to the opaque structure in order to correctly declare input
buffers in source files other than that of your scanner.  Note that the
`FILE' pointer in the call to `yy_create_buffer' is only used as the
value of `yyin' seen by `YY_INPUT'; if you redefine `YY_INPUT' so it no
longer uses `yyin', then you can safely pass a nil `FILE' pointer to
`yy_create_buffer'.  You select a particular buffer to scan from using:

     void yy_switch_to_buffer( YY_BUFFER_STATE new_buffer )

   switches the scanner's input buffer so subsequent tokens will come
from NEW_BUFFER.  Note that `yy_switch_to_buffer()' may be used by
`yywrap()' to set things up for continued scanning, instead of opening
a new file and pointing `yyin' at it.  Note also that switching input
sources via either `yy_switch_to_buffer()' or `yywrap()' does *not*
change the start condition.

     void yy_delete_buffer( YY_BUFFER_STATE buffer )

is used to reclaim the storage associated with a buffer.  You can also
clear the current contents of a buffer using:

     void yy_flush_buffer( YY_BUFFER_STATE buffer )

   This function discards the buffer's contents, so the next time the
scanner attempts to match a token from the buffer, it will first fill
the buffer anew using `YY_INPUT'.

   `yy_new_buffer()' is an alias for `yy_create_buffer()', provided for
compatibility with the C++ use of `new' and `delete' for creating and
destroying dynamic objects.

   Finally, the `YY_CURRENT_BUFFER' macro returns a `YY_BUFFER_STATE'
handle to the current buffer.

   Here is an example of using these features for writing a scanner
which expands include files (the `<<EOF>>' feature is discussed below):

     /* the "incl" state is used for picking up the name
      * of an include file
     %x incl
     #define MAX_INCLUDE_DEPTH 10
     int include_stack_ptr = 0;
     include             BEGIN(incl);
     [a-z]+              ECHO;
     [^a-z\n]*\n?        ECHO;
     <incl>[ \t]*      /* eat the whitespace */
     <incl>[^ \t\n]+   { /* got the include file name */
             if ( include_stack_ptr >= MAX_INCLUDE_DEPTH )
                 fprintf( stderr, "Includes nested too deeply" );
                 exit( 1 );
             include_stack[include_stack_ptr++] =
             yyin = fopen( yytext, "r" );
             if ( ! yyin )
                 error( ... );
                 yy_create_buffer( yyin, YY_BUF_SIZE ) );
     <<EOF>> {
             if ( --include_stack_ptr < 0 )
                 yy_delete_buffer( YY_CURRENT_BUFFER );
                      include_stack[include_stack_ptr] );

   Three routines are available for setting up input buffers for
scanning in-memory strings instead of files.  All of them create a new
input buffer for scanning the string, and return a corresponding
`YY_BUFFER_STATE' handle (which you should delete with
`yy_delete_buffer()' when done with it).  They also switch to the new
buffer using `yy_switch_to_buffer()', so the next call to `yylex()' will
start scanning the string.

`yy_scan_string(const char *str)'
     scans a NUL-terminated string.

`yy_scan_bytes(const char *bytes, int len)'
     scans `len' bytes (including possibly NUL's) starting at location

   Note that both of these functions create and scan a *copy* of the
string or bytes.  (This may be desirable, since `yylex()' modifies the
contents of the buffer it is scanning.) You can avoid the copy by using:

`yy_scan_buffer(char *base, yy_size_t size)'
     which scans in place the buffer starting at BASE, consisting of
     SIZE bytes, the last two bytes of which *must* be
     `YY_END_OF_BUFFER_CHAR' (ASCII NUL).  These last two bytes are not
     scanned; thus, scanning consists of `base[0]' through
     `base[size-2]', inclusive.

     If you fail to set up BASE in this manner (i.e., forget the final
     two `YY_END_OF_BUFFER_CHAR' bytes), then `yy_scan_buffer()'
     returns a nil pointer instead of creating a new input buffer.

     The type `yy_size_t' is an integral type to which you can cast an
     integer expression reflecting the size of the buffer.

automatically generated by info version 1.5

Dirfile and infopages generated Sat Dec 3 02:07:54 2005