read-delimited-list char &optional input-stream recursive-p list

    Arguments and Values

    char — a character.

    input-stream — an input stream designator. The default is standard input.

    recursive-p — a generalized boolean. The default is false.

    list — a list of the objects read.


    read-delimited-list reads objects from input-stream until the next character after an object’s representation (ignoring whitespace2 characters and comments) is char.

    read-delimited-list looks ahead at each step for the next non-whitespace2 character and peeks at it as if with peek-char. If it is char, then the character is consumed and the list of objects is returned. If it is a constituent or escape character, then read is used to read an object, which is added to the end of the list. If it is a macro character, its reader macro function is called; if the function returns a value, that value is added to the list. The peek-ahead process is then repeated.

    If recursive-p is true, this call is expected to be embedded in a higher-level call to read or a similar function.

    It is an error to reach end-of-file during the operation of read-delimited-list.

    The consequences are undefined if char has a syntax type of whitespace2 in the current readtable.

     (read-delimited-list #\]) 1 2 3 4 5 6 ] 
     (1 2 3 4 5 6)

    Suppose you wanted #{a b c ... z} to read as a list of all pairs of the elements a, b, c, ..., z, for example.

    #{p q z a}  reads as  ((p q) (p z) (p a) (q z) (q a) (z a))

    This can be done by specifying a macro-character definition for #{ that does two things: reads in all the items up to the }, and constructs the pairs. read-delimited-list performs the first task.

    (defun |#{-reader| (stream char arg) 
      (declare (ignore char arg)) 
      (mapcon #'(lambda (x) 
                 (mapcar #'(lambda (y) (list (car x) y)) (cdr x))) 
             (read-delimited-list #\} stream t)))  |#{-reader| 
    (set-dispatch-macro-character #\# #\{ #'|#{-reader|)  T 
    (set-macro-character #\} (get-macro-character #\) nil))

    Note that true is supplied for the recursive-p argument.

    It is necessary here to give a definition to the character } as well to prevent it from being a constituent. If the line

    (set-macro-character #\} (get-macro-character #\) nil))

    shown above were not included, then the } in

    #{ p q z a}

    would be considered a constituent character, part of the symbol named a}. This could be corrected by putting a space before the }, but it is better to call set-macro-character.

    Giving } the same definition as the standard definition of the character ) has the twin benefit of making it terminate tokens for use with read-delimited-list and also making it invalid for use in any other context. Attempting to read a stray } will signal an error.

    Affected By

    *standard-input*, *readtable*, *terminal-io*.

    See Also

    read, peek-char, read-char, unread-char.


    read-delimited-list is intended for use in implementing reader macros. Usually it is desirable for char to be a terminating macro character so that it can be used to delimit tokens; however, read-delimited-list makes no attempt to alter the syntax specified for char by the current readtable. The caller must make any necessary changes to the readtable syntax explicitly.