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settings.pl -- Setting management
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This library allows management of configuration settings for Prolog applications. Applications define settings in one or multiple files using the directive setting/4 as illustrated below:

:- use_module(library(settings)).

:- setting(version, atom,   '1.0', 'Current version').
:- setting(timeout, number,    20, 'Timeout in seconds').

The directive is subject to term_expansion/2, which guarantees proper synchronisation of the database if source-files are reloaded. This implies it is not possible to call setting/4 as a predicate.

Settings are local to a module. This implies they are defined in a two-level namespace. Managing settings per module greatly simplifies assembling large applications from multiple modules that configuration through settings. This settings management library ensures proper access, loading and saving of settings.

- Jan Wielemaker
See also
- library(config) distributed with XPCE provides an alternative aimed at graphical applications.
Source setting(:Name, +Type, +Default, +Comment) is det
Define a setting. Name denotes the name of the setting, Type its type. Default is the value before it is modified. Default can refer to environment variables and can use arithmetic expressions as defined by eval_default/4.

If a second declaration for a setting is encountered, it is ignored if Type and Default are the same. Otherwise a permission_error is raised.

Name- Name of the setting (an atom)
Type- Type for setting. One of any or a type defined by must_be/2.
Default- Default value for the setting.
Comment- Atom containing a (short) descriptive note.
Source setting(:Name, ?Value) is nondet
True when Name is a currently defined setting with Value. Note that setting(Name, Value) only enumerates the settings of the current module. All settings can be enumerated using setting(Module:Name, Value). This predicate is det if Name is ground.
- existence_error(setting, Name)
Source env(+Name:atom, -Value:number) is det
Source env(+Name:atom, +Default:number, -Value:number) is det
Evaluate environment variables on behalf of arithmetic expressions.
Source set_setting(:Name, +Value) is det
Change a setting. Performs existence and type-checking for the setting. If the effective value of the setting is changed it broadcasts the event below.
settings(changed(Module:Name, Old, New))

Note that modified settings are not automatically persistent. The application should call save_settings/0 to persist the changes.

- existence_error(setting, Name)
- type_error(Type, Value)
Source restore_setting(:Name) is det
Restore the value of setting Name to its default. Broadcast a change like set_setting/2 if the current value is not the default.
Source set_setting_default(:Name, +Default) is det
Change the default for a setting. The effect is the same as set_setting/2, but the new value is considered the default when saving and restoring a setting. It is intended to change application defaults in a particular context.
Source load_settings(File) is det
Source load_settings(File, +Options) is det
Load local settings from File. Succeeds if File does not exist, setting the default save-file to File. Options are:
Define how to handle settings that are not defined. When error, an error is printed and the setting is ignored. when load, the setting is loaded anyway, waiting for a definition.

If possibly changed settings need to be persistent, the application must call save_settings/0 as part of its shutdown. In simple cases calling at_halt(save_settings) is sufficient.

Source save_settings is semidet
Source save_settings(+File) is semidet
Save modified settings to File. Fails silently if the settings file cannot be written. The save_settings/0 only attempts to save the settings file if some setting was modified using set_setting/2.
- context_error(settings, no_default_file) for save_settings/0 if no default location is known.
Source current_setting(?Setting) is nondet
True if Setting is a currently defined setting
Source setting_property(+Setting, +Property) is det
setting_property(?Setting, ?Property) is nondet
Query currently defined settings. Property is one of
Type of the setting.
Default value. If this is an expression, it is evaluated.
Location where the setting is defined.
Source list_settings is det
Source list_settings(+Module) is det
List settings to current_output. The second form only lists settings on the matching module.
To be done
- Compute the required column widths
Source convert_setting_text(+Type, +Text, -Value)
Converts from textual form to Prolog Value. Used to convert values obtained from the environment. Public to provide support in user-interfaces to this library.
- type_error(Type, Value)