An @if but no @but

By | March 31, 2018

Do not expand this macroSkoolKit 6.4 has been released. To get your copy, pop along to the download page, the Python Package Index, the Ubuntu PPA, or the Fedora copr repo.

Continuing the trend of new ASM directives that was started in 6.3, this release brings us the @if directive. As its name implies, it can be used to conditionally process other ASM directives. The variables it can use are the same as those available to the #IF and #MAP macros: asm, base, case, fix (new in 6.4), html and vars (also new in 6.4). So, for example, if you want to replace ‘foo’ with ‘bar’ in HTML mode, but with ‘baz’ otherwise, you could do this:

@if({html})(replace=/foo/bar,replace=/foo/baz)

As noted above, the fix and vars replacement fields are new in this release. fix indicates the fix mode (0, 1, 2, 3 for none, @ofix, @bfix, @rfix), and vars is a dictionary that holds values defined by the new --var option of skool2asm.py and skool2html.py. In addition, asm now indicates the exact ASM substitution mode (0, 1, 2, 3 for none, @isub, @ssub, @rsub) instead of just being 0 or 1.

Still on the subject of ASM directives, @isub, @ssub, @rsub, @ofix, @bfix and @rfix can now replace not only the instruction on a given line, but also the comment that goes with it. This capability reduces the need for using ASM block directives (@bfix+begin etc.), which cannot be preserved in a control file.

Moving on to the skool macro department, this release introduces the second and final new macro of the 6.x series: #RAW. If you’ve ever been annoyed by SkoolKit’s inability to render a hexadecimal number higher than 40959 (0x9FFF) in upper case with a ‘#’ prefix (e.g. #ABCD), #RAW will quickly become your new best friend. It prevents any macros or macro-like tokens in its sole string argument from being expanded. So you can now write #RAW(#BEEF), safe in the knowledge that SkoolKit will not complain about ‘#BEEF’ being an unknown macro.

Finally, a word about the venerable #LIST and #TABLE macros. In previous versions, neither of these macros could be used in an instruction-level comment or as a parameter of another macro in ASM mode. That restriction has been lifted in 6.4. Since no one’s ever complained to me about it before, I must conclude that either no one noticed, or no one really cared. But preventing the use of these macros in those locations in that mode made no sense, so there we go.

For details on the other new features in this release, I will point you to the changelog. I would also recommend taking note of all the deprecated features, so that you’ll be ready for 7.0 when it arrives. See you then!

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