VistaIOdictionary(3) representation of a keyword/value mapping


VistaIODictEntry dictionary[] = {
{ "keyword", integer_value }, { "keyword", 0, string_value }, ... { NULL }


This manual page documents a data structure, called a dictionary, for describing a mapping between keywords and values. Dictionaries are used by the Vista library to interpret keywords present in command line options and in data files. Library routines are available for locating dictionary entries by keyword and by value.

Data Structure

typedef struct {
VistaIOStringConst keyword;/* keyword string */ VistaIOLong ivalue; /* value, if an integer */ VistaIOStringConst svalue;/* value, if a string */ VistaIOBoolean icached; /* whether integer value cached */ VistaIOBoolean fcached; /* whether float value cached */ VistaIODouble fvalue; /* cached floating-point value */
} VistaIODictEntry;

The dictionary data structure is designed to permit any string or numeric value to be associated with a keyword, and to permit the use of statically-initialized dictionaries.

A dictionary is an array of VistaIODictEntry structures. The last entry in the array has a keyword field of NULL while each preceding entry contains both a keyword and a value. When the dictionary is initialized each value can be represented either as an integer in the ivalue field (in which case svalue must be NULL) or as a string pointed to by the svalue field (in which case the ivalue field is irrelevant). A floating point number is incorporated as a string value containing the number in printable form. The ``EXAMPLES'' section, below, shows typical code for establishing dictionaries.

Other fields of the VistaIODictEntry are only used internally by the VistaIOLookupDictValue routine, which provides one form of access to dictionaries. The fields are used to cache the results of having converted a string value to an integer or a floating-point number. When an entry contains a string value (svalue is not NULL) then icached and fcached indicate whether or not equivalent integer and floating-point values are also cached in ivalue and fvalue. When creating a dictionary, initialize icached and fcached to zero; this need not be done explicitly if the dictionary is initialized statically as shown under ``EXAMPLES''.


With the following routines a dictionary entry can be located either by keyword or by value. Both routines search a dictionary sequentially from first entry to last, returning the first matching entry encountered.
VistaIODictEntry *VistaIOLookupDictKeyword (VistaIODictEntry *dict, VistaIOStringConst keyword)
VistaIOLookupDictEntry searches the dictionary dict for an entry
whose keyword is keyword. It returns a pointer to the entry, if found, or NULL otherwise.

VistaIODictEntry *VistaIOLookupDictValue (VistaIODictEntry *dict, VistaIORepnKind repn, type value)
VistaIOLookupDictValue searches the dictionary dict for an entry
whose value is value. The value to be searched for can be specified in any of several representations; that chosen is indicated by repn. Then type is one of VistaIOBit, VistaIOUByte, VistaIOSByte, VistaIOShort, VistaIOLong, VistaIOFloat, VistaIODouble, VistaIOBoolean, or VistaIOString, depending on repn. VistaIOLookupDictValue returns a pointer to the entry, if found, or NULL otherwise.

Built-in Dictionaries

The following dictionaries are already included in the library:
maps between the keywords false, true, no, yes, off, and on and the values FALSE and TRUE
maps between the keywords bit, ubyte, sbyte, short, long, float, and double and the values VistaIOBitRepn through VistaIODoubleRepn.


This dictionary describes a mapping between keywords and integers:

VistaIODictEntry VistaIOBooleanDict[] = {
{ "false", FALSE }, { "true", TRUE }, { "no", FALSE }, { "yes", TRUE }, { "off", FALSE }, { "on", TRUE }, { NULL }

This dictionary describes a mapping between keywords and floating point numbers:

VistaIODictEntry ConstantDict[] = {
{ "zero", 0 }, { "one", 1 }, { "pi", 0, "3.14159" }, { "e", 0, "2.7182818" }, { NULL }

This dictionary describes a mapping between keywords and strings:

VistaIODictEntry TitleDict[] = {
{ "Clinton", 0, "President of the U.S.A." }, { "Major", 0, "Prime Minister of Great Britain" }, { "Mulroney", 0, "Prime Minister of Canada" }, { NULL }


Art Pope <[email protected]>

Adaption to vistaio: Gert Wollny <[email protected]>