All Manuals > LispWorks IDE User Guide > 16 The Generic Function Browser


16.1 Examining information about methods

When the Generic Function Browser is first displayed, the default view is the methods view. You can also choose it explicitly by clicking on the Methods tab of the Generic Function Browser.

The methods view is shown in Generic function browser below.

Figure 16.1 Generic function browser

The methods view has four main sections, described below.

16.1.1 Function area

The Function: box shows the name of the generic function you are examining. To browse a generic function, you can enter its name directly into the Function: box. You can also paste the generic function from another tool in one of two ways:

When entering the name of a function, you can use completion to reduce typing. This allows you to select from a list of all generic functions whose names are accessible in the current package and begin with the partial input you have entered. Invoke completion by pressing Up or Down, or by clicking the button. The methods are listed immediately. See Completion for more information about completion. If you enter the generic function name directly without using completion, click to confirm the name.

Note: You can use Edit > Paste to paste in a generic function, even if the LispWorks IDE clipboard currently contains the string representation of the function, rather than the function itself. This lets you copy in generic functions from other applications, as well as from the environment. See Using the Object operations with the clipboard for a complete description of the way the LispWorks IDE clipboard operates, and how it interacts with the UNIX clipboard.

You can operate on the current generic function using the commands in the Generic Function Browser's Function menu. See Performing operations on the current function or selected methods for details.

16.1.2 Filter area

The Filter lets you restrict the list of methods displayed. See Filtering information for details about how to use the Filter area.

16.1.3 Methods list

This area displays the methods defined on the generic function.

The number of items listed in the list of methods is printed in the Matches box.

You can operate on any number of selected methods in this area using the commands in the Generic Function Browser's Methods menu. See Performing operations on the current function or selected methods for details.

16.1.4 Description list

The Description list shows a description of the method selected in the list of methods, or of the generic function itself if no method is selected.

The following information is listed:


The method object that is selected in the list of methods.

Lambda List

The lambda list of the generic function.


The class of method combination for the generic function.

To operate on any of the items displayed in this area, select them and choose a command from the Description menu. This menu contains the standard action commands described in Performing operations on selected objects. You can operate on more than one item at once by making a multiple selection in this area.

16.1.5 Performing operations on the current function or selected methods

You can use the Function and Methods menus to access commands that operate on the current generic function or the selected methods. These commands are similar to commands available in other tools, and so you should find them familiar.

The following commands are available from either the Function or Methods menus:

LispWorks IDE User Guide (Unix version) - 12 Feb 2015