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3.8 Performing operations on selected objects

In any tool, there are a number of operations that you can always perform on the selected objects, irrespective of the type of objects you have selected. This allows you to perform some powerful operations and also ensures a consistent feel to every tool in the environment.

In this context the term "selected objects" is meant in the widest sense, and can refer to any items selected anywhere in a tool, be it in a list of items, or a graph. It can also refer to the tool's current object : that is, the object which is currently being examined.

These operations are available throughout the environment, and are referred to as standard action commands. As with other commands that are specific to the active window, standard action commands are usually available from menus on the main menu bar of the tool you are using. The objects which are operated on by a given standard action command depend on the menu from which you chose the command.

As an example, consider examining the contents of Common Lisp objects using the Inspector.

The standard action commands for the Inspector are present in two places: the Object menu, and the Slots menu.

Notice that in the first case, the object operated on is the tool's current object: you do not have to take any further action before performing the operation.

In the second case, the objects examined represent more specific pieces of information: you need to select them before you can perform the operation. This, therefore, examines more discrete pieces of information about the current object.

Many tools have one or more submenus like those described above. The first operates on the current object. What that object is, and hence the name of the submenu in which the commands are to be found, depends on the tool you are using. For instance, if you are examining classes, the commands can be found in a Classes menu. If you are examining methods, they can be found in a Methods menu.

Some tools contain two or more such menus; precise details are given in the relevant chapters.

As a guide, if a menu has a plural for a name, the commands in that menu can be performed on multiple selections. If the menu name is not pluralized, commands only affect a single selection.

3.8.1 Operations available

The standard action commands available are described below. In these descriptions, the term "current object" refers to the Lisp object that is being acted upon by the menu command. This depends on the tool being used and the menu in which the command appears, but should be obvious from the context.

Choose Browse to browse the current object using an appropriate browser. A browser is a tool which lets you examine a particular type of Common Lisp object, and there are a large number of them available in the environment. Some of the browsers available are:

See the appropriate chapters for a full description of each browser; there is a chapter of this manual devoted to each available browser. The precise name of the Browse menu command reflects the type of browser that is used to examine the selected object. Thus, if the command is Browse - Generic Function , a Generic Function Browser is used.

Choose Class to look at the class of the current object in a Class Browser. Alternatively, click on in the toolbar. See The Class Browser for full details about this tool.

Choose Clip to add the current object to the Object Clipboard. See The Object Clipboard for full details about this tool.

Choose Copy to copy the current object to the clipboard, thus making it available for use elsewhere in the environment. Note that performing this operation on the object currently being examined by the tool (for example, choosing the command from the Object menu when an Inspector is the active window) has the same effect as choosing Edit > Copy , whereas choosing this option from other menus (such as a Description menu) copies more discrete information to the clipboard.

Choose Documentation to display the Common Lisp documentation (that is, the result of the function documentation) for the current object. It is printed in a help window.

Choose Find Source to search for the source code definition of the current object. Alternatively, click on in the toolbar. If it is found, the file is displayed in the Editor: the cursor is placed at the start of the definition. See The Editor for an introduction to the Editor tool. You can find only the definitions of objects you have defined yourself (those for which you have written source code) - not those provided by the environment or the Lisp implementation.

Choose Inspect to invoke an Inspector on the current object. Alternatively, click on in the toolbar. See The Inspector, for details about the Inspector. If you are ever in any doubt about which object is operated on by a standard action command, choose this command.

Choose Listen to paste the current object into the Listener. Alternatively, click on in the toolbar. The Listener provides you with full details about this tool.

Choose Function Calls to describe the current object in a function call browser. See The Function Call Browser for more details.

Choose Generic Function to describe the current object (a generic function or a method) in a Generic Function Browser. If the current object is a method, then its generic function is described in the Generic Function Browser and the method is selected. See The Generic Function Browser for more details.

Choose Browse Symbols Like to display symbols matching the current object in a Symbol Browser. See The Symbol Browser for more details.

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