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texinode(Functions)(Jobs & Signals)(Command Execution)(Top)
chapter(Functions)
ifzman(\
sect(Functions)
)\
cindex(functions)
findex(function, use of)
Shell functions are defined with the tt(function) reserved word or the
special syntax `var(funcname) tt(())'.
Shell functions are read in and stored internally.
Alias names are resolved when the function is read.
Functions are executed like commands with the arguments
passed as positional parameters.
(See noderef(Command Execution).)

Functions execute in the same process as the caller and
share all files
and present working directory with the
caller.  A trap on tt(EXIT) set inside a function
is executed after the function completes in the environment
of the caller.

findex(return, use of)
The tt(return) builtin is used to return from function calls.

findex(functions, use of)
Function identifiers can be listed with the tt(functions) builtin.
findex(unfunction, use of)
Functions can be undefined with the tt(unfunction) builtin.
sect(Autoloading Functions)
cindex(autoloading functions)
cindex(functions, autoloading)

findex(autoload, use of)
vindex(fpath, use of)
A function can be marked as em(undefined) using the tt(autoload) builtin
(or `tt(functions -u)' or `tt(typeset -fu)').  Such a function has no
body.  When the function is first executed, the shell searches for its
definition using the elements of the tt(fpath) variable.  Thus to define
functions for autoloading, a typical sequence is:

example(fpath=(~/myfuncs $fpath)
autoload myfunc1 myfunc2 ...)

The usual alias expansion during reading will be suppressed if the
tt(autoload) builtin or its equivalent is given the option tt(-U). This is
recommended for the use of functions supplied with the zsh distribution.
findex(zcompile, use of)
Note that for functions precompiled with the tt(zcompile) builtin command
the flag tt(-U) must be provided when the tt(.zwc) file is created, as the
corresponding information is compiled into the latter.

For each var(element) in tt(fpath), the shell looks for three possible
files, the newest of which is used to load the definition for the function:

startitem()
item(var(element)tt(.zwc))(
A file created with the tt(zcompile) builtin command, which is expected to
contain the definitions for all functions in the directory named
var(element).  The file is treated in the same manner as a directory
containing files for functions and is searched for the definition of the
function.   If the definition is not found, the search for a definition
proceeds with the other two possibilities described below.

If var(element) already includes a tt(.zwc) extension (i.e. the extension
was explicitly given by the user), var(element) is searched for the
definition of the function without comparing its age to that of other
files; in fact, there does not need to be any directory named var(element)
without the suffix.  Thus including an element such as
`tt(/usr/local/funcs.zwc)' in tt(fpath) will speed up the search for
functions, with the disadvantage that functions included must be explicitly
recompiled by hand before the shell notices any changes.
)
item(var(element)tt(/)var(function)tt(.zwc))(
A file created with tt(zcompile), which is expected to contain the
definition for var(function).  It may include other function definitions
as well, but those are neither loaded nor executed; a file found in this
way is searched em(only) for the definition of var(function).
)
item(var(element)tt(/)var(function))(
A file of zsh command text, taken to be the definition for var(function).
)
enditem()

In summary, the order of searching is, first, in the em(parents of)
directories in tt(fpath) for the newer of either a compiled directory or
a directory in tt(fpath); second, if more than one of these contains a
definition for the function that is sought, the leftmost in the tt(fpath)
is chosen; and third, within a directory, the newer of either a compiled
function or an ordinary function definition is used.

pindex(KSH_AUTOLOAD, use of)
If the tt(KSH_AUTOLOAD) option is set, or the file contains only a
simple definition of the function, the file's contents will be executed.
This will normally define the function in question, but may also perform
initialization, which is executed in the context of the function execution,
and may therefore define local parameters.  It is an error if the function
is not defined by loading the file.

Otherwise, the function body (with no surrounding `var(funcname)tt(()
{)var(...)tt(})') is taken to be the complete contents of the file.  This
form allows the file to be used directly as an executable shell script.  If
processing of the file results in the function being re-defined, the
function itself is not re-executed.  To force the shell to perform
initialization and then call the function defined, the file should contain
initialization code (which will be executed then discarded) in addition to
a complete function definition (which will be retained for subsequent calls
to the function), and a call to the shell function, including any
arguments, at the end.

For example, suppose the autoload file tt(func) contains

example(func+LPAR()RPAR() { print This is func; }
print func is initialized)

then `tt(func; func)' with tt(KSH_AUTOLOAD) set will produce both messages
on the first call, but only the message `tt(This is func)' on the second
and subsequent calls.  Without tt(KSH_AUTOLOAD) set, it will produce
the initialization message on the first call, and the other message on the
second and subsequent calls.

It is also possible to create a function that is not marked as autoloaded,
but which loads its own definition by searching tt(fpath), by using
`tt(autoload -X)' within a shell function.  For example, the following are
equivalent:

example(myfunc+LPAR()RPAR() {
  autoload -X
}
myfunc args...)

and

example(unfunction myfunc   # if myfunc was defined
autoload myfunc
myfunc args...)

In fact, the tt(functions) command outputs `tt(builtin autoload -X)' as
the body of an autoloaded function.  This is done so that

example(eval "$(functions)")

produces a reasonable result.  A true autoloaded function can be
identified by the presence of the comment `tt(# undefined)' in the body,
because all comments are discarded from defined functions.

To load the definition of an autoloaded function tt(myfunc) without
executing tt(myfunc), use:

example(autoload +X myfunc)

sect(Anonymous Functions)
cindex(anonymous functions)
cindex(functions, anonymous)

If no name is given for a function, it is `anonymous' and is handled
specially.  Either form of function definition may be used: a `tt(())' with
no preceding name, or a `tt(function)' with an immediately following open
brace.  The function is executed immediately at the point of definition and
is not stored for future use.  The function name is set to `tt((anon))'.

Arguments to the function may be specified as words following the
closing brace defining the function, hence if there are none no
arguments (other than tt($0)) are set.  This is a difference from the
way other functions are parsed: normal function definitions may be
followed by certain keywords such as `tt(else)' or `tt(fi)', which will
be treated as arguments to anonymous functions, so that a newline or
semicolon is needed to force keyword interpretation.

Note also that the argument list of any enclosing script or function is
hidden (as would be the case for any other function called at this
point).

Redirections may be applied to the anonymous function in the same manner as
to a current-shell structure enclosed in braces.  The main use of anonymous
functions is to provide a scope for local variables.  This is particularly
convenient in start-up files as these do not provide their own local
variable scope.

For example,

example(variable=outside
function {
  local variable=inside
  print "I am $variable with arguments $*"
} this and that
print "I am $variable")

outputs the following:

example(I am inside with arguments this and that
I am outside)

Note that function definitions with arguments that expand to nothing,
for example `tt(name=; function $name { )var(...)tt( })', are not
treated as anonymous functions.  Instead, they are treated as normal
function definitions where the definition is silently discarded.

sect(Special Functions)
Certain functions, if defined, have special meaning to the shell.

subsect(Hook Functions)
findex(functions, hook)
findex(hook functions)

For the functions below, it is possible to define an array that has the
same name as the function with `tt(_functions)' appended.  Any element in
such an array is taken as the name of a function to execute; it is executed
in the same context and with the same arguments as the basic function.  For
example, if tt($chpwd_functions) is an array containing the values
`tt(mychpwd)', `tt(chpwd_save_dirstack)', then the shell attempts to
execute the functions `tt(chpwd)', `tt(mychpwd)' and
`tt(chpwd_save_dirstack)', in that order.  Any function that does not exist
is silently ignored.  A function found by this mechanism is referred to
elsewhere as a em(hook function).  An error in any function causes subsequent
functions not to be run.  Note further that an error in a tt(precmd) hook
causes an immediately following tt(periodic) function not to run (though
it may run at the next opportunity).

startitem()
findex(chpwd)
vindex(chpwd_functions)
item(tt(chpwd))(
Executed whenever the current working directory is changed.
)
findex(periodic)
vindex(periodic_functions)
item(tt(periodic))(
vindex(PERIOD)
If the parameter tt(PERIOD)
is set, this function is executed every tt($PERIOD)
seconds, just before a prompt.  Note that if multiple functions
are defined using the array tt(periodic_functions) only one
period is applied to the complete set of functions, and the
scheduled time is not reset if the list of functions is altered.
Hence the set of functions is always called together.
)
findex(precmd)
vindex(precmd_functions)
item(tt(precmd))(
Executed before each prompt.  Note that precommand functions are not
re-executed simply because the command line is redrawn, as happens, for
example, when a notification about an exiting job is displayed.
)
findex(preexec)
vindex(preexec_functions)
item(tt(preexec))(
Executed just after a command has been read and is about to be
executed.  If the history mechanism is active (regardless of whether the
line was discarded from the history buffer), the string that the user
typed is passed as the first argument, otherwise it is an empty string.
The actual command that will be executed (including expanded aliases) is
passed in two different forms: the second argument is a single-line,
size-limited version of the command (with things like function bodies
elided); the third argument contains the full text that is being
executed.
)
findex(zshaddhistory)
vindex(zshaddhistory_functions)
item(tt(zshaddhistory))(
cindex(history, hook when line is saved)
Executed when a history line has been read interactively, but
before it is executed.  The sole argument is the complete history
line (so that any terminating newline will still be present).

If any of the hook functions returns status 1 (or any non-zero value
other than 2, though this is not guaranteed for future versions of the
shell) the history line will not be saved, although it lingers in the
history until the next line is executed, allowing you to reuse or edit
it immediately.

If any of the hook functions returns status 2 the history line
will be saved on the internal history list, but not written to
the history file.  In case of a conflict, the first non-zero status
value is taken.

A hook function may call `tt(fc -p) var(...)' to switch the history
context so that the history is saved in a different file from the
that in the global tt(HISTFILE) parameter.  This is handled specially:
the history context is automatically restored after the processing
of the history line is finished.

The following example function works with one of the options
tt(INC_APPEND_HISTORY) or tt(SHARE_HISTORY) set, in order that the line
is written out immediately after the history entry is added.  It first
adds the history line to the normal history with the newline stripped,
which is usually the correct behaviour.  Then it switches the history
context so that the line will be written to a history file in the
current directory.

example(zshaddhistory+LPAR()RPAR() {
  print -sr -- ${1%%$'\n'}
  fc -p .zsh_local_history
})
)
findex(zshexit)
vindex(zshexit_functions)
item(tt(zshexit))(
Executed at the point where the main shell is about to exit normally.
This is not called by exiting subshells, nor when the tt(exec)
precommand modifier is used before an external command.  Also, unlike
tt(TRAPEXIT), it is not called when functions exit.
)
enditem()

subsect(Trap Functions)

The functions below are treated specially but do not have corresponding
hook arrays.

startitem()
item(tt(TRAP)var(NAL))(
cindex(signals, trapping)
cindex(trapping signals)
If defined and non-null,
this function will be executed whenever the shell
catches a signal tt(SIG)var(NAL), where var(NAL) is a signal
name as specified for the tt(kill) builtin.
The signal number will be passed as the first parameter to the function.

If a function of this form is defined and null,
the shell and processes spawned by it will ignore tt(SIG)var(NAL).

The return status from the function is handled specially.  If it is
zero, the signal is assumed to have been handled, and execution continues
normally.  Otherwise, the shell will behave as interrupted except that
the return status of the trap is retained.

Programs terminated by uncaught signals typically return the status 128
plus the signal number.  Hence the following causes the handler for
tt(SIGINT) to print a message, then mimic the usual effect of the signal.

example(TRAPINT+LPAR()RPAR() {
  print "Caught SIGINT, aborting."
  return $(( 128 + $1 ))
})

The functions tt(TRAPZERR), tt(TRAPDEBUG) and tt(TRAPEXIT) are never
executed inside other traps.
)
findex(TRAPDEBUG)
item(tt(TRAPDEBUG))(
If the option tt(DEBUG_BEFORE_CMD) is set (as it is by default), executed
before each command; otherwise executed after each command.  See
the description of the tt(trap) builtin in
ifnzman(noderef(Shell Builtin Commands))\
ifzman(zmanref(zshbuiltins)) for details of additional features provided
in debug traps.
)
findex(TRAPEXIT)
item(tt(TRAPEXIT))(
Executed when the shell exits,
or when the current function exits if defined inside a function.
The value of tt($?) at the start of execution is the exit status of the
shell or the return status of the function exiting.
)
findex(TRAPZERR)
findex(TRAPERR)
item(tt(TRAPZERR))(
Executed whenever a command has a non-zero exit status.  However, the
function is not executed if the command occurred in a sublist followed by
`tt(&&)' or `tt(||)'; only the final command in a sublist of this type
causes the trap to be executed.  The function tt(TRAPERR) acts the same as
tt(TRAPZERR) on systems where there is no tt(SIGERR) (this is the usual
case).
)
enditem()

findex(trap, use of)
The functions beginning `tt(TRAP)' may alternatively be defined with the
tt(trap) builtin:  this may be preferable for some uses.  Setting a trap
with one form removes any trap of the other form for the same signal;
removing a trap in either form removes all traps for the same signal.
The forms

example(TRAPNAL+LPAR()RPAR() { 
 # code
})

('function traps') and

example(trap '
 # code
' NAL)

('list traps') are equivalent in most ways, the exceptions being the
following:

startitemize()
itemiz(Function traps have all the properties of normal functions,
appearing in the list of functions and being called with their own
function context rather than the context where the trap was triggered.)
itemiz(The return status from function traps is special, whereas a return
from a list trap causes the surrounding context to return with the given
status.)
itemiz(Function traps are not reset within subshells, in accordance with
zsh behaviour; list traps are reset, in accordance with POSIX
behaviour.)
enditemize()