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[Contents]

3. Installation Instructions

3.4. Configuration

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To reach advanced features, like using system include files from predefined directories or using dynamic modules you have to create a configuration file. This configuration file is probably different for most installation and reflects the directory structure, networking environment and other specialties of your setup.

The format of the configuration file is binary. This is to speed up configuration information reading. To create this binary format, you have to edit the text format of the configuration file usually named `scriba.conf.lsp' and have to convert it to binary format using the command line


scriba -k scriba.conf.lsp

The ScriptBasic executable using the option `-D' dumps binary configuration files into text format. Note that this dump program will not restore the comments of the original configuration file nor the line breaks or spaces (except those in strings).

The format of the text file version of the configuration information is simple. It contains the keys and the corresponding values separated by one or more spaces and new lines. Usually a key and the assigned value are written on a line. Lines starting with the character ; are comment.

The values can be integer numbers, real numbers, strings and sub-configurations. Strings can either be single line started and terminated by a single " character or multi-line strings starting and ending with three """ characters, just like in the language ScriptBasic.

Sub-configurations start with the character ( and are closed with the character ). The lists between the parentheses are keys and corresponding values.

If a sub-configuration after altering the text version of the configuration file becomes empty then the sub-configuration along with the key of the sub-configuration has to be commented out. It is not legal to have


subconfig ()

empty sub-configuration.

The keywords of the current version are:

  • dll defines the extension used for dynamic load libraries. This extension is used when a module is loaded and full path file name is not specified. If there are more than one extension specified only the first one is used. The string defined in this key is appended to the file name when ScriptBasic is loading a module. ScriptBasic does NOT insert the dot before the extension; therefore the key value should contain it. Thus the correct configuration is
dll ".dll"
  • module defines the directory for dynamically loadable modules. You should define the full path to the dynamic load libraries. In the path name you can use forward or back slashes. ScriptBasic does not insert a slash between the file name and the directory path, therefore the key value should contain the trailing slash.If there are more than one values defined for this key ScriptBasic will search for the module in each directory defined in the order they are defined. The search finishes when the module is found and successfully loaded or if there are no more directories.
  • include defines the directory for system or module-include files. These files are included in the include statement specifying the file name as bare word without double quotes. You should define the full path to the files. In the path name you can use forward or back slashes. ScriptBasic does not insert a slash between the file name and the directory path, therefore the key value should contain the trailing slash.If there are more than one values defined for this key ScriptBasic will search for the module in each directory defined in the order they are defined. The search finishes when the module is found and successfully loaded or if there are no more directories.
  • maxstep defines the number of instructions to be executed before the program stops with error. This can be useful to limit CGI programs to run too long and consume too much memory and processor. That can happen either by error or because your programmer (customer in case you provide web hosting service) wants to degrade your service. Note that this limit is compared against the number of steps, which is more than the number of lines. For example the line
a = b+3

executed by two steps: an addition and an assignment command.If the value of this parameter is zero or if the parameter is not defined in the configuration file no limit is effective.

  • maxlocalstep defines the number of instructions allowed to be executed inside a function or subroutine before the program stops with error. This is limit is similar to maxstep and can serve the same purpose. This may help you fine tune program behavior. Usually setting maxstep is enough. If the value of this parameter is zero or if the parameter is not defined in the configuration file no limit is effective.
  • maxlevel defines the maximal level of recursive call deepness. Programs usually get into infinite loop because of incorrect recursive loop. This value can limit the maximum number of function calls nested. The binary version of ScriptBasic is shipped with a value appropriately set for this value. If you compile the program from source the installation process sets this value. If the value of this parameter is zero or if the parameter is not defined in the configuration file no limit is effective.
  • maxmem defines the maximum number of bytes that a basic program is allowed to use for its variables. The actual memory allocated by the process or thread running the interpreter may exceed this value because memory for the reader, lexical analyzer, syntax analyzer, code builder and external modules are not limited. This limits only the memory allocated for the ScriptBasic variables. If this value is zero or is missing then there is no limit except the limits of the operating system and the hardware.
  • preload defines the external modules that are always to be loaded before starting the basic program. There can be more than one modules defined. In this case the modules are loaded in the order they are specified. The name of the module should be specified the same way as in the ScriptBasic statement declare sub: either with full path including file extension or without path and extension. If only the name of the module is specified the module directories are searched by ScriptBasic to load the module defined by the configuration key module.
  • cache defines the directory where the program cache is stored. This should be an existing directory name including the final \ or /. At each run the interpreter will check in this directory if the file was already compiled and a precompiled version is used if that is newer than the file.
  • preproc defines the external and internal preprocessors.
    • extensions Defines the extensions that external preprocessors are assigned to. Each key has to mach an extension and the value string has to be the symbolic name of the external preprocessor assigned to that extension.
    • external Each key in the sub-configuration is the symbolic name of an external preprocessor and the sub-configuration assigned to that key defines the directory where to store the result of the preprocessor and the command to start the preprocessor. Note that a space and the source file name are automatically appended after the command line.
    • internal Defines internal preprocessors. Each key in this list defines the name of the preprocessor and the value defines the DLL or SO file that implements the internal preprocessor. The key name should be used following the option `-i' or after the BASIC source program command USE.

ScriptBasic ignores all lines containing a key that it does not understand. This is dangerous on one hand because it makes typing errors less recognizable. On the other hand it allows different variations share common configuration file. The external modules implemented as dynamic load library functions can also access any configuration data.

An example configuration file from a Windows NT installation:

 ; scriba.conf
 ; ScriptBasic sample configuration file
 ;
 ; Note that this configuration file format is from v2.0b0 or later and has to be compiled
 ; to internal binary format before starting ScriptBasic


 ; this is the extension of the dynamic load libraries on this system dll ".dll"

 ; where the modules are to be loaded from module "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\modules\\" 
 module "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\sysmodules\\" module "c:\\ScriptBasic\\modules\\"

 ; where to search system and module include files ; trailing / or \\ is needed include
 "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\source\\include\\" include "c:\\ScriptBasic\\source\\include\\"

 ;
 ; define external preprocessors 
 ; 
 preproc ( 
 ; extensions that preprocessors are to be applied on extensions ( 
 ; here the key is the extension and the value is the symbolic name of the external 
 ; preprocessor heb "heb" ) 
 ; the external preprocessors 
   external ( 
    heb ( 
     executable "D:\\MyProjects\\sb\\Release\\scriba.exe d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\source\\heber.bas"
     directory "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\hebtemp\\"
     )
    )
   )

 ; 
 ; LIMIT VALUES TO STOP INIFINITE LOOP 
 ;

 ; the maximal number of steps allowed for a program to run 
 ; comment it out or set to zero to have no limit maxstep 30000

 ; the maximal number of steps allowed for a program to run ; inside a function. 
 ; comment it out or set to zero to have no limit maxlocalstep 0

 ; the maximal number of recursive function call deepness 
 ; essentially this is the "stack" size maxlevel 300

 ; the maximal memory in bytes that a basic program is allowed to use 
 ; for its variables maxmem 1000000

 ;

 ; ScriptBasic loads the modules before starting the code 
 ; in the order they are specified here 
 ; 
 ;preload "ext_trial"

 ; 
 ; This is the directory where we store the compiled code 
 ; to automatically avoid recompilation 
 ; cache "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\cache\\"

 cgi ( 
 ;

 ; These are the keys used by the CGI module 
 ; 
  debugfile "d:\\MyProjects\\sb\\cgidebug.txt" 
 )
 

Although Windows NT programs are usually configured using the registry or active directory services ScriptBasic uses a text file to ease and maintain compatibility with UNIX versions.

To ease the compatibility even more the file names are allowed to use the UNIX style forward slash / as directory separator character.

When the program starts one of its first action is to search the configuration file. The search for the configuration file is different on Windows NT and under UNIX operating system.


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