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Chapter 32. Visual LISP > Understanding the Advanced Programming Tools

Understanding the Advanced Programming Tools

As some of the preceding exercises have shown, programming tools, such as color-coding, parentheses and syntax checking, and auto formatting, are helpful in writing and debugging AutoLISP code. Chances are that these tools are the ones you use most often because they address the vast majority of LISP programming concerns. However, Visual LISP offers a set of more advanced programming tools. These include

  • Break loop mode. You can halt program execution at user-specified points to inspect and modify the value of programming objects, such as AutoLISP variables, expressions, and functions.

  • Animation. You can watch as Visual LISP steps through your program code and evaluates each expression. Each expression is highlighted as it is evaluated.

  • Inspect. You can obtain detailed information about an AutoLISP object in a separate Inspect dialog box. Nested objects (such as association lists) can be expanded or recursively examined down to an atomic (for example, symbol, number) level.

  • Watch window. You can watch the value of user-identified variables during program execution.

  • Trace facility. This mimics the standard AutoLISP trace function that enables the printing of calls and returned values of traced functions in a devoted Trace window.

  • Trace stack. You can view the contents of AutoLISP’s call stack. Visual LISP records the history of called functions as they are executed.



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