Built-In Commands - eval manual page


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eval - Evaluate a Tcl script


eval arg ?arg ...?


Eval takes one or more arguments, which together comprise a Tcl script containing one or more commands. Eval concatenates all its arguments in the same fashion as the concat command, passes the concatenated string to the Tcl interpreter recursively, and returns the result of that evaluation (or any error generated by it). Note that the list command quotes sequences of words in such a way that they are not further expanded by the eval command.


Often, it is useful to store a fragment of a script in a variable and execute it later on with extra values appended. This technique is used in a number of places throughout the Tcl core (e.g. in fcopy, lsort and trace command callbacks). This example shows how to do this using core Tcl commands:
set script {
    puts "logging now"
    lappend $myCurrentLogVar
set myCurrentLogVar log1
# Set up a switch of logging variable part way through!
after 20000 set myCurrentLogVar log2

for {set i 0} {$i<10} {incr i} {
    # Introduce a random delay
    after [expr {int(5000 * rand())}]
    update    ;# Check for the asynch log switch
    eval $script $i [clock clicks]

Note that in the most common case (where the script fragment is actually just a list of words forming a command prefix), it is better to use {*}$script when doing this sort of invocation pattern. It is less general than the eval command, and hence easier to make robust in practice. The following procedure acts in a way that is analogous to the lappend command, except it inserts the argument values at the start of the list in the variable:

proc lprepend {varName args} {
   upvar 1 $varName var
   # Ensure that the variable exists and contains a list
   lappend var
   # Now we insert all the arguments in one go
   set var [eval [list linsert $var 0] $args]
However, the last line would now normally be written without eval, like this:
set var [linsert $var 0 {*}$args]


catch, concat, error, interp, list, namespace, subst, tclvars, uplevel


concatenate, evaluate, script
Copyright © 1995-1997 Roger E. Critchlow Jr. Copyright © 1993 The Regents of the University of California. Copyright © 1994-1996 Sun Microsystems, Inc.