mkcatdefs(1int)mkcatdefs(1int)Namemkcatdefs - Preprocesses a message source file
Syntaxmkcatdefs symbol_name source_file ...
The message facility program preprocesses a message source file. The
source_file message text source file contains mnemonic identifiers.
The program produces the symbol_name_msg.h file containing definition
statements equating your mnemonic identifiers with set numbers and mes‐
sage ID numbers assigned by The symbol_name _msg.h file is required in
your application program if you use mnemonic identifiers.
The program sends message source data, with numbers instead of mnemonic
identifiers, to standard output. This output is suitable as input to
the program. You can use the > (redirection mnemonic) to write the mes‐
sage source to a file, then use the file as input to You can create a
message text source file using any text editor to enter the messages.
Assign message set numbers and message ID numbers to each message by
using the commands described in the following section.
Symbolic Message Identifiers
The operating system provides a mechanism that allows mnemonic refer‐
ences to messages by letting you use alphanumeric identifiers instead
of set numbers and message ID numbers. You assign the identifiers to
sets and messages in the source file in the same manner that you assign
set numbers and message ID numbers.
The mnemonic identifiers can contain ASCII letters, digits, and under‐
scores. The first character cannot be a digit. The maximum length can‐
not exceed 64 bytes.
The following example shows a message source file with mnemonic message
$set symbolic Message Facility - Symbolic ID's
ID_names *Symbolic identifier syntax: \n \
\tASCII alphanumerics or underscores \n \
\tnon-digit first character \n \
\t64 byte maximum length *
set_use *To assign set ID: \n \
\t$set "identifier" [comment] *
msg_use *To assign message ID: \n \
\t"identifier" message-text *
Use the $set command in a source file to give a group of messages a set
number. The format of the $set command is as follows:
$ set n [ comment ]
The set number is specified by n. Instead of a number, you can specify
a mnemonic identifier that must contain only ASCII letters, digits, or
the _ (underscore character). The maximum length of an identifier is 65
bytes. The program assigns a set number to the identifier. The assigned
set number is one higher than the preceding set number, or 1 if it is
the first $set. The program inserts a $delset before the $set in the
output message source file.
You can mix numbers and mnemonic identifiers. You can include a com‐
ment in the $set command, but it is not required. The following example
includes a comment:
set CEM Communication Error Messages
Use the $delset command to remove all of the messages belonging to the
specified set from a catalog. The format of the $delset command is as
$delset n [ comment ]
The message set is specified by n. The $delset command must be placed
in the proper set number order with respect to any $set commands in the
same source file. You can include a comment in the $delset command
You can include a comment line anywhere in the source file, except
within message text. Indicate comments as follows:
$ [ comment ]
You must leave at least one space after the $ prompt.
Enter the message text and mnemonic message identifier as follows:
identifier can be either a number or a mnemonic identifier and can con‐
tain only ASCII letters, digits, or the _ (underscore character). The
maximum length of an identifier is 65 bytes. The program assigns a mes‐
sage number to the identifier. The assigned number is one higher than
the preceding message number, or 1 if it is the first message after the
Note that inserts a $delset before the $set, which means you cannot
add, delete, or replace single messages in the catalog if you are using
mnemonic message identifiers. You must enter all of the messages in the
You can mix numbers and mnemonic identifiers.
You must leave at least one space after the message identifier or num‐
Any amount of white space is allowed after the message ID number; how‐
ever, X/Open specifies that you leave only one space between the mes‐
sage number and the message text. All text following the first nonspace
character to the end of the line is included in the message text. If
the source contains a $quote command preceding the message, all text
between the quotation marks is included. Use a \ (backslash) character
to continue message text on the following line. The \ must be the last
character on the line, as in the following example:
FIVE Text associated with \
These two lines define the following single-line message:
FIVE Text associated with message FIVE.
The \ can be used to include special characters in the message text.
These special characters are defined as follows:
\n Inserts a newline character.
\t Inserts a horizontal tab character.
\v Inserts a vertical tab.
\b Inserts a backspace character.
\r Inserts a carriage-return character.
\f Inserts a formfeed character.
\\ Inserts a \ (backslash) character.
\ddd Inserts the single-byte character associated with the octal
value represented by the valid octal digits ddd. One, two, or
three octal digits can be specified; however, you must include
leading zeros if the characters following the octal digits are
also valid octal digits. For example, the octal value for $ is
44. To display $5.00, use \0445.00, not \445.00, or the 5 is
parsed as part of the octal value.
You can also include conversion specifications in messages that are
displayed by applications using You can use the $quote command in a
message source file to define a character for delimiting message text.
The format for this command is as follows:
$quote [ char ] [ comment ]
Use the specified character before and after the message text as shown
in the following example source file:
$quote " Use a double quotation mark to delimit message text
$set MSFAC Message Facility - symbolic identifiers
SYM_FORM "Symbolic identifiers can only contain ASCII letters \
or digits or the _ (underscore character)\n"
SYM_LEN "Symbolic identifiers cannot be more than 65 \
5 "You can mix symbolic identifiers and numbers \n"
MSG_H Remember to include the "msg_h" file in
In this example, the $quote command sets the quote character to " (dou‐
ble quote), then disables it before the last message, which contains
The preceding file can be processed with as follows:
$ mkcatdefs symb symb.src >symb.msg
When you process the file with the modified source is written to stan‐
dard output. Standard output can either be redirected to a file using
the > (redirection mnemonic) or piped to
The following source is created:
$quote " Use double quotation marks to delimit message text
1 "Symbolic identifiers can only contain ASCII letters \
or digits or the _ (underscore character)\n"
2 "Symbolic identifiers cannot be more than 65 \
5 "You can mix symbolic identifiers and numbers\n"
6 remember to include the "msg_h" file in your program
Note that the assigned message numbers are noncontiguous because the
source contained a specific number. The program always assigns the pre‐
vious number plus 1 to a mnemonic identifier.
The program also produces a definition file for inclusion in your pro‐
gram. The name of the file is symbol_name, and is entered as the first
argument to the command.
If the message text source defined under Subcommands were in a file
called symb.src, you could use the command as follows:
$ mkcatdefs symb symb.src >symb.msg
$ mkcatdefs symb symb.src | gencat symb.cat
The generated symb_msg.h file would appear as follows:
#define MF_SYMB "symb.cat"
/* The following was generated from symb.src. */
/* definitions for set MSFAC */
#define MSFAC 1
#define SYM_FORM 1
#define SYM_LEN 2
#define MSG_H 6
Note that also created a mnemonic MF_SYMB by adding MF_ to the sym‐
bol_name using uppercase letters. The program assumes that the name of
the generated catalog should be symbol_name.cat, and generates this
mnemonic for your use with The symbol_name.cat file includes limits.h
and nl_types.h, you do not need to include them in your application
program. (nl_types defines special data types required by the message
See Alsoextract(1int), gencat(1int), trans(1int), catgets(3int), catopen(3int),
Guide to Developing International Software