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7.2 Interactive Mode

If insufficient number of arguments is given in the command line, smapc enters interactive mode. In this mode it reads commands from the standard input, executes them and displays the results on the standard output. If the standard input is connected to a terminal, the readline and history facilities are enabled (see Command Line Editing in GNU Readline Library).

When in interactive mode, smapc displays its prompt and waits for you to enter a command. The default prompt is the name of the program, enclosed in parentheses:

(smapc) _

Depending on the first character, your input is recognized either as a smapc command, or as a query. All smapc commands begin with a single punctuation character, called command prefix. The default command prefix is a dot, but it can be changed using the prefix command (see prefix). The prefix is not a part of the command, it is merely a means by which smapc recognizes that it has been given a command. So, when explaining commands below, we will refer to them by their name, without the prefix.

The most important command is ‘open’. It takes a server URL as its argument and opens a connection to that server:

(smapc) .open unix:///var/run/smap/sockmap

Now, if you type two or more words (the first of them not starting with the command prefix), smapc builds a query using the first word as of them is used as a map name and the rest of them as a key. It then sends the request to the server using the socket opened with the open command and displays the result on the standard output:

(smapc) aliases
OK smith dmk <rev@another.domain>

If you wish to change to another URL, give another ‘open’ command. Do not bother to close the previously opened socket: it will be done automatically.

If you are going to send a series of queries using the same map, you will save yourself some typing by declaring the default map, e.g.:

(smapc) .map aliases

From now on, every non-command input you give will be treated as lookup keys for that map name, e.g.:

OK smith dmk <rev@another.domain>
(smapc) postmaster
OK root
(smapc) daemon

If you forget what map you are currently using, type the map command without arguments. It will display the map name:

(smapc) .map
current map is aliases

Finally, to forget the default map and return to typing map name before the key, use ‘nomap’:

(smapc) .nomap

To quit the program, type ‘.quit’. Typing end-of-file character (C-d) has the same effect.

To obtain a listing of available commands with a short description for each of them, type ‘help’ or ‘?’.

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