common-lispCLOS Meta-Object Protocol

Obtain the slot names of a Class

Lets say we have a class as

(defclass person ()
  (name email age))

To obtain the names of the slots of the class we use the function class-slots. This can be found in the closer-mop package, provided by the closer-mop system. To load it the running lisp image we use (ql:quickload :closer-mop). We also have to make sure the class is finalized before calling class-slots.

(let ((class (find-class 'person)))
  (c2mop:ensure-finalized class)
  (c2mop:class-slots class))

which returns a list of effective slot definition objects:


Update a slot when another slot is modified

The CLOS MOP provides the hook slot-value-using-class, that is called when a slot is value is accessed, read or modified. Because we only care for modifications in this case we define a method for (setf slot-value-using-class).

(defclass document ()
  ((id :reader id :documentation "A hash computed with the contents of every other slot")
   (title :initarg :title :accessor title)
   (body :initarg :body :accessor body)))

(defmethod (setf c2mop:slot-value-using-class) :after
    (new class (object document) (slot c2mop:standard-effective-slot-definition))
  ;; To avoid this method triggering a call to itself, we check that the slot
  ;; the modification occurred in is not the slot we are updating.
  (unless (eq (slot-definition-name slot) 'id)
    (setf (slot-value object 'id) (hash-slots object))))

Note that because at instance creation slot-value is not called it may be necessary to duplicate the code in the initialize-instance :after method

(defmethod initialize-instance :after ((obj document) &key)
  (setf (slot-value obj 'id)
        (hash-slots obj)))