(m4.info)Dnl


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8.1 Deleting whitespace in input
================================

The builtin `dnl' stands for "Discard to Next Line":

 -- Builtin: dnl
     All characters, up to and including the next newline, are discarded
     without performing any macro expansion.  A warning is issued if
     the end of the file is encountered without a newline.

     The expansion of `dnl' is void.

   It is often used in connection with `define', to remove the newline
that follows the call to `define'.  Thus

     define(`foo', `Macro `foo'.')dnl A very simple macro, indeed.
     foo
     =>Macro foo.

   The input up to and including the next newline is discarded, as
opposed to the way comments are treated (Note: Comments).

   Usually, `dnl' is immediately followed by an end of line or some
other whitespace.  GNU `m4' will produce a warning diagnostic if `dnl'
is followed by an open parenthesis.  In this case, `dnl' will collect
and process all arguments, looking for a matching close parenthesis.
All predictable side effects resulting from this collection will take
place.  `dnl' will return no output.  The input following the matching
close parenthesis up to and including the next newline, on whatever
line containing it, will still be discarded.

     dnl(`args are ignored, but side effects occur',
     define(`foo', `like this')) while this text is ignored: undefine(`foo')
     error-->m4:stdin:1: Warning: excess arguments to builtin `dnl' ignored
     See how `foo' was defined, foo?
     =>See how foo was defined, like this?

   If the end of file is encountered without a newline character, a
warning is issued and dnl stops consuming input.

     m4wrap(`m4wrap(`2 hi
     ')0 hi dnl 1 hi')
     =>
     define(`hi', `HI')
     =>
     ^D
     error-->m4:stdin:1: Warning: end of file treated as newline
     =>0 HI 2 HI


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