When a symbol may or may not be defined due to different compilation flags, you can use #defined to test whether or not it is actually defined.

#defined looks like a procedure with a single argument, which evaluates at compile-time to a boolean expression.

use core {println}

main :: () {
	main_is_defined := #defined(main);  // true
	foo_is_defined  := #defined(foo);   // false

One useful feature of #defined is that you can use it to test if a package is defined in the program. This way, you can test for optional extensions in your program, without relying on using the correct flags.

#if #defined(package foo) {
	// We know foo is defined, we can write a procedure that uses it
	uses_foo :: () {
		use foo;

Using with #if

#defined is generally used with #if to conditionally include things depending on if something else was or was not defined.

As an example, you could have a set of procedures that can be overridden by the end-user of your library. But if they want to use the defaults, they can be still be defined automatically. A combination of targeted bindings, #defined, and #if makes this works well.

In the library, you would use #if and #defined to test if a certain flag was defined.

package your_library

// Use predefined procedures if user did not override them.
#if !#defined(CUSTOM_PROCEDURES) {
	do_thing_one :: () { println("Default thing 1!"); }
	do_thing_two :: () { println("Default thing 2!"); }

Then the consumer of the library can use targeted bindings to define the flag and functions if necessary.

package main

use your_library

// Override procedures with targeted binding.
your_library.CUSTOM_PROCEDURES :: true

your_library.do_thing_one :: () { println("Overridden thing 1!"); }
your_library.do_thing_two :: () { println("Overridden thing 2!"); }

main :: () {
	your_library.do_thing_one(); // Overridden thing 1!
	your_library.do_thing_two(); // Overridden thing 2!