KEY? key-question FACILITY

( -- flag )

If a character is available, return true. Otherwise, return false. If non-character keyboard events are available before the first valid character, they are discarded and are subsequently unavailable. The character shall be returned by the next execution of KEY.

After KEY? returns with a value of true, subsequent executions of KEY? prior to the execution of KEY or EKEY also return true, without discarding keyboard events.



The committee has gone around several times on the stack effects. Whatever is decided will violate somebody's practice and penalize some machine. This way doesn't interfere with type-ahead on some systems, while requiring the implementation of a single-character buffer on machines where polling the keyboard inevitably results in the destruction of the character.

Use of KEY or KEY? indicates that the application does not wish to process non-character events, so they are discarded, in anticipation of eventually receiving a valid character. Applications wishing to handle non-character events must use EKEY and EKEY?. It is possible to mix uses of KEY?/KEY and EKEY?/EKEY within a single application, but the application must use KEY? and KEY only when it wishes to discard non-character events until a valid character is received.