38.7. Modules and the unknown command

PL/Tcl has support for autoloading Tcl code when used. It recognizes a special table, pltcl_modules , which is presumed to contain modules of Tcl code. If this table exists, the module unknown is fetched from the table and loaded into the Tcl interpreter immediately after creating the interpreter.

While the unknown module could actually contain any initialization script you need, it normally defines a Tcl unknown procedure that is invoked whenever Tcl does not recognize an invoked procedure name. PL/Tcl 's standard version of this procedure tries to find a module in pltcl_modules that will define the required procedure. If one is found, it is loaded into the interpreter, and then execution is allowed to proceed with the originally attempted procedure call. A secondary table pltcl_modfuncs provides an index of which functions are defined by which modules, so that the lookup is reasonably quick.

The PostgreSQL distribution includes support scripts to maintain these tables: pltcl_loadmod , pltcl_listmod , pltcl_delmod , as well as source for the standard unknown module in share/unknown.pltcl . This module must be loaded into each database initially to support the autoloading mechanism.

The tables pltcl_modules and pltcl_modfuncs must be readable by all, but it is wise to make them owned and writable only by the database administrator.