11.6 Exceptions and Optimization

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This clause gives permission to the implementation to perform certain optimizations that do not necessarily preserve the canonical semantics.

Dynamic Semantics

The rest of this International Standard (outside this clause) defines the canonical semantics of the language. The canonical semantics of a given (legal) program determines a set of possible external effects that can result from the execution of the program with given inputs.

As explained in 1.1.3, Conformity of an Implementation with the Standard, the external effect of a program is defined in terms of its interactions with its external environment. Hence, the implementation can perform any internal actions whatsoever, in any order or in parallel, so long as the external effect of the execution of the program is one that is allowed by the canonical semantics, or by the rules of this clause.

Implementation Permissions

The following additional permissions are granted to the implementation:

  • An implementation need not always raise an exception when a language-defined check fails. Instead, the operation that failed the check can simply yield an undefined result. The exception need be raised by the implementation only if, in the absence of raising it, the value of this undefined result would have some effect on the external interactions of the program. In determining this, the implementation shall not presume that an undefined result has a value that belongs to its subtype, nor even to the base range of its type, if scalar. Having removed the raise of the exception, the canonical semantics will in general allow the implementation to omit the code for the check, and some or all of the operation itself.
  • If an exception is raised due to the failure of a language-defined check, then upon reaching the corresponding exception_handler (or the termination of the task, if none), the external interactions that have occurred need reflect only that the exception was raised somewhere within the execution of the sequence_of_statements with the handler (or the task_body), possibly earlier (or later if the interactions are independent of the result of the checked operation) than that defined by the canonical semantics, but not within the execution of some abort-deferred operation or independent subprogram that does not dynamically enclose the execution of the construct whose check failed. An independent subprogram is one that is defined outside the library unit containing the construct whose check failed, and has no Inline pragma applied to it. Any assignment that occurred outside of such abort-deferred operations or independent subprograms can be disrupted by the raising of the exception, causing the object or its parts to become abnormal, and certain subsequent uses of the object to be erroneous, as explained in 13.9.1.


3  The permissions granted by this clause can have an effect on the semantics of a program only if the program fails a language-defined check.

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Copyright © 2000 The MITRE Corporation, Inc. Ada Reference Manual