6.1 Subprogram Declarations

From OC Systems Wiki!
Jump to: navigation, search

A subprogram_declaration declares a procedure or function.


subprogram_declaration ::= subprogram_specification;

abstract_subprogram_declaration ::= subprogram_specification is abstract;

subprogram_specification ::=
    procedure defining_program_unit_name  parameter_profile
  | function defining_designator  parameter_and_result_profile

designator ::= [parent_unit_name . ]identifier | operator_symbol

defining_designator ::= defining_program_unit_name | defining_operator_symbol

defining_program_unit_name ::= [parent_unit_name . ]defining_identifier

The optional parent_unit_name is only allowed for library units (see 10.1.1).

operator_symbol ::= string_literal

The sequence of characters in an operator_symbol shall correspond to an operator belonging to one of the six classes of operators defined in clause 4.5 (spaces are not allowed and the case of letters is not significant).

defining_operator_symbol ::= operator_symbol

parameter_profile ::= [formal_part]

parameter_and_result_profile ::= [formal_part] return subtype_mark

formal_part ::=
    (parameter_specification {; parameter_specification})

parameter_specification ::=
    defining_identifier_list : mode  subtype_mark [:= default_expression]
  | defining_identifier_list : access_definition [:= default_expression]

mode ::= [in] | in out | out

Name Resolution Rules

A formal parameter is an object directly visible within a subprogram_body that represents the actual parameter passed to the subprogram in a call; it is declared by a parameter_specification. For a formal parameter, the expected type for its default_expression, if any, is that of the formal parameter.

Legality Rules

The parameter mode of a formal parameter conveys the direction of information transfer with the actual parameter: in, in out, or out. Mode in is the default, and is the mode of a parameter defined by an access_definition. The formal parameters of a function, if any, shall have the mode in.

A default_expression is only allowed in a parameter_specification for a formal parameter of mode in.

A subprogram_declaration or a generic_subprogram_declaration requires a completion: a body, a renaming_declaration (see 8.5), or a pragma Import (see B.1). A completion is not allowed for an abstract_subprogram_declaration.

A name that denotes a formal parameter is not allowed within the formal_part in which it is declared, nor within the formal_part of a corresponding body or accept_statement.

Static Semantics

The profile of (a view of) a callable entity is either a parameter_profile or parameter_and_result_profile; it embodies information about the interface to that entity -- for example, the profile includes information about parameters passed to the callable entity. All callable entities have a profile -- enumeration literals, other subprograms, and entries. An access-to-subprogram type has a designated profile. Associated with a profile is a calling convention. A subprogram_declaration declares a procedure or a function, as indicated by the initial reserved word, with name and profile as given by its specification.

The nominal subtype of a formal parameter is the subtype denoted by the subtype_mark, or defined by the access_definition, in the parameter_specification.

An access parameter is a formal in parameter specified by an access_definition. An access parameter is of an anonymous general access-to-variable type (see 3.10). Access parameters allow dispatching calls to be controlled by access values.

The subtypes of a profile are:

  • For any non-access parameters, the nominal subtype of the parameter.
  • For any access parameters, the designated subtype of the parameter type.
  • For any result, the result subtype.

The types of a profile are the types of those subtypes.

A subprogram declared by an abstract_subprogram_declaration is abstract; a subprogram declared by a subprogram_declaration is not. See 3.9.3, Abstract Types and Subprograms.

Dynamic Semantics

The elaboration of a subprogram_declaration or an abstract_subprogram_declaration has no effect.


1  A parameter_specification with several identifiers is equivalent to a sequence of single parameter_specifications, as explained in 3.3.

2  Abstract subprograms do not have bodies, and cannot be used in a nondispatching call (see 3.9.3, Abstract Types and Subprograms).

3  The evaluation of default_expressions is caused by certain calls, as described in 6.4.1. They are not evaluated during the elaboration of the subprogram declaration.

4  Subprograms can be called recursively and can be called concurrently from multiple tasks.


Examples of subprogram declarations:

procedure Traverse_Tree;
procedure Increment(X in out Integer);
procedure Right_Indent(Margin out Line_Size);          --  see 3.5.4
procedure Switch(From, To in out Link);                --  see 3.10.1

function Random return Probability;                      --  see 3.5.7

function Min_Cell(X Link) return Cell;                 --  see 3.10.1
function Next_Frame(K Positive) return Frame;          --  see 3.10
function Dot_Product(Left, Right Vector) return Real;  --  see 3.6

function "*"(Left, Right Matrix) return Matrix;        --  see 3.6

Examples of in parameters with default expressions:

procedure Print_Header(Pages  in Natural; 
     Header in Line    :=  (1 .. Line'Last => ' ');  --  see 3.6 
     Center : in Boolean := True);

Copyright © 1992,1993,1994,1995 Intermetrics, Inc.
Copyright © 2000 The MITRE Corporation, Inc. Ada Reference Manual