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HELP CONSTANT                                Aaron Sloman, April 1982

This syntax word can be used in global identifier declarations and
procedure definitions.

    constant x y z;

declares X,Y, and Z as constant global identifiers. Each of them can
then be assigned to ONCE only. Thereafter use of these variables in
procedure definitions will produce slightly more efficient programs than
if they were used as ordinary identifiers. A constant identifier cannot
be used as a local variable in a procedure definition. Procedure names
can also be defined as constant, e.g.

    define constant foo();

Thereafter any attempt to assign to FOO will cause an error, and
subsequently compiled procedures which call FOO will do so more
efficiently than if an ordinary procedure definition were used. However
it will NOT be possible to trace FOO.

Procedure identifiers can be declared as a constants before the
procedure definitions, thus:

    constant procedure (foo, proc1, proc2);

followed later by the procedure definitions of FOO, PROC1, PROC2.
Intervening calls of FOO in other procedure definitions will then be
compiled without the procedure type-check, and will therefore be more
efficient. In general the syntax for CONSTANT declarations follows the
syntax for *VARS.

If something has been declared to be a constant it can be redeclared,
globally, using a VARS or *DEFINE statement. However, a variable
declared as of type *PROCEDURE cannot be redeclared to be an ordinary

Moreover, after redefining a constant it may be necessary to recompile
previously compiled procedures which use it.

If *POPDEFINECONSTANT is true, then all procedures definitions are
automatically interpreted as defining the names as constants.

Lexical identifiers may be declared as constant using LCONSTANT, either
globally within a file, or locally within a procedure. In the latter
case the value will be assigned once only, at compile time. Identifiers
declared using LCONSTANT, as with LVARS, may be accessed only within the
lexical scope of the definition - a file (or compile stream) or a

-- RELARED DOCUMENTATION ----------------------------------------------

HELP *PROCEDURE    - on the declaration of procedure names
HELP *VARIABLES    - range and nature of POP-11 variables
HELP *VARS         - declaration of dynamically scoped variables
HELP *IDENTIFIERS  - the nature of identifiers
HELP *LEXICAL      - lexically scoped variables
HELP *LVARS        - declaration of lexically scoped variables
HELP *IDENTPROPS   - accessing information about identifiers

For more technical information see:

REF * WORDS        - the nature of POP-11 words
REF * IDENT        - the nature of indentifiers
REF * VMCODE       - for full technical details of the virtual machine

--- C.all/help/constant ------------------------------------------------
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