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HELP NEWPROPERTY                                       A.Sloman Oct 1990
                                         Revised: Adrian Howard Mar 1992

         CONTENTS - (Use <ENTER> g to access required sections)

 -- Overview
 -- Summary Of Arguments
 -- Example Use Of A Property
 -- Related Documentation

-- Overview -----------------------------------------------------------

    newproperty(LIST, INT, ITEM, GC_TYPE) -> PROP

A property is essentially a table in which keys (or "arguments") are
associated with values. The procedure -newproperty- can be used to
create a property PROP of a given size with an initial set of key/value

The property appears to the user as a procedure which, when given an
item (the "key") returns the "value" associated with that item. The
procedure has an updater to set values.

-- Summary Of Arguments -----------------------------------------------

The procedure -newproperty- takes four arguments:

LIST    A list of initial key/value associations. If it is not an empty
        list it must be a list of two element lists, for example:

            newproperty([[cat chat] [dog chien] [green vert]], ...)

        Keys and values used with -newproperty- can be arbitrary POP-11

INT     The size of the "hash" table used for the property. The size
        does not affect the number of item/value pairs that can be
        stored. Large tables take more memory than small tables but can
        be searched more quickly.

ITEM    A default item. This will be the default value returned when the
        specified key is not mentioned in the property.

        If you reassign the default value to an entry in the property
        table it is removed.

GC_TYPE This controls whether an association is removed from the table
        if either the key or the value or both would be garbage
        collected but for the fact that they are in the table. Possible
        values for GC_TYPE are explained in REF *PROPS.

        The two most commonly used values are "perm" meaning the items
        remain there permanently unless explicitly removed from the
        table, and "tmparg", which means the association is removed from
        the table if ever the key (or argument) would have been garbage
        collected but for being in the table. In the first case it is a
        "permanent" property, in the second case a "temporary" property.

        If a property is "permanent", then an item/value pair in it will
        remain forever even if the user has lost all pointers to the
        item. If this occurs the only way the user can get at the
        item/value pair is by using -appproperty-.

-- Example Use Of A Property ------------------------------------------

The following property is used to associate peoples names with their

    vars nationality=newproperty([[joe FRENCH]], 10, "BRITISH", "perm");
    nationality("joe") =>
    ** FRENCH
    nationality("sue") =>   ;;; Default value returned
    ** BRITISH
    "AMERICAN" -> nationality("sue");
    nationality("sue") =>

Properties created by -newproperty- can be recognised by -isproperty-

    isproperty(nationality) =>
    ** <true>

But they are also procedures:

    isprocedure(nationality) =>
    ** <true>

The procedure -appproperty- takes a property, and a two-argument
procedure, which it applies to all item/value pairs in the table. The

            lvars item, val;
            [^val is associated with ^item]=>

will print out all the item-value pairs of the property nationality
(they may however not be in this order):

    ** [FRENCH is associated with joe]
    ** [AMERICAN is associated with sue]

In order to remove something from the property assign the default value
(in this case "BRITISH") as the value of an item

    "BRITISH" -> nationality("joe")

The procedure -appproperty- will now not find the association. However,
"joe" will still appear to have a nationality, the default one:

    nationality("joe") =>
    ** BRITISH

IMPORTANT NOTE: In the properties returned by -newproperty- the keys are
compared with "==", not "=". This gives the following behaviour:

    "CANADIAN" -> nationality('chris');
    ** BRITISH

because the two 'chris' strings are double equals different, ie:

    'chris' == 'chris' =>
    ** <false>

The following would have worked:

    vars name = 'chris';
    "CANADIAN" -> nationality(name);


    name == name =>
    ** <true>

-- Related Documentation ----------------------------------------------

HELP *NEWANYPROPERTY    --- A generalisation of -newproperty- giving the
                            user more control over the hashing algorithm
                            and the equality test used.

HELP *NEWMAPPING        --- The same as -newproperty- but allows items
                            which are "=" to be mapped to the same

REF *PROPS              --- Full information on properties
REF *APPPROPERTY        --- Full information on -appproperty-
REF *CLEARPROPERTY      --- Clearing a property

REF *ASSOC, *APPASSOC   --- Association tables based on lists

HELP *ARRAYS            --- Creating multi-dimensional arrays of objects
HELP *NEWANYSPARSE      --- Uses properties to create "sparse" arrays

HELP *DATASTRUCTURES    --- Information on POP-11 data structures

HELP *DATALIST          --- Return a list of the components of a data

HELP *DATALENGTH        --- Returns the length of a structure

HELP *APPDATA           --- Apply a procedure to the components of a
                            data structure

HELP *COPY              --- Copy a data structure.

--- C.all/help/newproperty
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1990. All rights reserved. ----------