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HELP PDNARGS                             Jonathan Laventhol, 13 May 1985
                                             Updated: A.Sloman, Nov 1990
                                        Updated: Adrian Howard, Sep 1992

    pdnargs(P) -> INT
    INT -> pdnargs(P)

This procedure returns (or updates) information about the number of
arguments INT expected by the procedure P which is its argument.  If the
procedure was created using "define", then this is the number of
arguments given in its definition. For example:

    define foo(a, b, c);

    pdnargs(foo) =>
    ** 3

Note:  Normally, the -pdnargs- of a procedure is the number of items it
will remove from the stack.  But some procedures do explicit
manipulation of the stack, and the number returned by -pdnargs- may
therefore be  misleading. In particular, some procedures take a variable
number of arguments (for example, -printf-, -newarray-, -consvector-).
These procedures still have a fixed -pdnargs-, which is the number of
formal arguments in their definition.  This will be the minimum number
of arguments that they take.

-- CLOSURES -----------------------------------------------------------

If the argument procedure is a closure, then the result is the number of
arguments of the base procedure minus the number of frozen values (see

    vars new_foo = foo(% [hello] %);
    pdnargs(new_foo) =>
    ** 2

Note: Closures of procedures which take a variable number of arguments
may have a -pdnargs- that doesn't correspond to actual usage. E.g:

    vars make_a = consstring(%`\A`, 1%);

assigns to -make_a- a procedure of 0 arguments that creates a string
containing only the character `A` whenever it is called. However,

    pdnargs(make_a) =>
    ** -1

The -pdnargs- of a closure is defined to be

    pdnargs(pdpart(closure)) - datalength(closure)

Example: -consvector- takes a single argument, which is the number of
items from the stack to make a vector out of.  So the -pdnargs- is 1.

    vars maketriple;
    consvector(% 3 %) -> maketriple;
    pdnargs(maketriple) =>
    ** 0

But -maketriple- will remove three items from the stack.

-- COMPOSITE PROCEDURES -----------------------------------------------

The -pdnargs- of a composite procedure is simply defined as the
-pdnargs- of the first procedure, so:

    pdnargs(P1 <> P2) == pdnargs(P1)

-- ARRAYS -------------------------------------------------------------

If the procedure is an array, the number of arguments is the number of
dimensions of the array. For example:

    vars array = newarray([1 10], false);
    pdnargs(array) =>
    ** 1

The above also applies to sparse arrays.

-- PROPERTIES ---------------------------------------------------------

The -pdnargs- of a property is always equal to 1. For example:

    vars prop = newassoc([]);
    ** 1

-- RELATED DOCUMENTATION ----------------------------------------------

See also:

REF *PROCEDURE  --- for more detailed information on procedures and

HELP *CLOSURES      --- the construction and use of closures
HELP *ARRAYS        --- the construction and use of arrays
HELP *PROPERTIES    --- the construction and use of properties
HELP *PARTAPPLY     --- produces a closure of an existing procedure
HELP *FROZVAL       --- accesses values frozen into procedure closures
HELP *PDPROPS       --- stores information about a procedure (its name
HELP *DATALENGTH    --- returns the number of elements in a data

--- C.all/help/pdnargs
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1992. All rights reserved. ----------