Search                        Top                                  Index
REF PROLOG                      Simon Nichols & Robert Duncan, July 1987
                                     Revised Simon Nichols, October 1990

        COPYRIGHT University of Sussex 1993. All Rights Reserved.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<                             >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<      THE PROLOG SYSTEM      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<                             >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This REF  file  describes aspects  of  the implemention  of  the  Prolog
Subsystem in Poplog.

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

  1   The Prolog Memory Area
      1.1   The Continuation Stack
      1.2   The Trail

  2   Prolog Datatypes

  3   Accessing Clauses

  4   Variable Instantiation and Unification

  5   Prolog VM Instructions
      5.1   Backtracking
      5.2   Unification

  6   Invoking Prolog

  7   Variable Declarations

1  The Prolog Memory Area

In addition  to the  heap, the  user stack  and the  call stack,  Poplog
maintains an extra  area of memory  exclusively for the  use of  Prolog.
This contains two extra  Prolog stacks: the  continuation stack and  the
trail. This area of memory, like the others, is dynamic, and so will  be
expanded as required; a  maximum limit for its  expansion is set by  the
variable pop_prolog_lim (and a trace of its size and usage can be got by
assigning the  value  2:1000  (8)  to the  variable  popgctrace  --  see
REF * SYSTEM). The size of the area can also be set explicitly with  the
variable pop_prolog_size.

(NOTE, however,  that the  size of  the prolog  area cannot  be  changed
(either automatically  or  with pop_prolog_size)  during  callback  from
external functions  -- the  section  Restrictions on  Operations  Inside
Callback: Prolog in REF * EXTERNAL explains this.)

pop_prolog_lim -> nwords                                      [variable]
nwords -> pop_prolog_lim
        The integer value of this  variable controls the maximum  number
        of Poplog words to  which the system will  expand the area  used
        for the continuation stack and trail (default value 16000). When
        this limit is reached, the mishap

            'MEMORY LIMIT (pop_prolog_lim) EXCEEDED'

        occurs. However, assigning too  large a value to  pop_prolog_lim
        can also result in the mishap

            'ROM: NO MORE MEMORY AVAILABLE (needing prolog area space)'

        indicating that  there  is no  more  memory available  from  the
        operating  system   for  the   prolog  area.   In  all   current
        implementations the prolog  area is actually  maintained in  the
        same region as the call stack,  which means that too high  usage
        of space in the latter can prevent expansion of the prolog area.
        See the discussion  under pop_callstack_lim in  REF * PROCEDURE,
        and also popmemlim in REF * SYSTEM.

pop_prolog_size -> nwords                                     [variable]
nwords -> pop_prolog_size
        This (active) variable returns  the size of  the prolog area  in
        Poplog words, or sets it to a new size.

        When setting, if nwords is greater than the current size and the
        system is  unable  to fulfil  the  request due  to  insufficient
        memory, the NO  MORE MEMORY AVAILABLE  mishap (described  above)
        results. If the request succeeds, pop_prolog_lim is increased as
        necessary, i.e.

            max(nwords, pop_prolog_lim) -> pop_prolog_lim

        If nwords is smaller than  the minimum required for the  current
        contents of the area, then the size is set to the minimum.

1.1  The Continuation Stack
The execution  model used  by  Poplog Prolog  is that  of  "continuation
passing", described  fully  in DOC * CONTINUATION.  In  this  technique,
procedures are given an additional  argument called a continuation.  The
continuation is a closure which describes whatever computation needs  to
be performed once  the called  procedure has  successfully finished  its
computation:  the  procedure  invokes   the  continuation  rather   than

    The usefulness of  this model  is that  it enables  us to  implement
success and failure in terms of whether or not a procedure call returns.
If the procedure successfully completes its computation, it invokes  its
continuation; if it fails, it returns.

Consider the following Prolog procedure:

        p(X) :- q(X), r(X).
        p(X) :- s(X).

In the continuation passing model,  it could be represented (in  theory)
by the following Pop-11 procedure,  where C represents the  continuation
passed to p:

        define p(X, C);
            q(X, r(% X, C%));
            s(X, C);

A call of this procedure can be interpreted as meaning:

        Prove p(X) and if it is true, do the continuation C.

This is accomplished by passing to q both X and a continuation which, if
q succeeds, passes X and the  original continuation C across to r.  If r
succeeds, C will be invoked. If q  or r fails, q will eventually  return
(i.e. backtracking will have  occurred). In that case,  X and C will  be
passed to s. If s succeeds it will  call C; if it fails it will  return,
and p will fail.

    The continuation passing model is the model of Prolog that users are
expected to  have, and  Pop-11/Prolog  mixed-language code  is  normally
written in terms  of it  (see prolog_unifyc, below).  However, the  real
Prolog implementation does not pass continuation closures as  arguments,
but instead makes  use of a  dedicated stack -  the continuation  stack.
Before a  procedure  is  called,  a  number  of  items  which  form  its
continuation are pushed  onto this  stack. Essentially  what happens  is
that for a procedure which is the compiled form of a clause with N terms
in its body, N - 1 sets of items are pushed onto the continuation stack.
These correspond to the second up to the Nth terms. Each set consists of
a count of the number of items  pushed (which is equal to one more  than
the number of arguments to be passed to the procedure) the procedure and
any arguments.  These  are pushed  in  the following  order  (assuming M

        count (M + 1)       <-- top of continuation stack
        argument 1
        argument M

After each set  consisting of  count, arguments and  procedure has  been
pushed, the procedure corresponding to the first term in the body of the
clause is called.

A Pop-11 procedure  which more closely  represents the Prolog  procedure
above is thus:

        define p(X);
            prolog_push_continuation(X, r, 2);

PLOG_SAVE  and  PLOG_RESTORE   are  hypothetical   syntax  words   which
correspond to  the  VM instructions  sysPLOG_SAVE  and  sysPLOG_RESTORE.
These instructions  create  a  choice  (backtrack)  point  (see  below).
prolog_push_continuation is a  system procedure and  is not for  general

    The continuation stack  pointer is  saved at each  choice point  and
restored if, through backtracking, the choice point is returned to.

1.2  The Trail
The trail records all assignments made to Prolog variables. It too  is a
stack. Variables are represented by objects of type prologvar (see below
in the section on datatypes), and whenever one of these is assigned  to,
it is pushed  onto the trail.  At each  choice point, a  pointer to  the
current top of the trail is saved. Whenever the Prolog system backtracks
through a  choice point,  the  old trail  pointer  is restored  and  any
variables pushed  onto  the trail  after  that  point are  reset  to  be

    Another effect of backtracking  is to free  prologvars which are  no
longer accessible to  active procedures.  A free-list  of prologvars  is
maintained for this  purpose: once  backtracking has  returned past  the
point at which a prologvar  was first created, it  is put back onto  the
free-list for later re-use. The garbage collector can short-circuit some
of this variable collection: when it sweeps the trail, if it  encounters
a prologvar which has no outstanding choice points between the point  of
its creation and  the point of  its most recent  instantiation, then  it
will collect that prologvar  as garbage. This is  safe, because if  ever
backtracking  should  return  to  the  point  where  the  variable   was
instantiated, it must also pass the point at which it was created and so
free the variable for re-use. This means that the variable will never be
rebound in  the  remainder of  its  lifetime, and  so  is  effectively a
constant.  When  the  garbage   collector  collects  the  variable,   it
dereferences  it  first,  and  any   reachable  references  to  it   are
overwritten with  its dereferenced  value. This  process saves  time  on
backtracking and compacts the space used by the trail and by Prolog data
structures in the heap.

prolog_barrier_apply(p)                                      [procedure]
        Applies the procedure p in such a way as to isolate it from  any
        outstanding invocations of  Prolog procedures. This  is done  by
        placing "barriers" on  the Prolog continuation  stack and  trail
        which serve to mark the beginning of the Prolog area  accessible
        to p;  any  existing  trailed variables  or  outstanding  choice
        points become invisible to p.  This is of importance when  using
        Prolog in conjunction with the Poplog process mechanism. If  the
        situation arises  where several  live  processes are  all  using
        Prolog procedures, the  barriers serve to  divide up the  Prolog
        area  correctly  between  them,  marking  those  parts  of   the
        continuation stack and trail which need to be saved and restored
        with each process. The standard  entry points into Prolog  (such
        as prolog_compile  and prolog_invoke,  defined when  the  Prolog
        system is loaded) call this procedure internally and so are safe
        for general use.  However, whenever a  process is created  which
        calls  lower-level   Prolog  operations   explicitly  (such   as
        prolog_assign,  prolog_unify  etc.)  then   prolog_barrier_apply
        should be called as the first action when that process is run.

prolog_reset()                                               [procedure]
        Reinitialises  the  Prolog  memory   area,  and  the   prologvar
        free-list and variable numbering.  This must be done  whenever a
        Prolog computation terminates  abnormally. The procedure  setpop
        always runs prolog_reset.

2  Prolog Datatypes

Poplog provides two special datatypes for Prolog support.

    The datatype  PROLOGVAR is  used to  represent variables  in  Prolog
terms. The structure of a prologvar is identical to that of a  reference
(see REF * RECORDS), with  a single  field containing the  value of  the
variable (an  uninstantiated prologvar  has itself  as its  value).  The
class of prologvars is special however,  as extra support is needed  for
their efficient allocation and garbage collection and for management  of
the trail (see the description of  the trail above). There is no  direct
access available to the contents of a prologvar except via fast_cont; in
normal usage,  prolog  variables  should  only  be  manipulated  by  the
higher-level procedures  prolog_deref, prolog_assign  and similar  which
take proper account of their special requirements.

    The datatype PROLOGTERM represents general complex terms in  Prolog.
A prologterm is characterised by a functor  (which is a word) and a  set
of arguments, where  the number  of arguments (the  arity) is  variable.
Currently  a  prologterm  is   an  ordinary  vectorclass  object   whose
class_subscr procedure is prolog_arg_nd (see REF * KEYS), but this  does
not give proper access to the functor part of a term and may be  changed
in later versions of Poplog.

    These datatypes, together with the integers, are sufficient for  the
representation of  all  pure Prolog  data.  The existing  Prolog  system
though is more liberal in its interpretation of data both for efficiency
and to simplify the interface between Prolog and other Poplog languages.
Thus the following special cases are made:

     #  Prolog  terms  with  functor  "./2"  are  represented  as Poplog
        pairs so that lists  in Prolog are the  same as lists in  Pop-11
        (see REF * LISTS);

     #  Prolog atoms, which could be modelled as prologterms with  arity
        0, are in fact represented more simply as words;

     #  all other Poplog datatypes are legal in Prolog, but are  treated
        as atomic;  i.e.  they cannot  be  decomposed into  parts.  Like
        ordinary atoms, these atomic objects can be considered as  terms
        with no arguments.

    When handling Prolog  data, it  is important  to keep  in mind  this
special interpretation imposed  by the Prolog  system. In the  following
list of  procedures,  those  which begin  with  "prolog_"  respect  that
interpretation and so  are recommended  for general  use; the  remaining
procedures operate on  the concrete datatypes  prologterm and  prologvar
and must be used with care.

    An extra level of complexity is added when variables are included in
terms. Data structures built by Prolog will typically contain chains  of
variables, and to obtain  the true structure it  is necessary to  remove
these chains by dereferencing.  The basic procedure to  use for this  is
prolog_deref which  will follow  a chain  of prologvars  and return  the
common value to which they are all bound; prolog_full_deref will  remove
all the variable chains  from a term.  Standard procedures which  access
parts of Prolog terms are provided with dereferencing built in, as  this
is the generally more useful behaviour. Raw, non-dereferencing  versions
are also available  however, and  such procedures are  indicated by  the
suffix "_nd" in their names.

consprologterm(word, n) -> prologterm                        [procedure]
        Constructs and returns a prologterm with functor word and  arity
        n, the arguments being taken from the next n items on the stack.

destprologterm(prologterm)                                   [procedure]
        Destructs prologterm, leaving its arguments, its functor and its
        arity  on   the   stack   (i.e.  it   does   the   opposite   of

initprologterm(n) -> prologterm                              [procedure]
        Creates and returns a prologterm with functor undef and arity n,
        and whose arguments are all initialised to 0.

isprologterm(item) -> bool                                   [procedure]
        Returns <true> if item is a prologterm, <false> if not.

isprologvar(item) -> bool                                    [procedure]
        Returns <true> if item is a prologvar, <false> if not.

prolog_appargs(item, p)                                      [procedure]
        Applies the procedure p to each dereferenced prolog argument  of
        item in turn (cf. prolog_appargs_nd).

prolog_appargs_nd(item, p)                                   [procedure]
        Applies the procedure p to each prolog argument of item, without
        dereferencing (cf. prolog_appargs).

prolog_arg(n, term) -> item                                  [procedure]
        Dereferences and  returns  the  Nth  argument  of  the  pair  or
        prologterm term  (cf. prolog_arg_nd).  n must  be less  than  or
        equal to the arity of term.

prolog_arg_nd(n, term) -> item                               [procedure]
item -> prolog_arg_nd(n, term)
        Returns or updates the  Nth argument of  the pair or  prologterm
        term without dereferencing (cf. prolog_arg). n must be less than
        or equal to the arity of term.

prolog_args(item)                                            [procedure]
        Puts all  the dereferenced  prolog arguments  of item  onto  the
        stack  (cf.  prolog_args_nd).  A  call  of  this  procedure   is
        equivalent to

            prolog_appargs(item, identfn)

prolog_args_nd(item)                                         [procedure]
        Puts all the  prolog arguments  of item onto  the stack  without
        dereferencing them (cf. prolog_args).  A call of this  procedure
        is equivalent to

            prolog_appargs_nd(item, identfn)

prolog_arity(item) -> n                                      [procedure]
        Returns the prolog arity n of item;  if item is not a pair  or a
        prologterm then n will be 0.

prolog_checkspec(item_1, item_2, n) -> bool                  [procedure]
        Returns <true>  if item_1,  interpreted as  a prolog  term,  has
        functor item_2 and arity n; returns <false> otherwise. If item_1
        is a prologterm, then item_2 and n must be the real functor  and
        arity of that term; if item_1 is a pair, then item_2 must be the
        word "." and n must be 2;  for any other item_1, item_2 must  be
        identically equal to item_1 and n must be 0.

prolog_complexterm(item) -> bool                             [procedure]
        Returns <true> if item is either a pair or a prologterm, <false>
        if not.

prolog_deref(item_1) -> item_2                               [procedure]
        If item_1  is  a prologvar  it  is dereferenced  and  its  value
        returned; any other item is simply returned. Dereferencing  does
        not extend to any sub-components of (the dereferenced value  of)
        item_1 (cf. prolog_full_deref).

prolog_full_deref(item_1) -> item_2                          [procedure]
        Returns a fully  dereferenced version of  item_1, such that  the
        only prologvars remaining in item_2 are uninstantiated ones. Any
        sub-components of item_1 which contain prologvars will be copied
        during the dereferencing, but other, non-variable components may
        not be.

prolog_functor(item_1) -> item_2                             [procedure]
word -> prolog_functor(prologterm)
        When used as an accessor, returns the prolog functor of  item_1.
        If item_1 is  a prologterm, then  its real functor  (a word)  is
        returned; if item_1 is a pair, then the word "." is returned; if
        item_1 is any other datatype, then the item itself is  returned.
        When  used  as   an  updater,  prolog_functor   works  only   on
        prologterms; there are few  circumstances in which changing  the
        functor of a term can be justified.

prolog_maketerm(item_1, n) -> item_2                         [procedure]
        Creates and returns a term with prolog functor item_1 and prolog
        arity n, the arguments being taken from the next n items on  the
        stack. If n is 0 then item_1 is returned; if item_1 is the  word
        "." and n is 2, then  a pair is returned; otherwise item_1  must
        be a word and a prologterm is returned (cf. consprologterm).

prolog_newvar() -> prologvar                                 [procedure]
        Creates and returns a new, uninstantiated prologvar.

prolog_termspec(item_1) -> n -> item_2                       [procedure]
        Returns the prolog arity  and the prolog  functor of item_1.  If
        item_1 is a prologterm then n and item_2 will be the real  arity
        and functor of the term;  if item_1 is a  pair then n will  be 2
        and item_2  will be  the word  "."; otherwise  n will  be 0  and
        item_1 will be returned as item_2.

prolog_undefvar(item) -> bool                                [procedure]
        Returns <true> if item  is an uninstantiated prologvar,  <false>
        if not. item  is not  dereferenced, so this  may return  <false>


        would return <true>.

prolog_var_number(prologvar) -> n                            [procedure]
        When applied to an  uninstantiated prologvar, this returns  some
        integer n. The value of n may vary between applications, but any
        two prologvars which are sharing will always return the same  n,
        i.e. this procedure defines an equivalence on prologvars. (It is
        primarily used for  generating the  printing representations  of
        variables.) When applied to the value <false>, the numbering  is
        reset so that subsequent calls  will resume counting from 1.  If
        applied to any other datatype, <false> is returned.

prologterm_key -> key                                         [constant]
        The key for objects of type prologterm.

prologvar_key -> key                                          [constant]
        The key for objects of type prologvar.

3  Accessing Clauses

prolog_clause(i, word, n) -> prologterm                      [procedure]
prolog_clause(i, word, n) -> word
        Returns the Ith clause from the predicate with functor word  and
        arity n.  Clauses  are  indexed  from 1.  A  clause  is  usually
        represented by a  prologterm, except  in the case  of a  nullary
        unit clause,  which is  represented  by a  word. If  either  the
        predicate or the specified  clause doesn't exist,  prolog_clause
        returns nil.

4  Variable Instantiation and Unification

These next procedures provide for the instantiation of prologvars.  This
may be done explicitly via prolog_assign or implicitly through a call to
the unifier. In either case, each assignment done both updates the value
field of the prologvar and keeps a record of the assignment on the trail
so that it may be undone  if backtracking ever returns past that  point.
The bindings can only be undone,  however, if a proper choice point  has
been established before the  assignments are made. In  fact, due to  the
trail compaction performed by  the garbage collector (explained  above),
prologvars assigned to before a choice point has been established  (i.e.
before  the  first  sysPLOG_SAVE  has  been  executed)  are  effectively
constants; they will be  elided at the next  garbage collection and  any
references to  them  replaced  with their  current  values.  An  example
demonstrates this effect:

            prolog_vars X;
            prolog_assign(X, "cat");
            X =>
            ** <prologvar cat>

            X =>
            ** cat

prolog_assign(prologvar, item)                               [procedure]
        Updates the value of prologvar  to be item and pushes  prologvar
        onto the trail  for resetting  on backtracking.  No checking  or
        dereferencing is done,  so this  procedure should  only be  used
        when the condition


        is true (cf. prolog_assign_check).

prolog_assign_check(prologvar, item)                         [procedure]
        A checking  version of  prolog_assign;  this performs  the  same
        operations but will mishap unless the condition


        is true.

prolog_unify(item_1, item_2) -> bool                         [procedure]
        Returns <true> if item_1 unifies with item_2, <false> if not. If
        the unification succeeds, any prologvars  in the two items  will
        be instantiated in such a way that the condition

            prolog_full_deref(item_1) = prolog_full_deref(item_2)

        is true. If the unification fails, some or all of the prologvars
        in the  two items  may still  be instantiated.  In either  case,
        instantiated  variables  will  not  be  reset  until  the   next
        PLOG_RESTORE is done (cf. prolog_unifyc).

prolog_unifyc(item_1, item_2, p)                             [procedure]
        Attempts the unification of item_1 and item_2, and if successful
        calls  the  procedure  p.  (p   is  the  continuation  for   the
        unification - see above.) A  proper choice point is created  for
        the unification using sysPLOG_SAVE  and sysPLOG_RESTORE so  that
        if p is called,  any prologvars in item_1  and item_2 which  are
        instantiated by the  unification remain so  for the duration  of
        that call. Once  p has returned,  or if it  is never invoked  at
        all, any variable bindings created by the unification are  reset
        before the call of prolog_unifyc  itself returns. Thus a  caller
        of this procedure will  see no difference  in item_1 and  item_2
        before and after the call.

5  Prolog VM Instructions

Two distinct sets of Prolog VM  instructions are provided. One works  in
conjunction with  the  continuation  stack  and  trail  to  support  the
creation of choice points and  backtracking; the other provides  special
purpose unification code for efficient head-matching of clauses.

5.1  Backtracking
The instruction  sysPLOG_SAVE creates  a choice  point. A  call of  this
procedure causes the state of the Prolog procedure being compiled to  be
saved on entry  to that  procedure. The  state is  represented by  three
variables: the  continuation  stack  pointer, the  trail  pointer  and a
pointer to  the next  free Prolog  variable. A  call of  sysPLOG_RESTORE
causes these state variables to be  restored to their saved values,  and
thus implements backtracking to the previous choice point.

sysPLOG_SAVE()                            [protected procedure variable]
        Marks  the  procedure  currently  being  compiled  as  a  Prolog
        procedure. This  ensures  that the  Prolog  state  (continuation
        stack pointer,  trail  pointer and  next-free-variable  pointer)
        will  be  saved  on  each  entry  to  the  procedure,  and  that
        appropriate portions of the Prolog memory area will be saved  if
        ever the procedure is included as part of a process record. Only
        one call of this instruction  has any practical effect  inside a
        procedure, and two calls cannot  be made without an  intervening

sysPLOG_RESTORE()                         [protected procedure variable]
        Restores the state of the continuation stack and trail from  the
        current saved values.  The trail  is unwound back  to the  saved
        position, and all the variables removed from it are reset to  be
        undefined. The  pointer  to  the  next  free  variable  is  also
        restored. This procedure  cannot be called  without a  preceding
        call to sysPLOG_SAVE.

sysPLOG_RESTART(label)                    [protected procedure variable]
        Re-saves the state of the continuation stack and trail, and  the
        pointer to  the next  free Prolog  variable; then  jumps to  the
        label label. Used when a second choice point is to be set up  by
        a procedure, e.g. when a  tail-recursive call is optimised  to a
        backward jump.

5.2  Unification
Some arguments to the Prolog VM unification instructions are  QUALIFIED;
that is, the  interpretation of  an argument (and  therefore its  value)
depends on the value  of another argument -  the argument QUALIFIER.  An
argument qualifier  may  assume one  of  the following  values:  <true>,
<false>, a word  or an integer.  The effect of  these upon the  argument
which is qualified is as follows:

    Argument    Effect
    --------    ------
    <true>      the item it qualifies denotes  a word which is the  name
                of a variable which needs to be pushed (using sysPUSH);

    <false>     the item it qualifies denotes a constant which needs  to
                pushed (using sysPUSHQ);

    a word      which  is  the  name  of  a  selector  procedure   (e.g.
                fast_front) which is applied to the item it qualifies;

    an integer  which is  used to  subscript the  Prolog term  which  it

More than one argument of an  instruction may be qualified (there  being
one qualifier per qualified argument).

sysPLOG_ARG_PUSH(item, item_qualifier)    [protected procedure variable]
        Plants code to  push (on  to the  user stack)  either item,  the
        value of the (lexical/permanent) identifier associated with  the
        word  item,  or  some  component  of  the  datastructure   item,
        depending on the value of item_qualifier (see above).

sysPLOG_IFNOT_ATOM(item, item_qualifier,  [protected procedure variable]
            atom, atom_qualifier, fail_label)
        Plants a PLOG_IF_NOT_ATOM instruction: this will

           # dereference item (qualified by item_qualifier) if it is a
             Prolog variable;

           # unify item and atom (qualified by atom_qualifier) using a
             restricted form of unification where atom must be an
             atom which does not require dereferencing;

           # jump to the label fail_label if the unification fails.

sysPLOG_TERM_SWITCH(item, item_qualifier, [protected procedure variable]
            term, var_label, fail_label)
        Plants a PLOG_TERM_SWITCH instruction: this will

           # dereference item (qualified by item_qualifier) if it is a
             Prolog variable;

           # jump to the label var_label if item is an uninstantiated
             Prolog variable;

           # compare the functor of term with the functor of item
             otherwise, and jump to fail_label if they are different.

6  Invoking Prolog

The Prolog system may  be invoked either in  top-level mode, where  each
term read is  executed as a  goal, or  in assert mode,  where terms  are
interpreted as clauses to be added into the database.

prolog                                                  [macro variable]
        Switches subsystem from Pop-11 to Prolog top-level,  autoloading
        the Prolog system if necessary.

prolog_compile(stream)                                       [procedure]
        Only available when the Prolog system is loaded, this  procedure
        compiles Prolog program text  from the character source  stream.
        Calling prolog_compile  from  Pop-11  is  the  same  as  doing a
        reconsult from Prolog: clauses are added to the database  rather
        than executed, and new procedure definitions supersede  existing
        definitions of the same name. stream may be one of:

          # A character repeater procedure;

          # A string  or  word  representing a  filename  (the  filename
            "user" or 'user' is treated  as a synonym for the  character
            repeater charin);

          # A device record.

        The compiler does an  initial "see" on the  file it is given  to
        make it the current input stream.

7  Variable Declarations

prolog_lvars                                    [library macro variable]
        Declares  lexical   variables  initialised   to   uninstantiated
        prologvars. See HELP * PROLOG_LVARS.

prolog_vars                                     [library macro variable]
        Declares  permanent  variables  initialised  to   uninstantiated
        prologvars. See HELP * PROLOG_VARS.

--- C.all/ref/prolog
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1993. All rights reserved.