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Tutorial on Type Analysis

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Type Definitions

This chapter introduces type definitions to the language. A name can be defined for any TypeDenoter and can be used to denote that type.

Here is an example program with type definitions. It makes use of the facility that identifiers may be defined after their uses:


  var   tt rv;
  type  t tt;
  type  record int i, bool b, real r end t;
  var   int j, bool c, real s;
  var   t rt;
  j = rv.i;
  c = rv.b;
  s = rv.r;
  rt = rv;
This macro is attached to a product file.

The following productions are added to the grammar:

Abstract type declaration syntax[103]==

RULE: Declaration  ::= 'type' TypeDenoter TypeDefIdent ';' END;
RULE: TypeDefIdent ::= Ident END;

RULE: TypeDenoter  ::= TypeUseIdent END;
RULE: TypeUseIdent ::= Ident END;
This macro is invoked in definition 113.

A type definition introduces a new name for a type given by the TypeDenoter. We distinguish between defining occurrences TypeDefIdent used occurrences TypeUseIdent of type names.

In our language we specify that a type definition does not introduce a new type, rather it introduces another name for a type. Hence, there may be many different names for the same type. Furthermore, even two TypeDenoter that differ in certain aspects may denote the same type. This view can be supported by the roles of the StructEquiv module: For each kind of types it is stated which of its properties distinguish two types of that kind (see record types or array types).

Hence, in the following specification we only have to characterize a defining occurrence of a type identifier by the corresponding roles of the name analysis module and those for a defining occurrence of a type identifier (TypeDefDefId, ChkTypeDefDefId). In the Declaration context the Type attribute is just passed from the TypeDenoter to the TypeDefIdent.

Type declaration computation[104]==

        ChkUnique, IdDefScope, IdentOcc,
        TypeDefDefId, ChkTypeDefDefId

RULE: Declaration ::= 'type' TypeDenoter TypeDefIdent ';' COMPUTE
  TypeDefIdent.Type = TypeDenoter.Type;
This macro is invoked in definition 113.

Used occurrences of type identifiers are characterized by the module roles TypeDefUseId and ChkTypeDefUseId, and by the roles that characterize used indentifier occurrences of any kind:

Used type identifiers[105]==

   IdUseEnv, IdentOcc, ChkIdUse,
   TypeDefUseId, ChkTypeDefUseId END;

RULE: TypeDenoter ::= TypeUseIdent COMPUTE
  TypeDenoter.Type = TypeUseIdent.Type;
This macro is invoked in definition 113.

A language that has facilities to define names for types and allows identifier uses before their definitions, opens the possibility to define types recursively, e.g.

  type record int i, rt x end rt;
In many languages such a type rt would be disallowed, because a value of type rt may not contain another value of the same type. However, if the type of the component x was defined to be pointer to rt instead of rt, then a useful list type would be defined.

This example illustrates that the existence of type definitions may cause the need to specify which recursive type definitions are considered legal for a certain language. In our language, as defined so far, any recursion in a type definition is considered to be disallowed. However, the situation changes when there are types, like pointer types, such that that recursion is allowed when it passes through such a type.

Hence, we introduce three properties: IsRecursiveType, IsNotRecursiveType indicates whether a type is illegally recursive. AllowRecurType indicates that recursion through such a type is allowed. The latter will be set when such types are introduced, i.e. in the chapter on pointer types: Check recursive types properties[106]==

IsRecursiveType: int;
IsNotRecursiveType: int;
AllowRecurType: int;
This macro is invoked in definition 112.

Such a check is performed by a function ChkRecursiveType which is applied to a type t and recursively walks through the component types of t. If it reaches t again (without having passed through a type that allows recursion), the type is indicated to be illegally recursive.

Check for recursive types[107]==

  IF (ChkRecursiveType (THIS.Type),
    message (ERROR, CatStrInd ("Recursively defined type: ", 
             0, COORDREF))
    <- INCLUDING Program.GotAllTypes;
This macro is invoked in definition 113.

The implementation of the type walk algorithm uses a property that indicates whether a type is currently visited by the algorithm: Visiting property[108]==

Visiting: int;
This macro is invoked in definition 112.

The following C module implements an algorithm that walks recursively through the components of a type to check whether the type is defined illegally recursively.


#include "RecTypeChk.h"
This macro is attached to a product file.


#include "deftbl.h"
extern int ChkRecursiveType (DefTableKey tp);
This macro is attached to a product file.


#include "pdl_gen.h"
#include "StructEquiv.h"
#include "Typing.h"

#ifdef TEST
#define TEST 1
#include <stdio.h>

static DefTableKey origType;

int VisitCompOfType (DefTableKey node, DefTableKey component)
/* This is the function used by the type walk that checks
   for recursive types. It is called for every visit from a type node
   to one of its components. 5 cases are distinguished, as explained below:
#ifdef TEST
  printf ("visit at %s (%d) component %s (%d)\n", 
      GetTypeName (node, "no name"),
      GetTypeLine (node, 0),
      GetTypeName (component, "no name"),
      GetTypeLine (component, 0));
  if (GetAllowRecurType (component, 0))
     /* do not visit a component type that allows recursion */
     return 1; 
  else {
     if (FinalType (component) == FinalType (origType)) {
       /* the type under investigation contains itself on a path
          that does not lead through a type which allows for
       ResetIsRecursiveType (origType, 1);
       ResetIsRecursiveType (component, 1);
       return 2; /* terminate walk */
     if (GetIsRecursiveType (component, 0)) {
     /* The component type of the node is already
        recognized to be recursive 
        ResetIsRecursiveType (origType, 1);
        return 2; /* terminate walk */
     if (GetVisiting (component, 0)) {
       /* This component lies on a non-pointer cycle 
          not involving the original type under investigation 
       ResetIsRecursiveType (origType, 1);
       ResetIsRecursiveType (component, 1);
       return 2; /* terminate walk */
  return 0; /* visit this component */

int RecWalkType (DefTableKey currType)
     Every direct or indirect component type of tp is visited, unless
     the call VisitCompOfType (curr, comp) shortcuts the walk. 
     If it returns
       0: comp is visited
       1: comp is skipped
       2: the walk is terminated
{ DefTableKeyList compseq;
  DefTableKey compType;
  int visitRes;
  currType = FinalType (currType);

  /* Do not visit a node, that is currently visited: */
  if (GetVisiting (currType, 0)) return 1;
  ResetVisiting (currType, 1);

  /* consider all component types: */
  for (compseq = GetComponentTypes (currType, NULLDefTableKeyList);
       compseq != NULLDefTableKeyList;
       compseq = TailDefTableKeyList (compseq)) {
     compType = FinalType (HeadDefTableKeyList (compseq));

     /* Skip non-type: */
     if (compType == NoKey) continue;

     /* Visit this component: */
     visitRes = VisitCompOfType (currType, compType);

     /* The component visit indicates how to continue: */
     switch (visitRes) {
       case 0:            /* dive into the component */
          if (RecWalkType (compType)) {
             /* the type walk is to be terminated */
             visitRes = 2;
             goto ret;
       case 1:            /* do not dive into the component */
       case 2:            /* terminate the walk */
          visitRes = 2;
          goto ret;
       /* iteration of components continues */
     visitRes = 0; /* components elaborated */
  ResetVisiting (currType, 0);
  return visitRes;

int ChkRecursiveType (DefTableKey tp)
/* on entry:
     The results of the type equivalence analysis must be computed and
     stored in the type data base.
     tp represents a type.
     A walk through the type structure of tp is initiated,
     and then executed.
     VisitCompOfType (curr, comp) is called whenever
     a direct component comp of the type curr is visited.
     origType stores the type for which the recursion check is initiated.
     Every type that is found to be illegally recursive is marked by 
     the property IsRecursiveType. It is also used to shortcut
     the walk through the type structure.
   on exit:
     1 is returned if the type tp directly or indirectly
     has tp as a component type, and the path to it is not
     legal for recursion
     0 is returned otherwise.
  tp = FinalType (tp);
  origType = tp;
  if (GetIsRecursiveType (tp, 0)) return 1;
  if (GetIsNotRecursiveType (tp, 0)) return 0;

  /* the result is not yet known: */
  RecWalkType (tp);

  return GetIsRecursiveType (tp, 0);
This macro is attached to a product file.


Check recursive types properties[106]
Visiting property[108]
This macro is attached to a product file.


Abstract type declaration syntax[103]
Type declaration computation[104]
Used type identifiers[105]
Check for recursive types[107]
This macro is attached to a product file.

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