3.2 Types and Subtypes
is characterized by a set of values, and a set of primitive operations
which implement the fundamental aspects of its semantics.
of a given type is a run-time entity that contains (has)
a value of the type.
grouped into categories
several language-defined categories
of types (see NOTES below),
reflecting the similarity of their values and primitive operations.
Most categories of types form classes
of types. Elementary
types are those whose values are logically indivisible; composite
types are those whose values are composed of component
The elementary types are the
) and the access
types (whose values provide access to objects or subprograms).
types are either integer
types or are defined by enumeration of
their values (enumeration
are either floating point
types or fixed point
The composite types are the record types,
record extensions, array types, interface types,
task types, and protected types.
can be multiple views of a type with varying sets of operations. An incomplete
type represents an incomplete view (see 3.10.1
of a type with a very restricted usage, providing support for recursive
data structures. A private
type or private extension
a partial view (see 7.3
) of a type, providing
support for data abstraction. The full view (see 3.2.1
of a type represents its complete definition. An incomplete or partial
view is considered a composite type, even if the full view is not.
Certain composite types (and
views thereof) have special components called discriminants
values affect the presence, constraints, or initialization of other components.
Discriminants can be thought of as parameters of the type.
The term subcomponent
is used in this Reference Manual in place of the term component to indicate
either a component, or a component of another subcomponent. Where other
subcomponents are excluded, the term component is used instead.
of an object or value is used to mean the whole object
or value, or any set of its subcomponents. The terms component, subcomponent,
and part are also applied to a type meaning the component, subcomponent,
or part of objects and values of the type.
The set of possible values for
an object of a given type can be subjected to a condition that is called
of a null constraint
that specifies no restriction is also included);
the rules for which values satisfy a given kind of constraint are given
The set of possible values for an object of an access type can also be
subjected to a condition that excludes the null value (see 3.10
of a given type
is a combination of the type, a constraint on values of the type, and
certain attributes specific to the subtype. The given type is called
the type of the subtype
the associated constraint is called the constraint of the subtype
The set of values of a subtype consists of the values
of its type that satisfy its constraint and any exclusion of the null
Such values belong
to the subtype.
The other values of the type are outside
subtype is called an unconstrained
subtype if its type has unknown
discriminants, or if its type allows range, index, or discriminant constraints,
but the subtype does not impose such a constraint; otherwise, the subtype
is called a constrained
subtype (since it has no unconstrained
NOTE Any set of types can be called
a “category” of types, and any set of types that is closed
under derivation (see 3.4
) can be called a
“class” of types. However, only certain categories and classes
are used in the description of the rules of the language — generally
those that have their own particular set of primitive operations (see
), or that correspond to a set of types
that are matched by a given kind of generic formal type (see 12.5
The following are examples of “interesting”
: elementary, scalar, discrete, enumeration,
character, boolean, integer, signed integer, modular, real, floating
point, fixed point, ordinary fixed point, decimal fixed point, numeric,
access, access-to-object, access-to-subprogram, composite, array, string,
(untagged) record, tagged, task, protected, nonlimited. Special syntax
is provided to define types in each of these classes. In addition to
these classes, the following are examples of “interesting”
interface, limited, private, record.
These language-defined categories are organized like
ordinary fixed point
decimal fixed point
tagged (including interfaces)
nonlimited tagged record
limited tagged record
There are other categories, such as “numeric”
and “discriminated”, which represent other categorization
dimensions, but do not fit into the above strictly hierarchical picture.
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