|Sather - A Language Tutorial|
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We describe below a few special expressions used in Sather - void, void() and the short circuit boolean operations or and and.
A void expression returns a value whose type is determined from context. void is the value that a variable of the type receives when it is declared but not explicitly initialized. The value of void for objects (except for immutable objects) is a special value that indicates the absence of an object - it is essentially the NULL pointer. Immutable objects are described in their own chapter, but for the sake of reference:
Class Initial Value ----------------------- INT 0 CHAR '\0' FLT 0.0 FLTD 0.0d BOOL false
For other immutable types the void value is determined by recursively setting each attribute and array element to void. For numerical types, this results in the appropriate version of 'zero'.
 The other built-in basic types are defined as arrays of BOOL and all have their values set to void by this rule.
void expressions may appear
as the initializer for a constant or shared attribute. In fact, for most built-in classes, the only legal constant value is the void value e.g.
const a: POINT := void;
as the right hand side of an assignment statement
as the return value in a return or yield statement
as the value of one of the expressions in a case statement
as the exception object in a raise statement (see the chapter on Exceptions)
as an argument value in a method call
in a creation expression. In this last case, the argument is ignored in resolving overloading.
void expressions may not appear:
as the left argument of the dot '.' operator.
a: POINT := #POINT(3,3); -- ILLEGAL (and silly) a.void
It is a fatal error to access object attributes of a void variable of reference type or to make any calls on a void variable of abstract type. Calls on a void variable of an immutable type are, however, quite legal (otherwise you would not be able to dot into a false boolean or a zero valued integer!)
Void test expressions evaluate their argument and return a boolean value which is true if the value is void .
p: POINT; #OUT + void(p); -- Prints out true p := #POINT(3,5); #OUT + void(p); -- Prints out false p := void; #OUT + void(p); -- Prints out true; b: BOOL; #OUT + void(b); -- Prints out true b := false; #OUT + void(b); -- Prints out true! -- Even though b has been assigned, it has the void value
if (3>a and b>6) or (c = "Goo") then #OUT + "Success!" end;
and expressions compute the conjunction of two boolean expressions and return boolean values. The first expression is evaluated and if false, false is immediately returned as the result. Otherwise, the second expression is evaluated and its value returned.
or expressions compute the disjunction of two boolean expressions and return boolean values. The first expression is evaluated and if true, true is immediately returned as the result. Otherwise, the second expression is evaluated and its value returned.
For an expression description see unnamedlink
protect ... some code when STR then #OUT + exception.str; when ... else ... end;
exception expressions may only appear within the statements of the when and else clauses in protect statements. They return the exception object that caused the when branch to be taken in the most tightly enclosing protect statement. The return type is the type specified in the corresponding when clause (See unnamedlink). In an else clause the return type is '$OB'.