13.9.1 Data Validity
Certain actions that can potentially lead to erroneous
execution are not directly erroneous, but instead can cause objects to
become abnormal. Subsequent uses of abnormal objects can be erroneous.
A scalar object can have an invalid representation
which means that the object's representation does not represent any value
of the object's subtype.
The primary cause of invalid
representations is uninitialized variables.
Abnormal objects and invalid representations are
explained in this subclause.
an object is first created, and any explicit or default initializations
have been performed, the object and all of its parts are in the normal
state. Subsequent operations generally leave them normal. However, an
object or part of an object can become abnormal
in the following
- An assignment
to the object is disrupted due to an abort (see 9.8)
or due to the failure of a language-defined check (see 11.6).
- The object is not scalar, and is passed
to an in out or out parameter of an imported procedure,
the Read procedure of an instance of Sequential_IO, Direct_IO, or Storage_IO,
or the stream attribute T'Read, if after return from the procedure the
representation of the parameter does not represent a value of the parameter's
- The object is the return object of
a function call of a nonscalar type, and the function is an imported
function, an instance of Unchecked_Conversion, or the stream attribute
T'Input, if after return from the function the representation of the
return object does not represent a value of the function's subtype.
For an imported object, it is the programmer's
responsibility to ensure that the object remains in a normal state.
Whether or not an object actually
becomes abnormal in these cases is not specified. An abnormal object
becomes normal again upon successful completion of an assignment to the
object as a whole.
It is erroneous to evaluate a
is a name
denoting an abnormal object, or to evaluate a prefix
that denotes an abnormal object.
Bounded (Run-Time) Errors
the representation of a scalar object does not represent a value of the
object's subtype (perhaps because the object was not initialized), the
object is said to have an invalid representation
. It is a bounded
error to evaluate the value of such an object.
the error is detected, either Constraint_Error or Program_Error is raised.
Otherwise, execution continues using the invalid representation. The
rules of the language outside this subclause assume that all objects
have valid representations. The semantics of operations on invalid representations
are as follows:
- If the representation of the object
represents a value of the object's type, the value of the type is used.
- If the representation of the object
does not represent a value of the object's type, the semantics of operations
on such representations is implementation-defined, but does not by itself
lead to erroneous or unpredictable execution, or to other objects becoming
A call to an imported function
or an instance of Unchecked_Conversion is erroneous if the result is
scalar, the result object has an invalid representation, and the result
is used other than as the expression
of an assignment_statement
or an object_declaration
or as the prefix
of a Valid attribute. If such a result object is used as the source of
an assignment, and the assigned value is an invalid representation for
the target of the assignment, then any use of the target object prior
to a further assignment to the target object, other than as the prefix
of a Valid attribute reference, is erroneous.
The dereference of an access
value is erroneous if it does not designate an object of an appropriate
type or a subprogram with an appropriate profile, if it designates a
nonexistent object, or if it is an access-to-variable value that designates
a constant object. Such an access value can exist, for example, because
of Unchecked_Deallocation, Unchecked_Access, or Unchecked_Conversion.
18 Objects can become abnormal due to other
kinds of actions that directly update the object's representation; such
actions are generally considered directly erroneous, however.