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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. {uninitialized variables [distributed]} The primary cause of invalid representations is uninitialized variables.
   Abnormal objects and invalid representations are explained in this subclause.

Dynamic Semantics

   {normal state of an object [distributed]} {abnormal state of an object [distributed]} When 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 ways:
   {unspecified [partial]} 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.

Erroneous Execution

   {erroneous execution (cause) [partial]} It is erroneous to evaluate a primary that is a name denoting an abnormal object, or to evaluate a prefix that denotes an abnormal object.
Ramification: Although a composite object with no subcomponents of an access type, and with static constraints all the way down cannot become abnormal, a scalar subcomponent of such an object can become abnormal.
The in out or out parameter case does not apply to scalars; bad scalars are merely invalid representations, rather than abnormal, in this case.
Reason: The reason we allow access objects, and objects containing subcomponents of an access type, to become abnormal is because the correctness of an access value cannot necessarily be determined merely by looking at the bits of the object. The reason we allow scalar objects to become abnormal is that we wish to allow the compiler to optimize assuming that the value of a scalar object belongs to the object's subtype, if the compiler can prove that the object is initialized with a value that belongs to the subtype. The reason we allow composite objects to become abnormal if some constraints are nonstatic is that such object might be represented with implicit levels of indirection; if those are corrupted, then even assigning into a component of the object, or simply asking for its Address, might have an unpredictable effect. The same is true if the discriminants have been destroyed.

Bounded (Run-Time) Errors

   {invalid representation} {bounded error (cause) [partial]} If 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. {Program_Error (raised by failure of run-time check)} {Constraint_Error (raised by failure of run-time check)} If 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:
Discussion: The AARM is more explicit about what happens when the value of the case expression is an invalid representation.

Erroneous Execution

    {erroneous execution (cause) [partial]} A call to an imported function or an instance of Unchecked_Conversion is erroneous if the result is scalar, and the result object has an invalid representation.
Ramification: In a typical implementation, every bit pattern that fits in an object of an integer subtype will represent a value of the type, if not of the subtype. However, for an enumeration or floating point type, there are typically bit patterns that do not represent any value of the type. In such cases, the implementation ought to define the semantics of operations on the invalid representations in the obvious manner (assuming the bounded error is not detected): a given representation should be equal to itself, a representation that is in between the internal codes of two enumeration literals should behave accordingly when passed to comparison operators and membership tests, etc. We considered requiring such sensible behavior, but it resulted in too much arcane verbiage, and since implementations have little incentive to behave irrationally, such verbiage is not important to have.
If a stand-alone scalar object is initialized to a an in-range value, then the implementation can take advantage of the fact that any out-of-range value has to be abnormal. Such an out-of-range value can be produced only by things like unchecked conversion, input, and disruption of an assignment due to abort or to failure of a language-defined check. This depends on out-of-range values being checked before assignment (that is, checks are not optimized away unless they are proven redundant).
Consider the following example:
type My_Int is range 0..99;
function Safe_Convert is new Unchecked_Conversion(My_Int, Integer);
function Unsafe_Convert is new Unchecked_Conversion(My_Int, Positive);
X : Positive := Safe_Convert(0); -- Raises Constraint_Error.
Y : Positive := Unsafe_Convert(0); -- Erroneous.
The call to Unsafe_Convert causes erroneous execution. The call to Safe_Convert is not erroneous. The result object is an object of subtype Integer containing the value 0. The assignment to X is required to do a constraint check; the fact that the conversion is unchecked does not obviate the need for subsequent checks required by the language rules.
Implementation Note: If an implementation wants to have a ``friendly'' mode, it might always assign an uninitialized scalar a default initial value that is outside the object's subtype (if there is one), and check for this value on some or all reads of the object, so as to help detect references to uninitialized scalars. Alternatively, an implementation might want to provide an ``unsafe'' mode where it presumed even uninitialized scalars were always within their subtype.
Ramification: The above rules imply that it is a bounded error to apply a predefined operator to an object with a scalar subcomponent having an invalid representation, since this implies reading the value of each subcomponent. Either Program_Error or Constraint_Error is raised, or some result is produced, which if composite, might have a corresponding scalar subcomponent still with an invalid representation.
Note that it is not an error to assign, convert, or pass as a parameter a composite object with an uninitialized scalar subcomponent. In the other hand, it is a (bounded) error to apply a predefined operator such as =, <, and xor to a composite operand with an invalid scalar subcomponent.
    {erroneous execution (cause) [partial]} 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.]
Ramification: The above mentioned Unchecked_... features are not the only causes of such access values. For example, interfacing to other languages can also cause the problem.
One obscure example is if the Adjust subprogram of a controlled type uses Unchecked_Access to create an access-to-variable value designating a subcomponent of its controlled parameter, and saves this access value in a global object. When Adjust is called during the initialization of a constant object of the type, the end result will be an access-to-variable value that designates a constant object.
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.

Wording Changes from Ada 83

In order to reduce the amount of erroneousness, we separate the concept of an undefined value into objects with invalid representation (scalars only) and abnormal objects.
Reading an object with an invalid representation is a bounded error rather than erroneous; reading an abnormal object is still erroneous. In fact, the only safe thing to do to an abnormal object is to assign to the object as a whole.

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