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7.6 User-Defined Assignment and Finalization -- TOC

Three kinds of actions are fundamental to the manipulation of objects: initialization, finalization, and assignment. Every object is initialized, either explicitly or by default, after being created (for example, by an object_declaration or allocator). Every object is finalized before being destroyed (for example, by leaving a subprogram_body containing an object_declaration, or by a call to an instance of Unchecked_Deallocation). An assignment operation is used as part of assignment_statements, explicit initialization, parameter passing, and other operations.
Default definitions for these three fundamental operations are provided by the language, but a controlled type gives the user additional control over parts of these operations. In particular, the user can define, for a controlled type, an Initialize procedure which is invoked immediately after the normal default initialization of a controlled object, a Finalize procedure which is invoked immediately before finalization of any of the components of a controlled object, and an Adjust procedure which is invoked as the last step of an assignment to a (nonlimited) controlled object.
Static Semantics
The following language-defined library package exists:
       package Ada.Finalization is
           pragma Preelaborate(Finalization);
           type Controlled is abstract tagged private;
           procedure Initialize(Object : in out Controlled);
           procedure Adjust                 (Object : in out Controlled);
           procedure Finalize               (Object : in out Controlled);
           type Limited_Controlled is abstract tagged limited private;
           procedure Initialize(Object : in out Limited_Controlled);
           procedure Finalize  (Object : in out Limited_Controlled);
           ... -- not specified by the language
       end Ada.Finalization;
A controlled type is a descendant of Controlled or Limited_Controlled. The (default) implementations of Initialize, Adjust, and Finalize have no effect. The predefined "=" operator of type Controlled always returns True, since this operator is incorporated into the implementation of the predefined equality operator of types derived from Controlled, as explained in 4.5.2. The type Limited_Controlled is like Controlled, except that it is limited and it lacks the primitive subprogram Adjust.
Dynamic Semantics
During the elaboration of an object_declaration, for every controlled subcomponent of the object that is not assigned an initial value (as defined in 3.3.1), Initialize is called on that subcomponent. Similarly, if the object as a whole is controlled and is not assigned an initial value, Initialize is called on the object. The same applies to the evaluation of an allocator, as explained in 4.8.
For an extension_aggregate whose ancestor_part is a subtype_mark, Initialize is called on all controlled subcomponents of the ancestor part; if the type of the ancestor part is itself controlled, the Initialize procedure of the ancestor type is called, unless that Initialize procedure is abstract.
Initialize and other initialization operations are done in an arbitrary order, except as follows. Initialize is applied to an object after initialization of its subcomponents, if any (including both implicit initialization and Initialize calls). If an object has a component with an access discriminant constrained by a per-object expression, Initialize is applied to this component after any components that do not have such discriminants. For an object with several components with such a discriminant, Initialize is applied to them in order of their component_declarations. For an allocator, any task activations follow all calls on Initialize.
When a target object with any controlled parts is assigned a value, either when created or in a subsequent assignment_statement, the assignment operation proceeds as follows:
To adjust the value of a (nonlimited) composite object, the values of the components of the object are first adjusted in an arbitrary order, and then, if the object is controlled, Adjust is called. Adjusting the value of an elementary object has no effect, nor does adjusting the value of a composite object with no controlled parts.
For an assignment_statement, after the name and expression have been evaluated, and any conversion (including constraint checking) has been done, an anonymous object is created, and the value is assigned into it; that is, the assignment operation is applied. (Assignment includes value adjustment.) The target of the assignment_statement is then finalized. The value of the anonymous object is then assigned into the target of the assignment_statement. Finally, the anonymous object is finalized. As explained below, the implementation may eliminate the intermediate anonymous object, so this description subsumes the one given in 5.2, ``Assignment Statements''.
Implementation Permissions
An implementation is allowed to relax the above rules (for nonlimited controlled types) in the following ways:


  1. Completion and Finalization

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