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set_var_name(?Vars, ++BaseName)

Give a unique name to each variable in Vars based on BaseName and a counter.
Variable(s) to be named (Prolog term)
BaseName of variable (atom or string)


Give unique and stable names to the variables in Vars. The names have the format BaseName#N where N is the value of a counter, which is incremented each time a variable is named by set_var_name/2. Thus all such named variables are given a unique name. This name is printed wherever the `source name' of a variable would otherwise be printed. Wherever the system would normally add an arbitrary number to the printed name (e.g. the 'V' option in printf, or the variables(full) option in write_term printing Name_Number), this is not done with named variables.

BaseName must begin with a capital letter, thus the name looks like a normal ECLiPSe variable name, but they can be recognised as named variables because a normal variable name cannot contain the '#' symbol. Each BaseName has its own counter, which by default starts at 0 and is incremented each time a variable with that BaseName is named. The default starting value can be changed by set_var_name_counter/2 before any calls to set_var_name/2 with the BaseName. Note that the counter value is backtrackable.

Vars is usually a variable, or a list of variables that the user would like to have the same base name BaseName. Vars is traversed in the usual depth-first left-to-right manner and the variables found numbered consecutively with the same base name BaseName.

The main feature of this name is that the name is unique and stable. The name is unique in that at any given time during an ECLiPSe execution, the combination of the BaseName and counter can only refer to one variable. The name is stable in that this unique name would not change between runs of the program or running the program on different platforms. Thus, this allows the user to for example uniquely identify a variable between a normal and a debugging run of the program.

The predicate fails if any variables in Vars has already been given a name. In particular, this means that all variables in Vars should occur only once. When two named variable are unified, the older name is retained, as in existing rules for variable names.

The variable name is implemented as an attribute. Thus all named variables become attributed variables, which is recognised by ECLiPSe and treated specially when a named variable is printed. It is possible to construct a named variable by directly creating the attribute, either by reading in a previous named variable written using writeq, or by the user explicitly constructing the attribute. In such cases, the name is not recorded by the system and may not be unique in that set_var_name/2 would not take it into account in naming new variables.

Fail Conditions

Var contain variable(s) that have already been named by set_var_name/2.




(5) type error
BaseName is not an atom or string.
(6) out of range
BaseName does not begin with a capital letter.


[eclipse 1]: lib(var_name).
var_name.ecl compiled traceable 1308 bytes in 0.02 seconds

Yes (0.03s cpu)
[eclipse 2]: 

[eclipse 3]: set_var_name(X, 'Myname'), set_var_name(Y, "Myname").

X = Myname#0
Y = Myname#1
Yes (0.00s cpu)
[eclipse 4]: set_var_name(X, 'Count'), writeln(X).

X = Count#0
Yes (0.00s cpu)

% name is backtrackable. Original source name printed in second branch
[eclipse 5]: (set_var_name(X, 'Name') ; true), writeln(X), fail.       

No (0.00s cpu)

% naming more than one variable at a time...
[eclipse 10]: length(L,5), set_var_name(L, 'Start').

L = [Start#0, Start#1, Start#2, Start#3, Start#4]
Yes (0.00s cpu)

% counter is backtrackable
[eclipse 11]: (set_var_name([X,Y], 'Name') ; set_var_name(Y, 'Name')), writeln(X-Y), fail.
Name#0 - Name#1
X - Name#0

No (0.00s cpu)

% each base name has its own counter
[eclipse 12]: set_var_name(X, 'First'), set_var_name(Y, 'Second'), writeln(X-Y).
First#0 - Second#0

X = First#0
Y = Second#0
Yes (0.00s cpu)

% older name is retained on unification
[eclipse 9]:  set_var_name(X, 'First'), set_var_name(Y, 'Second'), X = Y, writeln(Y).

X = First#0
Y = First#0
Yes (0.00s cpu)

[eclipse 10]: lib(fd), X::[1..5], set_var_name(X, 'Domain'), writeln(X).
fd_domain.pl compiled traceable 22556 bytes in 0.04 seconds
fd_arith.pl compiled traceable 72296 bytes in 0.13 seconds
fd_util.pl compiled traceable 2128 bytes in 0.02 seconds
fd_chip.pl compiled traceable 4720 bytes in 0.05 seconds
fd_elipsys.pl compiled traceable 11036 bytes in 0.02 seconds
fd.pl      compiled traceable 17256 bytes in 0.29 seconds

X = Domain#0{[1..5]}
Yes (0.29s cpu)

% fails if variable already named
[eclipse 7]: set_var_name(X, 'Name'), set_var_name(X, 'New').

No (0.00s cpu)

% no number is attached to name when printed with 'V' option
[eclipse 14]: set_var_name(X, 'Myname'), printf("%Vw%n%Vw%n", [X,Y]).

X = Myname#0
Y = Y
Yes (0.00s cpu)

% writeq does not print the name
[eclipse 15]: set_var_name(X, 'Myname'), writeq(X).
_282{suspend : _285, var_name : vname("Myname", 0)}
X = Myname#0
Yes (0.00s cpu)

[eclipse 12]: set_var_name(X, 123).
out of range in set_var_name(X, 123)
[eclipse 13]: set_var_name(X, atomic).
out of range in set_var_name(X, atomic)
[eclipse 14]: set_var_name(X, f(structure)).
type error in set_var_name(X, f(structure))

See Also

get_var_name / 2, set_var_name_counter / 2