Proposal: Wording: declare undefined interpretation semantics for locals


This proposal has been moved into this section. Its former address was: /standard/locals/bColon

This page is dedicated to discussing this specific proposal


ruvavatar of ruv Wording: declare undefined interpretation semantics for localsProposal2020-03-08 15:18:59


We have the "name Execution:" section for the locals, but don't have a "name Interpretation:" section. Hence, name has default interpretation semantics according to, that conflicts with an explicitly declared ambiguous condition in the "name Execution:" section.


Add the following section:

name Interpretation:

Interpretation semantics for name are undefined.

Remove from the "name Execution:" section the following sentence:

An ambiguous condition exists when name is executed while in interpretation state.

ruvavatar of ruv

The same proposal is applied to (LOCAL), taking into account that there another wording is used: "local Execution:". Perhaps we should also harmonize these specifications with each other.

ruvavatar of ruv

In the general case, "name is executed while in interpretation state" can be achieved via : foo {: name :} name ; 1 foo — and nothing wrong with that. So the corresponding sentence is even incorrect by its own.

ruvavatar of ruv

Now locals cannot be ticked

One more effect of the proposed changes.

Before these changes the locals may be ticked and executed (but only in compilation state). It means, that they shall be implemented as immediate words. Also, it seems the following code is standard (from a formal point of view):

: [e] execute ; immediate 
variable local-x
: foo {: x :} [ ' x local-x ! ]  x . ;
: bar [ local-x @ ] [e] . ;
1 foo bar

Obviously, this code is ambiguous. E.g., in some implementations the definition for x isn't available after creating foo, and trying to execute it can cause memory access violation.

After these changes the locals are not allowed to be ticked, and they may be implemented in any way.

AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl

I agree that the current wording is flawed and that your wording better reflects the intent.

As you point out in a later answer, there are several places where this would have to be fixed, so maybe the description of the local should be factored out and fixed there.

I think that instead of defining execution semantics for name, we should define compilation semantics that refers to run-time semantics; these run-time semantics would have the specification of the current "name execution". (This is just one instance of execution semantics without interpretation semantics; several of them should get this treatment, and the rest should get defined interpretation semantics).

ruvavatar of ruv

Factoring out the description of the local is the right step, but it requires more labor. This case will be the first one when semantics for a word are described not in some glossary entry, but in some "Additional usage requirements" section (in this case, a subsection of 13.3).

Defining compilation semantics via run-time semantics is also a good step, although it isn't crucial (it just fixes some confusing). And it's more worthwhile to apply these changes for all such cases at once (i.e., also for EXIT, >R, etc).

So I would suggest the following roadmap:

  1. Add "Interpretation" section in {: and (LOCAL) glossaries (as easy and quick solution).

  2. Factor out description of locals, without changing the wording.

  3. Change wording for all such words at once.

Regarding the repository with the source text — it's important to have each step as a separate commit.

AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl

You as proposer decide what and how you propose changes. However, my feeling is that it is better to propose this as one proposal rather than three. And make the changes to EXIT and friends another proposal that covers them all. The editor decides how he deals with version control.

BerndPaysanavatar of BerndPaysan

I think we should remove the execute of locals entirely, and state compilation semantics is to append this.

E.g. trying to tick a local and execute it fails, e.g. in Gforth:

: test { a b c } ['] a execute b + c * ; 
*terminal*:1:22: warning: a is compile-only ok
1 2 3 test . 
*the terminal*:2:7: error: Stack underflow
1 2 3 >>>test<<< .
*terminal*:1:34                          0 $7F4559C5A5E0 + 

or Vfx:

: test {: a b c :} ['] a execute b + c * ;  ok       
1 2 3 test  ok
. 6 
Err# -4 ERR: Data stack underflow.

Executing a local simply doesn't work.

JennyBrienavatar of JennyBrien

POSTPONEing a local doesn't/shouldn't work either.

AntonErtlavatar of AntonErtl

The committee accepted the following wording change (Vote #17, 12Y:0:0)

This is true for (LOCAL) so we should add:

local Interpretation:
Interpretation semantics for this word are undefined.

LOCALS| refers to (LOCAL) so (LOCAL) covers the case.

For {: we need to add:

name Interpretation
The interpretation semantics of name are undefined

then remove the ambiguous condition in name Execution.

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