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B.2 The Package Interfaces

Package Interfaces is the parent of several library packages that declare types and other entities useful for interfacing to foreign languages. It also contains some implementation-defined types that are useful across more than one language (in particular for interfacing to assembly language). 
Implementation defined: The contents of the visible part of package Interfaces and its language-defined descendants.

Static Semantics

The library package Interfaces has the following skeletal declaration: 

package Interfaces is
   pragma Pure(Interfaces);
   type Integer_n is range -2**(n-1) .. 2**(n-1) - 1;  --2's complement
   type Unsigned_n is mod 2**n;
   function Shift_Left  (Value : Unsigned_n; Amount : Natural)
      return Unsigned_n;
   function Shift_Right (Value : Unsigned_n; Amount : Natural)
      return Unsigned_n;
   function Shift_Right_Arithmetic (Value : Unsigned_n; Amount : Natural)
      return Unsigned_n;
   function Rotate_Left  (Value : Unsigned_n; Amount : Natural)
      return Unsigned_n;
   function Rotate_Right (Value : Unsigned_n; Amount : Natural)
      return Unsigned_n;
end Interfaces;

Implementation Requirements

An implementation shall provide the following declarations in the visible part of package Interfaces:
Signed and modular integer types of n bits, if supported by the target architecture, for each n that is at least the size of a storage element and that is a factor of the word size. The names of these types are of the form Integer_n for the signed types, and Unsigned_n for the modular types;
Ramification: For example, for a typical 32-bit machine the corresponding types might be Integer_8, Unsigned_8, Integer_16, Unsigned_16, Integer_32, and Unsigned_32.
The wording above implies, for example, that Integer_16'Size = Unsigned_16'Size = 16. Unchecked conversions between same-Sized types will work as expected. 
For each such modular type in Interfaces, shifting and rotating subprograms as specified in the declaration of Interfaces above. These subprograms are Intrinsic. They operate on a bit-by-bit basis, using the binary representation of the value of the operands to yield a binary representation for the result. The Amount parameter gives the number of bits by which to shift or rotate. For shifting, zero bits are shifted in, except in the case of Shift_Right_Arithmetic, where one bits are shifted in if Value is at least half the modulus. 
Reason: We considered making shifting and rotating be primitive operations of all modular types. However, it is a design principle of Ada that all predefined operations should be operators (not functions named by identifiers). (Note that an early version of Ada had "abs" as an identifier, but it was changed to a reserved word operator before standardization of Ada 83.) This is important because the implicit declarations would hide nonoverloadable declarations with the same name, whereas operators are always overloadable. Therefore, we would have had to make shift and rotate into reserved words, which would have been upward incompatible, or else invent new operator symbols, which seemed like too much mechanism. 
Floating point types corresponding to each floating point format fully supported by the hardware. 
Implementation Note: The names for these floating point types are not specified. However, if IEEE arithmetic is supported, then the names should be IEEE_Float_32 and IEEE_Float_64 for single and double precision, respectively.
   {AI95-00204-01} {AI05-0262-1}

Implementation Permissions

An implementation may provide implementation-defined library units that are children of Interfaces, and may add declarations to the visible part of Interfaces in addition to the ones defined above.
Implementation defined: Implementation-defined children of package Interfaces.
   {AI95-00204-01} {AI05-0229-1} A child package of package Interfaces with the name of a convention may be provided independently of whether the convention is supported by the Convention aspect and vice versa. Such a child package should contain any declarations that would be useful for interfacing to the language (implementation) represented by the convention. Any declarations useful for interfacing to any language on the given hardware architecture should be provided directly in Interfaces. 
Ramification: For example, package Interfaces.XYZ_Pascal might contain declarations of types that match the data types provided by the XYZ implementation of Pascal, so that it will be more convenient to pass parameters to a subprogram whose convention is XYZ_Pascal. 

Implementation Advice

 This paragraph was deleted.{AI95-00204-01}
This paragraph was deleted.
 {AI05-0299-1} An implementation supporting an interface to C, COBOL, or Fortran should provide the corresponding package or packages described in the following subclauses. 
Implementation Advice: If an interface to C, COBOL, or Fortran is provided, the corresponding package or packages described in Annex B, “Interface to Other Languages” should also be provided.
Implementation Note: The intention is that an implementation might support several implementations of the foreign language: Interfaces.This_Fortran and Interfaces.That_Fortran might both exist. The “default” implementation, overridable by the user, should be declared as a renaming: 
package Interfaces.Fortran renames Interfaces.This_Fortran;

Wording Changes from Ada 95

{AI95-00204-01} Clarified that interfacing to foreign languages is optional and has the same restrictions as a Specialized Needs Annex. 

Wording Changes from Ada 2005

{AI05-0262-1} Move the restrictions on implementations of optional features to the start of this Annex. 

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