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7.3.1 Private Operations

For a type declared in the visible part of a package or generic package, certain operations on the type do not become visible until later in the package — either in the private part or the body. Such private operations are available only inside the declarative region of the package or generic package.

Static Semantics

The predefined operators that exist for a given type are determined by the classes to which the type belongs. For example, an integer type has a predefined "+" operator. In most cases, the predefined operators of a type are declared immediately after the definition of the type; the exceptions are explained below. Inherited subprograms are also implicitly declared immediately after the definition of the type, except as stated below.
For a composite type, the characteristics (see 7.3) of the type are determined in part by the characteristics of its component types. At the place where the composite type is declared, the only characteristics of component types used are those characteristics visible at that place. If later immediately within the declarative region in which the composite type is declared additional characteristics become visible for a component type, then any corresponding characteristics become visible for the composite type. Any additional predefined operators are implicitly declared at that place. If there is no such place, then additional predefined operators are not declared at all, but they still exist.
The corresponding rule applies to a type defined by a derived_type_definition, if there is a place immediately within the declarative region in which the type is declared where additional characteristics of its parent type become visible.
For example, an array type whose component type is limited private becomes nonlimited if the full view of the component type is nonlimited and visible at some later place immediately within the declarative region in which the array type is declared. In such a case, the predefined "=" operator is implicitly declared at that place, and assignment is allowed after that place.
  A type is a descendant of the full view of some ancestor of its parent type only if the current view it has of its parent is a descendant of the full view of that ancestor. More generally, at any given place, a type is descended from the same view of an ancestor as that from which the current view of its parent is descended. This view determines what characteristics are inherited from the ancestor, and, for example, whether the type is considered to be a descendant of a record type, or a descendant only through record extensions of a more distant ancestor.
  Furthermore, it is possible for there to be places where a derived type is known to be derived indirectly from an ancestor type, but is not a descendant of even a partial view of the ancestor type, because the parent of the derived type is not visibly a descendant of the ancestor. In this case, the derived type inherits no characteristics from that ancestor, but nevertheless is within the derivation class of the ancestor for the purposes of type conversion, the "covers" relationship, and matching against a formal derived type. In this case the derived type is effectively a descendant of an incomplete view of the ancestor.
Inherited primitive subprograms follow a different rule. For a derived_type_definition, each inherited primitive subprogram is implicitly declared at the earliest place, if any, immediately within the declarative region in which the type_declaration occurs, but after the type_declaration, where the corresponding declaration from the parent is visible. If there is no such place, then the inherited subprogram is not declared at all, but it still exists. For a tagged type, it is possible to dispatch to an inherited subprogram that is not declared at all.
For a private_extension_declaration, each inherited subprogram is declared immediately after the private_extension_declaration if the corresponding declaration from the ancestor is visible at that place. Otherwise, the inherited subprogram is not declared for the private extension, though it might be for the full type. 
The Class attribute is defined for tagged subtypes in 3.9. In addition, for every subtype S of an untagged private type whose full view is tagged, the following attribute is defined: 
Denotes the class-wide subtype corresponding to the full view of S. This attribute is allowed only from the beginning of the private part in which the full view is declared, until the declaration of the full view. After the full view, the Class attribute of the full view can be used. 
9  Because a partial view and a full view are two different views of one and the same type, outside of the defining package the characteristics of the type are those defined by the visible part. Within these outside program units the type is just a private type or private extension, and any language rule that applies only to another class of types does not apply. The fact that the full declaration might implement a private type with a type of a particular class (for example, as an array type) is relevant only within the declarative region of the package itself including any child units.
The consequences of this actual implementation are, however, valid everywhere. For example: any default initialization of components takes place; the attribute Size provides the size of the full view; finalization is still done for controlled components of the full view; task dependence rules still apply to components that are task objects.
10  Partial views provide initialization, membership tests, selected components for the selection of discriminants and inherited components, qualification, and explicit conversion. Nonlimited partial views also allow use of assignment_statements.
11  For a subtype S of a partial view, S'Size is defined (see 13.3). For an object A of a partial view, the attributes A'Size and A'Address are defined (see 13.3). The Position, First_Bit, and Last_Bit attributes are also defined for discriminants and inherited components.


Example of a type with private operations: 
package Key_Manager is
   type Key is private;
   Null_Key : constant Key; -- a deferred constant declaration (see 7.4)
   procedure Get_Key(K : out Key);
   function "<" (X, Y : Key) return Boolean;
   type Key is new Natural;
   Null_Key : constant Key := Key'First;
end Key_Manager;
package body Key_Manager is
   Last_Key : Key := Null_Key;
   procedure Get_Key(K : out Key) is
      Last_Key := Last_Key + 1;
      K := Last_Key;
   end Get_Key;
   function "<" (X, Y : Key) return Boolean is
      return Natural(X) < Natural(Y);
   end "<";
end Key_Manager;
12  Notes on the example: Outside of the package Key_Manager, the operations available for objects of type Key include assignment, the comparison for equality or inequality, the procedure Get_Key and the operator "<"; they do not include other relational operators such as ">=", or arithmetic operators.
The explicitly declared operator "<" hides the predefined operator "<" implicitly declared by the full_type_declaration. Within the body of the function, an explicit conversion of X and Y to the subtype Natural is necessary to invoke the "<" operator of the parent type. Alternatively, the result of the function could be written as not (X >= Y), since the operator ">=" is not redefined.
The value of the variable Last_Key, declared in the package body, remains unchanged between calls of the procedure Get_Key. (See also the NOTES of 7.2.) 

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