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inline(++Pred, ++TransPred)

Declares TransPred as the predicate to be used to do compile-time transformation (e.g. inlining) of calls to Pred.
Pred
Expression of the form Atom/Integer.
TransPred
Expression of the form Atom/Integer, Integer is 2 or 3.

Description

To improve efficiency, calls to user-defined predicates can be preprocessed and transformed at compile time. The directive

    :- inline(mypred/1, mytranspred/2).
arranges for mytranspred/2 to be invoked at compile time for each call to the predicate mypred/1 before it is being compiled.

The transformation predicate receives the original call to mypred/1 as its first argument, and is expected to return a replacement goal in its second argument. This replacement goal replaces the original call in the compiled code. Usually, the replacement goal would be semantically equivalent, but more efficient than the original goal. When the transformation predicate fails, the original goal is not replaced.

If inlining is applied to an exported predicate, one must be aware that the replacement goal will be textually substituted for the original goal in an unknown module context. That means that the replacement goal should only contain calls to builtins or explicitly qualified calls to other exported predicates, since the visibility of predicates generally cannot be guaranteed in the module where the substitution takes place.

A transformation predicate can have an optional third argument which supplies the module in which the substitution takes place.

The inline/2 directive must be issued from the definition module of Pred, and TransPred must be visible from (and is usually defined in) this same module.

The transformation predicate for a predicate can be queried by calling get_flag(Pred, inline, TransPred).

Setting TransPred to =/2 will erase any previously attached transformation predicate.

Transformation can be disabled for debugging purposes by adding

    :- pragma(noexpand).
to the compiled file, or by setting the global flag

    :- set_flag(goal_expansion, off).
The global flag also controls whether transformations are applied to goals entered at the interactive toplevel prompt.

Modes and Determinism

Modules

This predicate is sensitive to its module context (tool predicate, see @/2).

Exceptions

(4) instantiation fault
Pred or TransPred are not fully instantiated.
(5) type error
Pred or TransPred are not of the form Atom/Integer.
(6) out of range
The arity of TransPred is not 2 or 3.
(100) accessing a procedure defined in another module
Pred is not defined is this module.

Examples

    :- inline(double/2, trans_double/2).

    double(X, Y) :-
        Y is 2*X.

    trans_double(double(X, Y), Y=Result) :-
        ground(X),           % if X already known at compile time:
        Result is 2*X.       % do calculation at compile time!


    % If we now compile the following predicate involving double/2:

    sample :-
        double(12,Y),        % will be transformed into: Y=24
        ...
        double(Y,Z).         % will be compiled as is




See Also

macro / 3, get_flag / 2, set_flag / 2, pragma / 1, compile / 1