Download A Structured Programming Approach to Data by Derek Coleman (auth.) PDF

By Derek Coleman (auth.)

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Extra info for A Structured Programming Approach to Data

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1 INTRODUCTION So far we have only considered the simple data structuring operations of forming records with or without variants. Although these operations are adequate for many problems they are, by themselves, incapable of expressing clearly the full range of abstractions that can occur in programming. The purpose of arrays is to express a correspondence between two types. However, we often use them to hold a set of values; for example, we might document the purpose of an array in an operating system simulation program as being 'to hold all the currently available peripherals'.

20] of char end type sales The type update which comprises values from the union of these three types can be defmed by a variant record type update = record case trans : {sales trans, purchase trans, mise trans) of sales trans : sales; purchase trans : purchase; mise trans : mise end In this example we may take advantage of the fact that several of the components are the same. This may be done by bringing the common components in front of both alternatives. type update = record stock no : integer; dated : date; quantity : integer; case trans :{sales trans, purchase trans, mise trans) of sales trans :(purchaser code: 0 ..

If the values can fit into less storage than one word, then it is possible to pack more than one component into the word. In a tightly packed representation, the bit patterns of the components are directly juxtaposed. In a more loosely packed representation, the components may be fitted within certain subdivisions of a word, which are 'natural' in the sense that special machine instructions are available for selecting or updating particular parts of a word - for example, half word,, byte or characters.

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