Lpc Manpages

CONCEPT
        modifiers

DESCRIPTION
        A modifier changes the syntactic and/or semantic behaviour of
        an object-global variable or a function in an object.
        The existing modifiers are described below.
        To use a modifier just prepend it to the declaration. If several
        modifiers are to be used their order does not matter:

        private int bar;                         // example for a variable
        protected nomask int foo() { return 3; } // example for a function

        For functions:
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        private   -- such functions can only be called with an internal
                     call from within this file. Not even inheriting
                     objects can call these functions. You can nevertheless
                     build an lfun-closure with #' out of a private function
                     (but you cannot save and restore it).

        protected -- such functions can be called from within the object,
                     or from inheriting objects; but in neither case
                     with call_other(). It is possible to create #' closures
                     or use symbol_function() from within the object.
                     Its use is PREFERRED over the older "static".

        static    -- such functions can be called from within the object
                     in either way (internal call or with call_other()).
                     Inheriting objects can call such functions.
                     But it is not possible to call static functions from
                     other objects via call_other().
                     The use of 'static' in new code is NOT RECOMMENDED.
                     Note that an add_action() is treated like a call
                     from within the object except the player who got the
                     add_action() was forced (thus it is a simple way to
                     secure an add_action() against forces, although this
                     method has the severe disadvantages of raising an error
                     at the force so better use the security system).
                     Also efuns like call_out() or input_to() can call
                     these functions if given as a string.

        public    -- this is the default type. Such functions can be called
                     from within the file as well as from inheriting objects
                     and other objects via call_other().
                     To declare a function public only results in the
                     impossibility to change the accessibility at the
                     inherit statement (see below). No error will occur,
                     only the type will not be modified by the inherit
                     statement.

        nomask    -- such functions cannot be overridden by inheriting
                     objects. If you have the fun foo() defined in your
                     object and inherit an object which also has declared
                     a function foo() and this nomask, you will get an
                     compile error if you try to load your object.
                     Furthermore a shadow will fail if it tries to shadow
                     a nomask declared function.

        varargs   -- this changes the syntax of the function in a way that
                     not all of the arguments in the declaration must be
                     given at the call. This is often very usefull if some
                     of the arguments shall be omitable (the omitted
                     arguments are set to 0 if the function is called with
                     fewer arguments than specified).
                     This is mainly within the object really necessary;
                     call_other()s usually (that is if they do not have a
                     certain pragma ('man pragma')) do not need the called
                     function to be declared varargs to omit any arguments,
                     but it is good style to use this modifier to document
                     the code by this.

        deprecated - Whenever this function is called, a warning is issued.
                     Usually this is done at compile-time. Exceptions are
                     call_others and symbol_function() which warn at run-time.

        For object-global variables:
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        private   -- such variables can only be accessed from within the
                     same object. Not even inheriting objects can access
                     private variables.
                     It is a good style to declare all internal variables
                     private to prevent inheriting objects from accessing
                     the variables directly without using functions.

        nosave    -- such variables are neither stored with save_object()
                     nor restored with restore_object(). This can be very
                     useful if you want a room to use save_object() and
                     restore_object() to save your own defined variables
                     but not the hundreds of variables inherited from a
                     room-class (e.g. /complex/room). You then use the modifier
                     at the inherit statement (see below).
                     Note that nosave and private do not overlap in any
                     way. They are absolutely independant.

        static    -- the old name for 'nosave'. Its use is DEPRECATED.

        public    -- declares the variable public. It cannot be declared
                     private or static by inheriting. No error will occur,
                     only the type will not be modified by the inherit
                     statement.

        deprecated - Whenever this variable is used, a warning is issued.
                     Usually this is done at compile-time, but
                     symbol_variable() warns at run-time.

        It is no good style to let inheriting objects have access to
        internal variables so declare them as private and offer functions
        to query and change the variables if possible.

        It is also possible to redeclare all variables and/or functions
        of an inherited object for the own object at the inheriting
        statement:

        private functions nosave variables inherit "complex/room";
        public variables inherit "complex/room";
        private functions inherit "complex/room";

        To redeclare a function or a variable declared public in the
        inherited object to be private or protected is not possible.

        There also exists a modifier explicitly for the inherit statement:

        virtual   -- inherits the given object virtually. This only makes
                     sense in a complex inherit tree.
                     If an object is inherited normally (not virtually)
                     twice somewhere in the inherit tree the intern
                     variables exist twice. If inherited virtually they
                     exist only once.
                     Example:
                     A inherits B and C.
                     B inherits D.
                     C inherits D.
                     If the inheritance of D is virtual in B and C
                     D's variables exist only once in A. If A changes
                     D's variables via functions of B this also changes
                     the variables of D as known by C.

                     virtual:               non-virtual:
                        A                        A
                       / \                      / \
                      B   C                    B   C
                       \ /                     |   |
                        D                      D   D


        To simplify the adoption of existing code, LPC allows to specify
        a default visibility for functions and variables, using a syntax
        similar to the inherit syntax:

          default private;

            All variables and functions are by default private.

          default private variables public functions;

            All variables are by default private, but functions are public.

        Only the modifiers 'private', 'public' and 'protected' (and 'static'
        for functions only) are allowed here.

        The default visibility thus set affects only variables/functions with
        no explicite visibility:

          default private;

          int private_var;
          public int public_var;

        The definition is valid from the point of the 'default' statement
        until the end of the file, or until the next 'default' statement:

          default private;

          int private_var;

          default public;

          int public_var;

        Note that this default visibility does not affect inherits.


HISTORY
        The modifier 'static' for variables was renamed to 'nosave'
        with LDMud 3.2.8. 'static' is still recognized as an alias.

        The default visibility was added in LDMud 3.2.9 as experimental
        feature.

SEE ALSO
        closures, inheritance, functions, types, structs, unions