3. Declarations and Types

No extensions or restrictions.

3.1. Declarations

The view of an entity is in SPARK 2014 if and only if the corresponding declaration is in SPARK 2014. When clear from the context, we say entity instead of using the more formal term view of an entity. If the initial declaration of an entity (e.g., a subprogram, a private type, or a deferred constant) requires a completion, it is possible that the initial declaration might be in SPARK 2014 (and therefore can be referenced in SPARK 2014 code) even if the completion is not in SPARK 2014. [This distinction between views is much less important in “pure” SPARK 2014 than in the case where SPARK_Mode is used (as described in the SPARK Toolset User’s Guide) to allow mixing of SPARK 2014 and non-SPARK 2014 code.]

A type is said to define full default initialization if it is

  • a scalar type with a specified Default_Value; or
  • an array-of-scalar type with a specified Default_Component_Value; or
  • an array type whose element type defines default initialization; or
  • a record type, type extension, or protected type each of whose component_declarations either includes a default_expression or has a type which defines full default initialization and, in the case of a type extension, is an extension of a type which defines full default initialization; or
  • a task type; or
  • a private type whose Default_Initial_Condition aspect is specified to be a Boolean_expression.

[The discriminants of a discriminated type play no role in determining whether the type defines full default initialization.]

3.2. Types and Subtypes

No extensions or restrictions.

3.2.1. Type Declarations

Legality Rules

  1. Named access-to-constant types are permitted in SPARK 2014. All other access type declarations are not permitted in SPARK 2014, as well as all forms of anonymous access types.

3.2.2. Subtype Declarations

A constraint in SPARK 2014 cannot be defined using variable expressions except when it is the range of a loop_parameter_specification. Dynamic subtypes are permitted but they must be defined using constants whose values may be derived from expressions containing variables. Note that a formal parameter of a subprogram of mode in is a constant and may be used in defining a constraint. This restriction gives an explicit constant which can be referenced in analysis and proof.

An expression with a variable input reads a variable or calls a function which (directly or indirectly) reads a variable.

Legality Rules

  1. [A constraint, excluding the range of a loop_parameter_specification, shall not be defined using an expression with a variable input; see Expressions for the statement of this rule.]

3.2.3. Classification of Operations

No restrictions or extensions.

3.2.4. Subtype Predicates

Static predicates are in SPARK 2014. Dynamic predicates are also in SPARK 2014, but are subject to some restrictions.

Legality Rules

  1. [A Dynamic_Predicate expression shall not have a variable input; see Expressions for the statement of this rule.]
  1. If a Dynamic_Predicate applies to the subtype of a composite object, then a verification condition is generated to ensure that the object satisfies its predicate immediately after any subcomponent or slice of the given object is either
  • the target of an assignment statement or;
  • an actual parameter of mode out or in out in a call.

[These verification conditions do not correspond to any run-time check. Roughly speaking, if object X is of subtype S, then verification conditions are generated as if an implicitly generated

pragma Assert (X in S);

were present immediately after any assignment statement or call which updates a subcomponent (or slice) of X.]

[No such proof obligations are generated for assignments to subcomponents of the result object of an aggregate, an extension aggregate, or an update expression (see section Update Expressions). These are assignment operations but not assignment statements.]

3.3. Objects and Named Numbers

3.3.1. Object Declarations

The Boolean aspect Constant_After_Elaboration may be specified as part of the declaration of a library level variable. If the aspect is directly specified, the aspect_definition, if any, shall be a static [Boolean] expression. [As with most Boolean-valued aspects,] the aspect defaults to False if unspecified and to True if it is specified without an aspect_definition.

A variable whose Constant_After_Elaboration aspect is True, or any part thereof, is said to be constant after elaboration. [The Constant_After_Elaboration aspect indicates that the variable will not be modified after execution of the main subprogram begins (see section Tasks and Synchronization).]

A stand-alone constant is a constant with variable inputs if its initialization expression depends on:

  • A variable or parameter; or
  • Another constant with variable inputs

Otherwise, a stand-alone constant is a constant without variable inputs.

Verification Rules

  1. Constants without variable inputs shall not be denoted in Global, Depends, Initializes or Refined_State aspect specifications. [Two elaborations of such a constant declaration will always yield equal initialization expression values.]


A : constant Integer := 12;
--  No variable inputs

B : constant Integer := F (12, A);
--  No variable inputs if F is a function without global inputs (although
--  it could have global proof inputs)

C : constant Integer := Param + Var;
--  Constant with variable inputs

3.3.2. Number Declarations

No extensions or restrictions.

3.4. Derived Types and Classes

The following rules apply to derived types in SPARK 2014.

Legality Rules

  1. A private type that is not visibly tagged but whose full view is tagged cannot be derived.

[The rationale for this rule is that, otherwise, given that visible operations on this type cannot have class-wide preconditions and postconditions, it is impossible to check the verification rules associated to overridding operations on the derived type.]

3.5. Scalar Types

The Ada RM states that, in the case of a fixed point type declaration, “The base range of the type does not necessarily include the specified bounds themselves”. A fixed point type for which this inclusion does not hold is not in SPARK 2014.

For example, given

type T is delta 1.0 range -(2.0 ** 31) .. (2.0 ** 31);

it might be the case that (2.0 ** 31) is greater than T’Base’Last. If this is the case, then the type T is not in SPARK 2014.

[This rule applies even in the case where the bounds specified in the real_range_specification of an ordinary_fixed_point_definition define a null range.]

3.6. Array Types

No extensions or restrictions.

3.7. Discriminants

The following rules apply to discriminants in SPARK 2014.

Legality Rules

  1. The type of a discriminant_specification shall be discrete.
  1. A discriminant_specification shall not occur as part of a derived type declaration.
  1. [The default_expression of a discriminant_specification shall not have a variable input; see Expressions for the statement of this rule.]

3.8. Record Types

Default initialization expressions must not have variable inputs in SPARK 2014.

Legality Rules

  1. If at least one nondiscriminant component (either explicitly declared or inherited) of a record type or type extension either is of a type which defines full default initialization or is declared by a component_declaration which includes a default_expression, and if that component’s type has at least one elementary nondiscriminant part, then the record type or type extension shall define full default initialization.

    [The enforcement of this rule may require looking at the full_type_declaration of a private_type declaration if the private type’s Default_Initial_Condition aspect is not specified.]

    [In the unusual case of a nondiscriminant component which has no nondiscriminant scalar parts (e.g., an array of null records), the preceding “at least one elementary” wording means that the component is ignored for purposes of this rule.]

  1. [The default_expression of a component_declaration shall not have any variable inputs, nor shall it contain a name denoting the current instance of the enclosing type; see Expressions for the statement of this rule.]

[The rules in this section apply to any component_declaration; this includes the case of a component_declaration which is a protected_element_declaration. In other words, these rules also apply to components of a protected type.]

3.9. Tagged Types and Type Extensions

Legality Rules

  1. No construct shall introduce a semantic dependence on the Ada language defined package Ada.Tags. [See Ada RM 10.1.1 for the definition of semantic dependence. This rule implies, among other things, that any use of the Tag attribute is not in SPARK 2014.]
  1. The identifier External_Tag shall not be used as an attribute_designator.

3.9.1. Type Extensions

Legality Rules

  1. A type extension shall not be declared within a subprogram body, block statement, or generic body which does not also enclose the declaration of each of its ancestor types.

3.9.2. Dispatching Operations of Tagged Types

No extensions or restrictions.

3.9.3. Abstract Types and Subprograms

No extensions or restrictions.

3.9.4. Interface Types

No extensions or restrictions.

3.10. Access Types

Access types allow the creation of aliased data structures and objects, which notably complicate the specification and verification of a program’s behavior. Therefore, the following rules are applied in SPARK 2014.

Legality Rules

  1. All forms of access type and parameter declarations are prohibited. [This follows from the rule forbidding use of the Ada reserved word access.]
  1. The attribute ‘Access shall not be denoted.

3.11. Declarative Parts

No extensions or restrictions.