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6.2 Formal Parameter Modes

A parameter_specification declares a formal parameter of mode in, in out, or out.

Static Semantics

A parameter is passed either by copy or by reference. When a parameter is passed by copy, the formal parameter denotes a separate object from the actual parameter, and any information transfer between the two occurs only before and after executing the subprogram. When a parameter is passed by reference, the formal parameter denotes (a view of) the object denoted by the actual parameter; reads and updates of the formal parameter directly reference the actual parameter object.
A type is a by-copy type if it is an elementary type, or if it is a descendant of a private type whose full type is a by-copy type. A parameter of a by-copy type is passed by copy, unless the formal parameter is explicitly aliased.
A type is a by-reference type if it is a descendant of one of the following: 
a tagged type;
a task or protected type;
an explicitly limited record type; 
a composite type with a subcomponent of a by-reference type;
a private type whose full type is a by-reference type. 
 A parameter of a by-reference type is passed by reference, as is an explicitly aliased parameter of any type. Each value of a by-reference type has an associated object. For a parenthesized expression, qualified_expression, or view conversion, this object is the one associated with the operand. For a value conversion, the associated object is the anonymous result object if such an object is created (see 4.6); otherwise it is the associated object of the operand. For a conditional_expression, this object is the one associated with the evaluated dependent_expression.
 For other parameters, it is unspecified whether the parameter is passed by copy or by reference.

Bounded (Run-Time) Errors

 If one name denotes a part of a formal parameter, and a second name denotes a part of a distinct formal parameter or an object that is not part of a formal parameter, then the two names are considered distinct access paths. If an object is of a type for which the parameter passing mechanism is not specified and is not an explicitly aliased parameter, then it is a bounded error to assign to the object via one access path, and then read the value of the object via a distinct access path, unless the first access path denotes a part of a formal parameter that no longer exists at the point of the second access (due to leaving the corresponding callable construct). The possible consequences are that Program_Error is raised, or the newly assigned value is read, or some old value of the object is read. 
6  The mode of a formal parameter describes the direction of information transfer to or from the subprogram_body (see 6.1).
7  A formal parameter of mode in is a constant view (see 3.3); it cannot be updated within the subprogram_body.
8  A formal parameter of mode out might be uninitialized at the start of the subprogram_body (see 6.4.1). 

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