- Reference manual
- Built-in Predicates
- Notation of Predicate Descriptions
- Character representation
- Loading Prolog source files
- Editor Interface
- List the program, predicates or clauses
- Verify Type of a Term
- Comparison and Unification of Terms
- Control Predicates
- Meta-Call Predicates
- Delimited continuations
- Exception handling
- Handling signals
- DCG Grammar rules
- Declaring predicate properties
- Examining the program
- Input and output
- Status of streams
- Primitive character I/O
- Term reading and writing
- Analysing and Constructing Terms
- Analysing and Constructing Atoms
- Localization (locale) support
- Character properties
- Character Conversion
- Misc arithmetic support predicates
- Built-in list operations
- Finding all Solutions to a Goal
- Formatted Write
- Global variables
- Terminal Control
- Operating System Interaction
- File System Interaction
- User Top-level Manipulation
- Creating a Protocol of the User Interaction
- Debugging and Tracing Programs
- Obtaining Runtime Statistics
- Execution profiling
- Memory Management
- Windows DDE interface
- Built-in Predicates
- Reference manual
- Successively unifies Atom with all atoms known to the system. Note that current_atom/1 always succeeds if Atom is instantiated to an atom.
- current_blob(?Blob, ?Type)
- Examine the type or enumerate blobs of the given Type. Typed blobs are supported through the foreign language interface for storing arbitrary BLOBs (Binary Large Object) or handles to external entities. See section 12.4.8 for details.
- current_functor(?Name, ?Arity)
- True when Name/Arity is a known functor. This
means that at some point in time a term with name Name and Arity
arguments was created. Functor objects are currently not subject to
garbage collection. Due to timing, t/2 below with instantiated
Name and Arity can theoretically fail, i.e., a
functor may be visible in instantiated mode while it is not yet visible
in unbound mode. Considering that the only practical value of current_functor/2
we are aware of is to analyse resource usage we accept this impure
t(Name, Arity) :- ( current_functor(Name, Arity) -> current_functor(N, A), N == Name, A == Arity ; true ).
- Successively unifies FlagKey with all keys used for flags (see flag/3).
- Successively unifies Key with all keys used for records (see recorda/3, etc.).
- True if PredicateIndicator is a currently defined predicate.
A predicate is considered defined if it exists in the specified module,
is imported into the module or is defined in one of the modules from
which the predicate will be imported if it is called (see
section 6.10). Note
does not succeed for predicates that can be autoloaded
unless they are imported using autoload/2.
See also current_predicate/2
If PredicateIndicator is not fully specified, the predicate only generates values that are defined in or already imported into the target module. Generating all callable predicates therefore requires enumerating modules using current_module/1. Generating predicates callable in a given module requires enumerating the import modules using import_module/2 and the autoloadable predicates using the predicate_property/2
- current_predicate(?Name, :Head)
- Classical pre-ISO implementation of current_predicate/1,
where the predicate is represented by the head term. The advantage is
that this can be used for checking the existence of a predicate before
calling it without the need for functor/3:
call_if_exists(G) :- current_predicate(_, G), call(G).
Because of this intended usage, current_predicate/2 also succeeds if the predicate can be autoloaded. Unfortunately, checking the autoloader makes this predicate relatively slow, in particular because a failed lookup of the autoloader will cause the autoloader to verify that its index is up-to-date.
- predicate_property(:Head, ?Property)
- True when Head refers to a predicate that has property
Property. With sufficiently instantiated Head,
tries to resolve the predicate the same way as calling it would do: if
the predicate is not defined it scans the default modules (see default_module/2)
and finally tries the autoloader. Unlike calling, failure to find the
target predicate causes
to fail silently. If Head is not sufficiently bound, only
currently locally defined and already imported predicates are
enumerated. See current_predicate/1
for enumerating all predicates. A common issue concerns generating
all built-in predicates. This can be achieved using the code below:
generate_built_in(Name/Arity) :- predicate_property(system:Head, built_in), functor(Head, Name, Arity), \+ sub_atom(Name, 0, _, _, $). % discard reserved names
The predicate predicate_property/2 is covered by part-II of the ISO standard (modules). Although we are not aware of any Prolog system that implements part-II of he ISO standard, predicate_property/2 is available in most systems. There is little consensus on the implemented properties though. SWI-Prolog's auto loading feature further complicate this predicate.
Property is one of:
- True if the predicate can be autoloaded from the file File.
undefined, this property is not generated.
- True if the predicate is locked as a built-in predicate. This implies it cannot be redefined in its definition module and it can normally not be seen in the tracer.
- True if the predicate is defined. This property is aware of sources being reloaded, in which case it claims the predicate defined only if it is defined in another source or it has seen a definition in the current source. See compile_aux_clauses/1.
- True if assert/1 and retract/1 may be used to modify the predicate. This property is set using dynamic/1.
- True if the predicate is in the public list of the context module.
- Is true if the predicate is imported into the context module from module Module.
- Unify FileName with the name of the source file in which the
predicate is defined. See also source_file/2
and the property
line_count. Note that this reports the file of the first clause of a predicate. A more robust interface can be achieved using nth_clause/3 and clause_property/2.
- True if the predicate is defined in the C language.
- True when Module is the module in which Head is or
will be defined. Resolving this property goes through the same search
mechanism as when the an undefined predicate is encountered, but does
not perform any loading. It searches (1) the module inheritence
and (2) the autoload index if the unknown
flag is not set to
failin the target module.
- Indexes is a list of additional (hash) indexes on the
predicate. Each element of the list is a term ArgSpec-Index.
ArgSpec denotes the indexed argument(s) and is one of
- Hash on a single argument. Argument is the 1-based argument number.
- Hash on a combination of arguments.
- Index on a sub-argument. Position is a list holding first the argument of the predicate then the argument into the compound and recursively into deeper compound terms.
Index is a term
hash(Buckets, Speedup, Size, IsList). Here Buckets is the number of buckets in the hash and Speedup is the expected speedup relative to trying all clauses linearly, Size is the size of the index in memory in bytes and finally, IsList indicates that a list is created for all clauses with the same key. This is used to create deep indexes for the arguments of compound terms.
Note: This predicate property should be used for analysis and statistics only. The exact representation of Indexes may change between versions. The utilities jiti_list/0 jiti_list/1 list the jit indexes of matching predicates in a user friendly way.
- True if the predicate is defined in Prolog. We return true on this because, although the code is actually compiled, it is completely transparent, just like interpreted code.
- True if the predicate is covered by the ISO standard (ISO/IEC 13211-1).
- Unify LineNumber with the line number of the first clause of
the predicate. Fails if the predicate is not associated with a file. See
See also the
fileproperty above, notably the reference to clause_property/2.
- True if there may be multiple (or no) files providing clauses for the predicate. This property is set using multifile/1.
- If the predicate is declared as a meta-predicate using meta_predicate/1, unify Head with the head-pattern. The head-pattern is a compound term with the same name and arity as the predicate where each argument of the term is a meta-predicate specifier. See meta_predicate/1 for details.
- Details of the predicate are not shown by the debugger. This is the default for built-in predicates. User predicates can be compiled this way using the Prolog flag generate_debug_info.
- True if the predicate implements a grammar rule. See non_terminal/1.
- Do not show ports of this predicate in the debugger.
- Unify ClauseCount to the number of clauses associated with the predicate. Fails for foreign predicates.
- Unify RuleCount to the number of clauses associated with the
predicate. A rule is defined as a clauses that has a body that
is not just
true(i.e., a fact). Fails for foreign predicates. This property is used to avoid analysing predicates with only facts in
- Database generation at which the predicate was modified for the last time. Intended to quickly assesses the validity of caches.
- Predicate is declared public using public/1. Note that without further definition, public predicates are considered undefined and this property is not reported.
- The predicate (with arity 4) is declared to provide quasi quotation syntax with quasi_quotation_syntax/1.
- Memory used for this predicate. This includes the memory of the
predicate header, the combined memory of all clauses including erased
but not yet garbage collected clauses (see garbage_collect_clauses/0
and the memory used by clause indexes (see the
indexed(Indexes)property. Excluded are lingering data structures. These are garbage data structures that have been detached from the predicate but cannot yet be reclaimed because they may be in use by some thread.
- The definition can not be modified using assertz/1
and friends. This property is the opposite from
dynamic, i.e., for each defined predicate, either
dynamicis true but never both.
- True of the predicate is tabled. The
tabled(?Flag)property can be used to obtain details about how the predicate is tabled.
- True of the predicate is tabled and Flag applies.
Any tabled predicate has one of the mutually exclusive flags
subsumptive. In addition, tabled predicates may have one or more the the following flags
- The table is shared between threads. See section 7.8.
- The table is subject to incremental tabling. See section 7.7
tabledproperty to enumerate all tabled predicates. See table/1 for details.
- If true (only possible on the multithreaded version) each thread has its own clauses for the predicate. This property is set using thread_local/1.
- True if the predicate is declared transparent using the
declaration. In the latter case the property
meta_predicate(Head)is also provided. See chapter 6 for details.
- True if a procedure definition block for the predicate exists, but there are no clauses for it and it is not declared dynamic or multifile. This is true if the predicate occurs in the body of a loaded predicate, an attempt to call it has been made via one of the meta-call predicates, the predicate has been declared as e.g., a meta-predicate or the predicate had a definition in the past. Originally used to find missing predicate definitions. The current implementation of list_undefined/0 used cross-referencing. Deprecated.
- True when predicate can be called without raising a predicate existence
error. This means that the predicate is (1) defined, (2) can be
inherited from one of the default modules (see default_module/2)
or (3) can be autoloaded. The behaviour is logically consistent iff the
visibleis provided explicitly. If the property is left unbound, only defined predicates are enumerated.
- If true, the clauses are not saved into a saved state by qsave_program/[1,2]. This property is set using volatile/1.
- dwim_predicate(+Term, -Dwim)
- ‘Do What I Mean' (`dwim') support predicate. Term is a
term, whose name and arity are used as a predicate specification. Dwim
is instantiated with the most general term built from Name
and the arity of a defined predicate that matches the predicate
Term in the‘Do What I Mean' sense. See dwim_match/2
for‘Do What I Mean' string matching. Internal system predicates
are not generated, unless the access level is
system(see access_level). Backtracking provides all alternative matches.
- [ISO]clause(:Head, ?Body)
- True if Head can be unified with a clause head and Body with the corresponding clause body. Gives alternative clauses on backtracking. For facts, Body is unified with the atom true.
- clause(:Head, ?Body, ?Reference)
- Equivalent to clause/2, but unifies Reference with a unique reference to the clause (see also assert/2, erase/1). If Reference is instantiated to a reference the clause's head and body will be unified with Head and Body.
- nth_clause(?Pred, ?Index, ?Reference)
- Provides access to the clauses of a predicate using their index number.
Counting starts at 1. If Reference is specified it unifies Pred
with the most general term with the same name/arity as the predicate and
Index with the index number of the clause. Otherwise the name
and arity of Pred are used to determine the predicate. If Index
is provided, Reference will be unified with the clause
reference. If Index is unbound, backtracking will yield both
the indexes and the references of all clauses of the predicate. The
following example finds the 2nd clause of append/3:
?- use_module(library(lists)). ... ?- nth_clause(append(_,_,_), 2, Ref), clause(Head, Body, Ref). Ref = <clause>(0x994290), Head = lists:append([_G23|_G24], _G21, [_G23|_G27]), Body = append(_G24, _G21, _G27).
- clause_property(+ClauseRef, -Property)
- Queries properties of a clause. ClauseRef is a reference to a
clause as produced by clause/3, nth_clause/3
Unlike most other predicates that access clause references, clause_property/2
may be used to get information about erased clauses that have not yet
been reclaimed. Property is one of the following:
- Unify FileName with the name of the file from which the
clause is loaded. Fails if the clause was not created by loading a file
(e.g., clauses added using assertz/1).
- Unify LineNumber with the line number of the clause. Fails if the clause is not associated to a file.
- True when SizeInBytes is the size that the clause uses in memory in bytes. The size required by a predicate also includes the predicate data record, a linked list of clauses, clause selection instructions and optionally one or more clause indexes.
- Unify FileName with the name of the source file that created
the clause. This is the same as the
fileproperty, unless the file is loaded from a file that is textually included into source using include/1. In this scenario,
fileis the included file, while the
sourceproperty refers to the main file.
- True if the clause has no body.
- True if the clause has been erased, but not yet reclaimed because it is referenced.
- PredicateIndicator denotes the predicate to which this clause belongs. This is needed to obtain information on erased clauses because the usual way to obtain this information using clause/3 fails for erased clauses.
- Module is the context module used to execute the body of the clause. For normal clauses, this is the same as the module in which the predicate is defined. However, if a clause is compiled with a module qualified head, the clause belongs to the predicate with the qualified head, while the body is executed in the context of the module in which the clause was defined.