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C.1 Symbol Format

A symbol is nothing more than an abstract representation of an object, represented by a preproc:sym node in the symbol table (see Symbol Table), For some symbol \(\sigma\) describing some object \(\theta\), the following attributes are recognized:


Unique identifier of \(\sigma\). Required.


Type of object described by \(\sigma\). Multiple symbols of different types may share the same \(\theta\). Required.


Human-readable description of \(\theta\). Required.


Dimensions of \(\theta\) as an integer. See _symtable:str-to-dim#1 for supported strings. Required


Reference to some symbol describing the datatype of \(\sigma\), if applicable.


TeX code used to render \(\sigma\) in a math block.


Reference to a symbol from which \(\sigma\) is derived. For example, a cgen symbol would have the associated class as its parent.


Whether \(\sigma\) is unresolved in the given context.


If extern, a human-readable message describing \(\theta\). This is useful to display to the user on error when \(\sigma\) is the result of generated code (e.g. template expansion).


When true, linker does not attempt to look up dependencies for this symbol. Otherwise, as a safeguard against compilation bugs, the linker will fail if a symbol is missing a dependency list.


Permit \(\sigma\) to be part of a cycle (see Dependency Graph). This is desirable for recursive functions, but should otherwise be avoided like the plague.


Always link \(\sigma\), even if disjoint from the program’s dependency graph. This is marked for removal.11

An attribute not marked as required may be omitted. If an implementation wishes to attach additional metadata to a symbol, it must use a different namespace.

function: xs:integer _symtable:str-to-dim (str as xs:string?)


Convert a string dimension representation into an integer.

Standard dimensions are ‘scalar’ (0), ‘vector’ (1), and ‘matrix’ (2). If no value is provided, then ‘scalar’ is assumed. All unknown strings will yield a value of ‘-1’.12


<function name="_symtable:str-to-dim"  as="xs:integer">
  <param name="str"  as="xs:string?" />

    <when test="empty( $str ) or ( $str = 'scalar' )">
      <sequence select="0" />

    <when test="$str = 'vector'">
      <sequence select="1" />

    <when test="$str = 'matrix'">
      <sequence select="2" />

      <sequence select="-1" />



“Keeps” cause various tricky and inelegant situations, cause unnecessary coupling of unrelated concerns, and create a performance nightmare for the linker. They were created as a kluge during a near-rewrite of TAME (which introduced the symbol table) to get around the fact that certain systems weren’t in place to pull in symbols as dependencies for certain operations; it wasn’t intended to stick. They will be removed entirely and will not be replaced with anything—if a symbol is to be linked, it must be part of the dependency graph.


That’s not to say that TAME can’t support an arbitrary number of dimensions; this syntax just doesn’t provide that utility.

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