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2.3 Identifiers

Identifiers are used as names. 


{AI95-00285-01} {AI95-00395-01} identifier ::= 
   identifier_start {identifier_start | identifier_extend} identifier_letter {[underlineletter_or_digit}
{AI95-00285-01} {AI95-00395-01} identifier_start letter_or_digit ::= 
   | letter_lowercase
   | letter_titlecase
   | letter_modifier
   | letter_other
   | number_letter
 identifier_letter | digit
{AI95-00285-01} {AI95-00395-01} identifier_extend ::= 
   | mark_spacing_combining
   | number_decimal
   | punctuation_connector
   | other_format
{AI95-00395-01} After eliminating the characters in category other_format, an identifier shall not contain two consecutive characters in category punctuation_connector, or end with a character in that category. An identifier shall not be a reserved word. 
Reason: This rule was stated in the syntax in Ada 95, but that has gotten too complex in Ada 2005. Since other_format characters usually do not display, we do not want to count them as separating two underscores.

Static Semantics

{AI95-00285-01} Two identifiers are considered the same if they consist of the same sequence of characters after applying the following transformations (in this order): All characters of an identifier are significant, including any underline character. {case insensitive} Identifiers differing only in the use of corresponding upper and lower case letters are considered the same. 
Discussion: Two of the letters of ISO 8859-1 appear only as lower case, "sharp s" and "y with diaeresis." These two letters have no corresponding upper case letter (in particular, they are not considered equivalent to one another). 
  {AI95-00395-01} After applying these transformations, an identifier shall not be identical to a reserved word (in upper case). 
Implementation Note: We match the reserved words after doing these transformations so that the rules for identifiers and reserved words are the same. (This allows other_format characters, which usually don't display, in a reserved word without changing it to an identifier.) Since a compiler usually will lexically process identifiers and reserved words the same way (often with the same code), this will prevent a lot of headaches. 
Ramification: The rules for reserved words differ in one way: they define case conversion on letters rather than sequences. This means that some unusual sequences are neither identifiers nor reserved words. For instance, “ıf” and “acceß” have upper case conversions of “IF” and “ACCESS” respectively. These are not identifiers, because the transformed values are identical to a reserved word. But they are not reserved words, either, because the original values do not match any reserved word as defined or with any number of characters of the reserved word in upper case. Thus, these odd constructions are just illegal, and should not appear in the source of a program. 

Implementation Permissions

In a nonstandard mode, an implementation may support other upper/lower case equivalence rules for identifiers[, to accommodate local conventions]. 
Discussion: {AI95-00285-01} For instance, in most languages, the uppercase equivalent of LATIN SMALL LETTER I (a lower case letter with a dot above) is LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I (an upper case letter without a dot above). In Turkish, though, LATIN SMALL LETTER I and LATIN SMALL LETTER DOTLESS I are two distinct letters, so the upper case equivalent of LATIN SMALL LETTER I is LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I WITH DOT ABOVE, and the upper case equivalent of LATIN SMALL LETTER DOTLESS I is LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I. Take for instance the following identifier (which is the name of a city on the Tigris river in Eastern Anatolia): 
diyarbakır -- The first i is dotted, the second isn't.
Locale-independent conversion to upper case results in: 
DIYARBAKIR -- Both Is are dotless.
This means that the four following sequences of characters represent the same identifier, even though for a locutor of Turkish they would probably be considered distinct words: 
An implementation targeting the Turkish market is allowed (in fact, expected) to provide a nonstandard mode where case folding is appropriate for Turkish. This would cause the original identifier to be converted to:
DİYARBAKIR -- The first I is dotted, the second isn't.
and the four sequences of characters shown above would represent four distinct identifiers.
Lithuanian and Azeri are two other languages that present similar idiosyncrasies. 
3  {AI95-00285-01} Identifiers differing only in the use of corresponding upper and lower case letters are considered the same. 


Examples of identifiers:
{AI95-00433-01} Count      X    Get_Symbol   Ethelyn   Marion
Snobol_4   X1   Page_Count   Store_Next_Item
Πλάτων      -- Plato
Чайковский  -- Tchaikovsky
θ  φ        -- Angles

Wording Changes from Ada 83

We no longer include reserved words as identifiers. This is not a language change. In Ada 83, identifier included reserved words. However, this complicated several other rules (for example, regarding implementation-defined attributes and pragmas, etc.). We now explicitly allow certain reserved words for attribute designators, to make up for the loss. 
Ramification: Because syntax rules are relevant to overload resolution, it means that if it looks like a reserved word, it is not an identifier. As a side effect, implementations cannot use reserved words as implementation-defined attributes or pragma names. 

Extensions to Ada 95

{AI95-00285-01} {extensions to Ada 95} An identifier can use any letter defined by ISO-10646:2003, along with several other categories. This should ease programming in languages other than English.

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