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12.4 Code Generation for Array Aggregates

Aggregates have a rich syntax and allow the user to specify the values of complex data structures by means of a single construct. As a result, the code generated for aggregates can be quite complex and involve loops, case statements and multiple assignments. In the simplest cases, however, the compiler will recognize aggregates whose components and constraints are fully static, and in those cases the compiler will generate little or no executable code. The following is an outline of the code that GNAT generates for various aggregate constructs. For further details, you will find it useful to examine the output produced by the -gnatG flag to see the expanded source that is input to the code generator. You may also want to examine the assembly code generated at various levels of optimization.

The code generated for aggregates depends on the context, the component values, and the type. In the context of an object declaration the code generated is generally simpler than in the case of an assignment. As a general rule, static component values and static subtypes also lead to simpler code.