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Warning: (file:line) Redefined static procedure: name/arity

This error typically appears if a predicate, say p/1, is defined in multiple source-files that are not module files (see module/2). There are two situations:

  1. This is a mistake; the two versions of p/1 should have been different predicates. Now, there are two ways out:
    • Rename the predicate in one of the two files.
    • Start using modules.
  2. This was intended: you want different clauses of the p/1 predicate in different clauses. There are again two ways out:
    • Use the multifile/1 directive. Add the directive to each file, as illustrated below:

      file 1:

      :- multifile p/1.
      p(a).
      p(b).

      file 2:

      :- multifile p/1.
      p(1).
      p(2).
    • Use two different names in file 1 and file 2 and a disjunction to query both versions:
      :- [file1].	% loads p_1/1
      :- [file2].	% loads p_2/1
      
      p(X) :- p_1(X).
      p(X) :- p_2(X).

    The advantage of the multifile/1 based approach is that it is simple and all lookup is fully indexed. The price is that you have little control over the order of the clauses. If you modify file 1 and reload it, its clauses will now be after those from file 2. Make sure that the order does not matter! The second appraoch maintains the order of answers. This approach is typically preferred if the facts from file 1 and file 2 are conceptually different, e.g., the first defines people and the second organizations.