Explainer & Rewritten code
For an explainer and rewritten code, go
Example code subtlety
The example application has a subtle unfelicity (with no deleterious consequences) in that the unification
Y = Value assigns one of the allowed values for attribute
domain (held in Value) to an unbound variable (Y) that itself carries the attribute
domain. This works but needlessly triggers itself a call to attr_unify_hook/2 from within attr_unif_hook/2. One would need to to remove attribute
domain from Y first.
What about exceptions?
When the coroutine called on attributed variable unification fails, the unification fails.
What if the coroutine throws ...
... well, it seems that the exception is throw up the stack of the thread that called the unification. This makes sense as the "attributed variable coroutine" is run in the same thread.
This is a simple module with a service predicate that creates a list of unbound variables, where each variable only accepts unification with an integer (the coroutine fails otherwise). Simple runtime type checking. As an extra, unification with a string is handled in a special way, by throwing an exception.
?- use_module('enforced_integer_list.pl'). true. ?- list_of_int(5,L),nth0(1,L,X),(X='a';X=12). % Trying to unify with something that is neither an integer nor an unbound variable: Vetoed! % Trying to unify with an integer: 12. Unification okayed! L = [_13778, 12, _13790, _13796, _13802], X = 12, put_attr(_13778, enforced_integer_list, make_sure_it_is_an_int), put_attr(_13790, enforced_integer_list, make_sure_it_is_an_int), put_attr(_13796, enforced_integer_list, make_sure_it_is_an_int), put_attr(_13802, enforced_integer_list, make_sure_it_is_an_int) ; false. ?- catch((list_of_int(5,L),nth0(1,L,X),(X="a";X=12)), C, true). % Received string 'a'; this means throwing C = error(type_error(integer, "a"), _7586).
One can see the 4 residual goals printed by the toplevel.
For some reason, there is an open choicepoint left, but why?
?- list_of_int(1,L),L=. % Trying to unify with an integer: 12. Unification okayed! L =  ; % <--- more solutions false. % <--- actually not
Still doesn't help in a clause head
Sadly, this cannot be applied to variables in a clause head, so the one feature I would really like see, namely vetoing head unification depending on whhether the argument counterpart passes
nonvar (which precludes these weird tests in guards called after the head unification succeeds) is still open.
Pack which may be of interest
"An alternate interface to the clause database to allow attributed variables to be asserted/read"