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Global variables may be initialised from directives to make them available during the program lifetime, but some considerations are necessary for saved states and threads. Saved states do not store global variables, which implies they have to be declared with initialization/1 to recreate them after loading the saved state. Each thread has its own set of global variables, starting with an empty set. Using thread_initialization/1 to define a global variable it will be defined, restored after reloading a saved state and created in all threads that are created after the registration. Finally, global variables can be initialised using the exception hook exception/3. The latter technique is used by CHR (see chapter 9).
is created (the empty list). On backtracking the assignment is reversed.
prior to backtrackable assignment.
existence_error(variable, Name)if the variable does not exist. Alternatively, nb_current/2 can used to query a global variable. This version fails if the variable does not exist rather than raising an exception.
demo_nb_linkval :- T = nice(N), ( N = world, nb_linkval(myvar, T), fail ; nb_getval(myvar, V), writeln(V) ).
Global variables have been introduced by various Prolog implementations recently. The implementation of them in SWI-Prolog is based on hProlog by Bart Demoen. In discussion with Bart it was decided that the semantics of hProlog nb_setval/2, which is equivalent to nb_linkval/2, is not acceptable for normal Prolog users as the behaviour is influenced by how built-in predicates that construct terms (read/1, =../2, etc.) are implemented.