[fpc-pascal] Overloading functions

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-pascal at telemetry.co.uk
Wed Sep 10 09:19:45 CEST 2014

My understanding is that functions cannot be overloaded based on the 
return type, i.e. you can't have two functions with the same name and 
parameters which differ only in the return type. Is there any realistic 
way this can be worked around?

I've been reading the first few (i.e. free :-) chapters of Timothy 
Budd's description of Leda, which is a Pascal-based language which seeks 
to support imperative, OO, functional and inference programming styles. 
I don't think that it highlights any voids in FPC, but some of the 
examples are thought-provoking (as in "that can't be efficient").

Specifically, when discussing graphs he uses a functional style, where 
if he wants to count the number of edges attached to a vertex he uses 
the function to return a subgraph, explicitly counting the elephants 
before freeing them.

Now FPC could obviously do that with e.g. an overloaded := operator. But 
is there any way to handle the special case of two functions, one of 
which returns a dynamic array and the other the number of elements, 
without having to give them different names or parameters?


Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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