[J3] Elemental and optional arguments

José Rui Faustino de Sousa jrfsousa at gmail.com
Sat Jun 26 17:46:07 UTC 2021

Dear All,

I would be very much obliged if anyone could kindly answer a few 
questions about the correct interpretation of the standard.

I am confused by the interplay of optional arguments and elemental 
procedures specially under the definition of presence in

Even more so by the possibility that a function will return an array or 
a scalar depending on an argument, which is graphically present, being 
considered absent under

I think my confusion is mostly caused by my difficulty in understanding 
the purpose of the restrictions placed by the standard on references to 
elemental procedures and without understanding purpose rules just seem 
arbitrary and hard to follow.

 From what I could understand I wrote this list of, possibly wrong, 

First of all I am assuming that all the issues raised by elemental 
procedures must be resolved at compile time, except for the extents 
which may only be known at runtime. Although I don't think this is 
explicitly stated in the standard it is a core characteristic of the 

Second I am assuming that there are two perspectives to actual argument 
presence, in the sense of The perspective from the procedure 
which has an optional argument, which cannot know why an argument is not 
present, and the perspective from the subprogram which makes the 
procedure reference, which knows if the argument is graphically present 
or not.

(I understand (6) to apply only in the first perspective.)

A corollary of these two assumptions would be that shape conformance of 
graphically present actual arguments is mandatory, without regard to 
presence in the sense of, and reduces to rank matching.

Third, although AFAIK this is not stated anywhere, I am assuming that 
what the standard is trying to enforce is that, at compile time, it must 
be possible to know if a reference to an elemental procedure will be an 
elemental reference, which will need scalarization, or a "normal" scalar 
procedure reference.

Forth I am assuming that it is possible and legal to define elemental 
procedures that obey all the rules stated in 15.9.1, but that afterwords 
cannot be elementally referenced, at least under some circumstances.

Fifth, in the case of functions, I am assuming that the LHS of the 
function assignment does not play any role on deciding if a reference to 
an elemental function is an elemental reference or not.

(This makes techniques like return value optimization hard to apply.)

Sixth, in the case of functions and although AFAIK this is not stated 
anywhere, I am assuming that in a reference to an elemental function 
which is not an elemental reference, even if the LHS is an array, the 
function should only be evaluated once.

Are these assumptions correct?

As an illustration I add a small program:

program emess_p

   implicit none

   integer            :: i
   integer, parameter :: n = 11
   integer, parameter :: u(*) = [(i, i=1,n)]

   integer, allocatable :: a(:)
   integer              :: b(n)
   integer              :: cnt

   cnt = 0
   b = efun()
   if(any(b/=1)) stop 1
   if(cnt/=1) stop 2
   cnt = 0
   ! In principle it is only possible to know if a is present at runtime,
   ! so this is most likely illegal. Although I don't know why has I
   ! don't think (6) applies here.
   b = efun(a)
   if(any(b/=1)) stop 3
   if(cnt/=1) stop 4
   allocate(a, source=u)
   cnt = 0
   b = efun(a)
   if(any(b/=u)) stop 5
   if(cnt/=n) stop 6


   impure elemental function efun(a) result(b)
     integer, optional, intent(in) :: a

     integer :: b

     cnt = cnt + 1
       b = a
       b = 1
     end if
   end function efun

end program emess_p

Thank very much for your time.

Best regards,
José Rui

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