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{{fbdoc item="title" value="Pointers to Procedures"}}----
Pointers that point to procedures

Just as pointers can be made to point to an ##[[KeyPgInteger|Integer]]## or ##[[KeyPgSingle|Single]]## type, pointers can also point to procedures, that is, they can store the address of a procedure.

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Declaration"}}
To declare a pointer to procedure, use the ##[[KeyPgSub|Sub]]## or ##[[KeyPgFunction|Function]]## keywords, followed by any parameters and return value type:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/dimptr.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
' declares a pointer to sub procedure that takes no arguments
dim pointerToProcedure as sub
Procedure pointers store procedure addresses, which are retrieved using ##[[KeyPgOpAt|Operator @]]## (Address of) or the ##[[KeyPgOpProcptr|ProcPtr operator]]##:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/"}}%%(freebasic)

function Add (a as integer, b as integer) as integer
return a + b
end function

dim pFunc as function (as integer, as integer) as integer = @Add

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Calling a procedure pointer"}}
The interesting thing about procedure pointers is that they can be called just like a procedure:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/calling.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
'' .. Add and pFunc as before ..
#include once ""

print "3 + 4 = " & pFunc(3, 4)
For a calling example of subroutine pointer, see the ##[[KeyPgOpAt|Operator @ (Address of)]]## page.

**Note:** When calling a procedure through a procedure pointer, parentheses surrounding the argument list (even empty) are mandatory to resolve ambiguity with a simple access to the pointer value.

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Passing procedure pointers to procedures"}}
Passing procedure pointers to other procedures is similar as well:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/passing.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
'' .. Add and pFunc as before ..
#include once ""

function DoOperation (a as integer, b as integer, operation as function (as integer, as integer) as integer) as integer
return operation(a, b)
end function

print "3 + 4 = " & DoOperation(3, 4, @Add)
Because procedure pointer declarations can be lengthy, it often helps to create a type alias for the procedure pointer, in an effort to make clearer code:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/alias.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
'' .. Add and pFunc as before ..
#include once ""

type operation as function (as integer, as integer) as integer

function DoOperation (a as integer, b as integer, op as operation) as integer
return op(a, b)
end function

print "3 + 4 = " & DoOperation(3, 4, @Add)

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Pointers to procedure pointers"}}
Because the syntax of a procedure pointer does not allow declaration of a pointer to procedure pointer when the procedure is a function (because ptr applies on return type and not on procedure), a type alias is used. Notice how it is necessary to surround a dereferenced pointer to procedure pointer by parenthesis when calling the procedure. This is because the function-call operator '()' has higher precedence than ##[[KeyPgOpValueOf|Operator *]]## (Value of):

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/procptrs.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
Function Halve (ByVal i As Integer) As Integer
Return i / 2
End Function

Function Triple (ByVal i As Integer) As Integer
Return i * 3
End Function

Type operation As Function (ByVal As Integer) As Integer

' an array of procedure pointers, NULL indicates the
' end of the array
Dim operations(20) As operation = _
{ @Halve, @Triple, 0 }

Dim i As Integer = 280

' apply all of the operations to a variable by iterating through the array
' with a pointer to procedure pointer
Dim op As operation Ptr = @operations(0)
While (*op <> 0)
' call the procedure that is pointed to, note the extra parenthesis
i = (*op)(i)
op += 1

Print "Value of 'i' after all operations performed: " & i

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Pointers to member procedures"}}
Method pointers are not implemented yet, but it is possible to work-around that by using a static wrapper:

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/method-ptr.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
' This example shows how you can simulate getting a class method pointer,
' until support is properly implemented in the compiler.
' When this is supported, you will only need to remove the static wrapper
' function presented here, to maintain compatibility.

type T
declare function test(byval number as integer) as integer
declare static function test(byref this as T, byval number as integer) as integer
dim as integer i = 420
end type

function T.test(byval number as integer) as integer
return i + number
end function

function T.test(byref this as T, byval number as integer) as integer
return this.test(number)
end function

dim p as function(byref as T, byval as integer) as integer
p = @T.test

dim as T obj

print p(obj, 69) '' prints 489

{{fbdoc item="section" value="Typing rule for procedure pointer declaration"}}
The procedure pointer declaration allows to assign to the pointer:
- not only a procedure with the same parameters types, and if any, the same result type,
- but also a procedure with contravariant byref (or by pointer) parameters or/and a covariant byref (or by pointer) result.

{{fbdoc item="filename" value="examples/manual/proguide/procptrs/typing-rule.bas"}}%%(freebasic)
'Example of assigning to a function pointer a function with a contravariant parameter and a covariant result.

Type A
Dim As Integer I
End type

Type B Extends A
Dim As Integer J
End Type

Function f (Byref a0 As A) As B Ptr
Print "instance of B created"
Return New B(a0)
End Function

Dim As Function (Byref As B) As A Ptr pf = @f

Dim As B b0
Dim As A Ptr pab = pf(b0)

Delete Cptr(B Ptr, pab)

{{fbdoc item="see"}}
- ##[[KeyPgSub|Sub]]##
- ##[[KeyPgFunction|Function]]##
- ##[[KeyPgPointer|Pointer]]##
- ##[[KeyPgOpAt|Operator @ (Address of)]]##
- ##[[KeyPgOpProcptr|ProcPtr operator]]##

{{fbdoc item="back" value="CatPgProgrammer|Programmer's Guide"}}

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