%LOC() construct is an expression
that yields the value of the location of its argument,
arg, in memory.
The size of the type of the expression depends on the system—typically,
it is equivalent to either
though it is actually type
The argument to
%LOC() must be suitable as the
left-hand side of an assignment statement.
That is, it may not be a general expression involving
operators such as addition, subtraction, and so on,
nor may it be a constant.
%LOC() is recommended only for code that
is accessing facilities outside of GNU Fortran, such as
operating system or windowing facilities.
It is best to constrain such uses to isolated portions of
a program—portions that deal specifically and exclusively
with low-level, system-dependent facilities.
Such portions might well provide a portable interface for
use by the program as a whole, but are themselves not
portable, and should be thoroughly tested each time they
are rebuilt using a new compiler or version of a compiler.
Do not depend on
%LOC() returning a pointer that
can be safely used to define (change) the argument.
While this might work in some circumstances, it is hard
to predict whether it will continue to work when a program
(that works using this unsafe behavior)
is recompiled using different command-line options or
a different version of g77.
%LOC() is safe when used as an argument
to a procedure that makes use of the value of the corresponding
dummy argument only during its activation, and only when
such use is restricted to referencing (reading) the value
of the argument to
Implementation Note: Currently, g77 passes
arguments (those not passed using a construct such as
by reference or descriptor, depending on the type of
the actual argument.
Thus, given `INTEGER I', `CALL FOO(I)' would
seem to mean the same thing as `CALL FOO(%VAL(%LOC(I)))', and
in fact might compile to identical code.
However, `CALL FOO(%VAL(%LOC(I)))' emphatically means “pass, by value, the address of `I' in memory”. While `CALL FOO(I)' might use that same approach in a particular version of g77, another version or compiler might choose a different implementation, such as copy-in/copy-out, to effect the desired behavior—and which will therefore not necessarily compile to the same code as would `CALL FOO(%VAL(%LOC(I)))' using the same version or compiler.
See Debugging and Interfacing, for detailed information on how this particular version of g77 implements various constructs.