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15.4.9.6 Deviations from Standard Modula-2

A few changes have been made to make Modula-2 programs easier to debug. This is done primarily via loosening its type strictness:

  • Unlike in standard Modula-2, pointer constants can be formed by integers. This allows you to modify pointer variables during debugging. (In standard Modula-2, the actual address contained in a pointer variable is hidden from you; it can only be modified through direct assignment to another pointer variable or expression that returned a pointer.)
  • C escape sequences can be used in strings and characters to represent non-printable characters. GDB prints out strings with these escape sequences embedded. Single non-printable characters are printed using the ‘CHR(nnn)’ format.
  • The assignment operator (:=) returns the value of its right-hand argument.
  • All built-in procedures both modify and return their argument.