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In some applications it is useful to store and retrieve Prolog terms from C code. For example, the XPCE graphical environment does this for storing arbitrary Prolog data as slot-data of XPCE objects.
Please note that the returned handles have no meaning at the Prolog level and the recorded terms are not visible from Prolog. The functions PL_recorded() and PL_erase() are the only functions that can operate on the stored term.
Two groups of functions are provided. The first group (PL_record() and friends) store Prolog terms on the Prolog heap for retrieval during the same session. These functions are also used by recorda/3 and friends. The recorded database may be used to communicate Prolog terms between threads.
(record_t)0if the record is an external record (see PL_record_external()).
TRUEon success, and
FALSEif there is not enough space on the stack to accommodate the term. See also PL_record() and PL_erase().
The second group (headed by PL_record_external()) provides the same functionality, but the returned data has properties that enable storing the data on an external device. It has been designed for fast and compact storage of Prolog terms in an external database. Here are the main features:
It is allowed to copy the data and use PL_recorded_external() on the copy. The user is responsible for the memory management of the copy. After copying, the original may be discarded using PL_erase_external().
PL_record_external() will fail if the term contains blobs that cannot be serialized, such as streams.
PL_recorded_external() is used to copy such recorded terms back to the Prolog stack.