Inlining adjectives for methods, constants, functions, and slots

To inline a value is to replace, at compile time, a reference to a variable with the value of that variable. Such inlining often allows compile-time evaluation (“constant folding”) or partial evaluation.

The Open Dylan compiler can perform inlining on generic function methods, constants, class slots, and functions (created with define function — see Function Definition). We have extended the Dylan language specification of define method, define constant, and class slots with inlining definition adjectives and have included those same adjectives in our language extension define function. The adjectives are:

  • not-inline Never inline this item.

  • default-inline (default) Inline this item within a library, at the compiler’s discretion. Never inline a cross-library reference.

  • may-inline Inline this item within or between libraries, at the compiler’s discretion.

  • inline Inline this item wherever the compiler can do so.

In addition, define constant and define function permit the adjective inline-only, which forces every reference to the constant or function to be inlined.


If you export from a library any variables created with may-inline, inline, or inline-only, and then change the values of the variables, client libraries may need to be recompiled.