Create and initialize private memory variables and arrays


       PRIVATE <identifier> [[:= <initializer>], ... ]


<identifier> is the name of a private variable or array to create. If the <identifier> is followed by square brackets ([ ]), an array is created and assigned to the <identifier>. When the <identifier> specification indicates an array, the syntax for specifying the number of elements for each dimension can be array[<nElements>, <nElements2>, …] or array[<nElements>][<nElements2>]… The maximum number of elements per dimension is 4096. The maximum number of dimensions is limited only by available memory.

<initializer> is the optional assignment of a value to a new private variable. An array cannot be given values with an <initializer>. An <initializer> for a private variable consists of the inline assignment operator (:=) followed by any valid Harbour expression including a literal array. If no explicit <initializer> is specified, the variable is initialized to NIL. In the case of an array, each element is initialized to NIL.

You can create and, optionally, initialize a list of variables and arrays with one PRIVATE statement if the definitions are separated by commas.


The PRIVATE statement creates variables and arrays visible within the current and invoked procedures or user-defined functions. This class of variable is said to have dynamic scope. Private variables exist for the duration of the active procedure or until explicitly released with CLEAR ALL, CLEAR MEMORY, or RELEASE. When a private variable or array is created, existing and visible private and public variables of the same name are hidden until the current procedure or user-defined function terminates.

Attempting to specify a PRIVATE variable that conflicts with a previous FIELD, LOCAL, or STATIC declaration of the same name results in a fatal compiler error. This is true regardless of the scope of the declaration.

PRIVATE statements are executable statements and, therefore, must be specified within the body of a procedure or user-defined function and must follow all variable declarations, such as FIELD, LOCAL, MEMVAR, and STATIC.

In addition to the PRIVATE statement, private variables are also created in two other ways:

. Assignment to a variable that does not exist or is not visible will create a private variable .

Parameters received using the PARAMETERS statement are created as private variables with the same lifetime and visibility.

No more than 2048 private and public variables and arrays can simultaneously exist in a single program.

For more information on variable declarations and scoping, refer to the Variables section in the “Basic Concepts” chapter.


. Compatibility: The ALL, LIKE, and EXCEPT clauses of the PRIVATE statement supported by other dBASE dialects are not supported.


       .  This example creates two PRIVATE arrays and three other
          PRIVATE variables:
          PRIVATE aArray1[10], aArray2[20], var1, var2, var3
       .  This example creates a multidimensional private array using
          each element addressing convention:
          PRIVATE aArray[10][10][10], aArray2[10, 10, 10]
       .  This example uses PRIVATE statements to create and initialize
          arrays and variables:
          PRIVATE aArray := { 1, 2, 3, 4 }, ;
                aArray2 := ARRAY(12, 24)
          PRIVATE cChar := SPACE(10), cColor := SETCOLOR()



One response to “PRIVATE

  1. Pingback: Harbour Statements | Viva Clipper !

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