CS 241 - WLP4 Programming Language Tutorial

WLP4 in a nutshell for C or C++ Programmers

A WLP4 program is a sequence of C++ functions (we use the terms 'procedure' and 'function' interchangeably in this document), the last of which is is the main function and is called wain. Functions may have any number of parameters, but the main function wain has two parameters. The type of the first parameter of wain is either int or int*. The type of the second parameter of wain is int. The type of the result of every procedure is int.

Declarations, control structures and statements that may be used in WLP4 are restricted to:

The clauses of if and while containing statements must be enclosed in braces (i.e. {}).

Expressions may contain only variable names, integers (written in decimal without a sign), function calls, memory allocation (i.e., operator new), unary & and *, and the binary (two operand) versions of the following operators:

    + - * / % == != <= >= < >
Arrays of consecutive integers may be dynamically allocated using new and delete [], but their elements can be accessed only using pointer dereferences, because WLP4 does not include the C++ operator []. The // notation (and only the // notation) may be used for comments.

Example WLP4 Program

//
// WLP4 Program to compute:
//   a^b if 0 <= a,b < 10
//   -1 otherwise
//

int wain(int a, int b) {
   int counter = 0;
   int product = 0;
   product = 0-1;  // only binary minus
   if (a >= 0) {
      if (b >= 0) {
         if (a < 10) {
            if (b < 10) {
               product = 1;
               counter = 0;
               while (counter < b) {
                  product = product * a;
                  counter = counter + 1;
               }
            } else {} // must have else
         } else {} 
      } else {} 
   } else {}
   return product;
}

Notable differences between WLP4 and C/C++

Functions

Functions in WLP4 can only have one return statement, which must be at the very end.
int max(int a, int b){
  if (a > b){
    return a; // cannot return here
  } else {
    return b; // or here
  }
  // must return here
}
Fixed for WLP4, the above code looks like this:
int max(int a, int b){
  int answer = 0;
  if (a > b){
    answer = a;
  } else {
    answer = b;
  }
  return answer;
}

Local Variable Declarations

Within a function body, all the local variables must be declared at the beginning of the function, before any other code.
Variables can only be initialized to a single number or NULL.
int average(int a, int b){
  int sum = 0;
  sum = a + b;
  int average = sum / 2;
  return average;
}
Fixed for WLP4:
int average(int a, int b){
  int sum = 0;
  int average = 0;
  sum = a + b;
  average = sum / 2;
  return average;
}

if-statements

if-statements must have an else statement (though it can be empty). The conditions for an if or a while must be singular - logical AND (&&) and OR (||) do not exist in WLP4. There is no else if in WLP4.
int max3(int a, int b, int c){
  int answer = 0;
  if (a > b && a > c){ // cannot use "&&"
    answer = a;
  } else if (b > a && b > c){ // or "else if"
    answer = b;
  } else {
    answer = c;
  }
  return answer;
}
Fixed for WLP4:
int max3(int a, int b, int c){
  int answer = 0;
  if (a > b) {
    if (a > c) {
      answer = a;
    } else {
      answer = c;
    }
  } else {
    if (b > c){
      answer = b;
    } else {
      answer = c;
    }
  }
  return answer;
}

Arrays

There are no "arrays" in WLP4, though pointers can be dereferenced to achieve the same effect.
int getlast(int* begin, int size){
  return begin[size - 1]; 
}
Fixed for WLP4:
int getlast(int* begin, int size){
  return *(begin + size - 1); 
}