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(Source code) location values.


| Uri | ( O, L, < BL, BC > , < EL,EC > ) where:

  • Uri is an arbitrary Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).

  • O and L are integer expressions giving the offset of this location to the begin of file, respectively, its length.

  • BL and BC are integers expressions giving the begin line and begin column.

  • EL and EC are integers expressions giving the end line and end column.

The part following the second pipe symbol (|) is optional.




Location values are represented by the type loc and serve the following purposes:

  • Providing a uniform mechanism for accessing local or remote files. This is used in all IO-related library functions.
  • If the optional part is present they serve as text coordinates in a specific local or remote source file. This is very handy to associate a source code location which extracted facts.

URIs are explained in Uniform Resource Identifier. From their original definition in RFC3986 we cite the following useful overview of an URI:

\_/ \______________/\_________/ \_________/ \__/
| | | | |
scheme authority path query fragment
| _____________________|__
/ \ / \

The elements of a location value can be accessed and modified using the standard mechanism of field selection and field assignment. The corresponding field names are:

  • top: the URI of the location without precise positioning information (offset, length, begin, end).
  • uri: the URI of the location as a string. Also subfields of the URI can be accessed:
    • scheme: the scheme (or protocol) to be used;
    • authority: the domain where the data are located, as a str;
    • host: the host where the URI is hosted (part of authority), as a str;
    • port: port on host (part of authority), as a int;
    • path: path name of file on host, as a str;
    • extension: file name extension, as a str;
    • query: query data, as a str;
    • fragment: the fragment name following the path name and query data, as a str;
    • user: user info (only present in schemes like mailto), as a str;
    • parent : removes the last segment from the path component, if any, as a loc;
    • file : the last segment of the path, as a str;
    • ls : the contents of a directory, if the loc is a directory, as a list[loc].
  • offset: start of text area.
  • length: length of text area.
  • begin.line, begin.column: begin line and column of text area.
  • end.line, end.column end line and column of text area.

All the supported schemes are reported here

Locations with specific position information are normally generated automatically (e.g. by parsers) but for the curious here is an example:

loc: |file:///home/paulk/pico.trm|(0,1,<2,3>,<4,5>)

Note that example is equivalent to using the home scheme:

loc: |home://pico.trm|(0,1,<2,3>,<4,5>)

You could read a webpage:

rascal>import IO;
<!doctype html>
<title>Example Domain</title>

<meta charset="utf-8" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" />
<style type="text/css">
body {
background-color: #f0f0f2;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
font-family: -apple-system, system-ui, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", "Open Sans", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

div {
width: 600px;
margin: 5em auto;
padding: 2em;
background-color: #fdfdff;
border-radius: 0.5em;
box-shadow: 2px 3px 7px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.02);
a:link, a:visited {
color: #38488f;
text-decoration: none;
@media (max-width: 700px) {
div {
margin: 0 auto;
width: auto;

<h1>Example Domain</h1>
<p>This domain is for use in illustrative examples in documents. You may use this
domain in literature without prior coordination or asking for permission.</p>
<p><a href="">More information...</a></p>

Addition on locations creates longer paths:

rascal>x = |tmp://myTempDirectory|;
loc: |tmp://myTempDirectory|
rascal>x += "myTempFile.txt";
loc: |tmp://myTempDirectory/myTempFile.txt|


  • locations are values, but they can be interpreted as references.


  • if a location naming scheme is not unique (read inaccurate) then downstream analyses are similarly inaccurate.