C API (Component Interface)
Symbols are used as "handles" to (i.e., to represent) all objects maintained by the framework, as well as to represent some constant (global) objects. This includes, for example, representing global return codes, instance errors (distinct objects that have further information associated with them), numbers (as in 1, 2, 3...), XML nodes, SystemML objects, and Components. Therefore, most functions in the Component Interface return a Symbol, which may either be a return code or some object. The type has the same width as the architecture's native bit-width (
Some constant symbols are defined in the Component Interface (listed below). Symbols representing constants (including non-error return codes) have the form
Some pre-defined symbol constants (others are listed elsewhere in the documentation).
You can test a Symbol to discover what type it is using these macros defined in the Component Interface.
This leads to the oft-encountered idiom
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