3.4 Variables

A variable is a data object whose value can be changed at any point in a program. A variable can be any of the following:

The name of a variable is associated with a single storage location.

Variables are classified by data type, as constants are. The data type of a variable indicates the type of data it contains, including its precision, and implies its storage requirements. When data of any type is assigned to a variable, it is converted to the data type of the variable (if necessary).

A variable is defined when you give it a value. A variable can be defined before program execution by a DATA statement or a type declaration statement. During program execution, variables can be defined or redefined in assignment statements and input statements, or undefined (for example, if an I/O error occurs). When a variable is undefined, its value is unpredictable.

When a variable becomes undefined, all variables associated by storage association also become undefined.

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