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Clarion is a “statement oriented” language. A statement oriented language makes use of the fact that its source code is contained in ASCII text files so every line of code is a separate record in the file. Therefore, the Carriage Return/Line Feed record delimiter can be used to eliminate punctuation.
In general, the Clarion statement format is:
label STATEMENT[(parameters)] [,ATTRIBUTE[(parameters)]] ...
Attributes specify the properties of the item and are only used on data declarations. Executable statements take the form of a standard procedure call, except assignment statements (A = B) and control structures (such as IF, CASE, and LOOP).
A statement's label must begin in column one (1) of the source code. A statement without a label must not start in column one. A statement is terminated by the end of the line. A statement too long to fit on one line can be continued by a vertical bar ( | ). The semi-colon is an optional statement separator that allows you to place more than one statement on a line.
Being a statement oriented language eliminates from Clarion much of the punctuation required in other languages to identify labels and separate statements. Blocks of statements are initiated by a single compound statement, and are terminated by an END statement (or period).