2007-11-20 – Pointer magic

The following C type definition can be used for declaring local and global structure objects. You can initialize them as if they were bare structures, because C doesn't mind if you omit curly brackets in initializers (though gcc -Wall will complain). You can also use the typedef to declare function arguments, in which case the function will expect a pointer to the structure instead of a copy of it. Furthermore, when you use a variable declared with this typedef, it will be quietly converted into a pointer to the structure just as is expected by the function. This avoids a load of & operators and gives you a sort of poor-man's C++ pass-by-reference.

        typedef struct mytype {
                /* member declarations */
        } mytype[1];

        mytype var;

        int func(mytype arg);


ETA: it seems this trick is used by GMP (see the last paragraph of that page)

[Poll #1092168]

⇐ 2007-11-19 ⇐ Chain of distraction ⇐ ⇒ LIAR: Life in a register ⇒ 2008-01-22 ⇒