I pulled out my old VAX C book for reference, and all I see is passing structs in as parameters, but it seems to say it's limited to 1020 bytes. If that's true, it must apply to return values as well -- they're still on the stack, yes?
i believe the struct returning behavior is compiler dependent (OS dependent?). some will return the struct in a register, if the struct is small enough, or on the stack. some compilers are smart enough to use the caller's struct directly so as to avoid making a copy.
that struct i showed is sizeof(int *) + sizeof(int). so, 8 or 12 bytes. nothing to worry about.
I believe that's implementation defined. With my linux box I can use ulimit to set the size of the stack. By default it seems to be 8MB, but I can modify that upwards more or less as needed (obviously within memory limits of the system).
I seem to recall that early C implementations were limited to returning basic types (e.g. int, double, char *, etc). gcc-5.2 still has a warning flag for aggregate returns - which suggests that other C compilers might still adhere to that.
Method 0 is the one I observe most of the time (and use myself more frequently). Even Windows API use it.
Sentinel method has its usages (k5054 already pointed out its drawbacks).
I won't use method 2, I mean I won't choose a linked list instead of an array just in order to avoid the extra parameter in my function.
The sentinel method worked well in this case, but then Chris Losinger suggested method 3 -- using a container*. So I'm using that now. This technique has the added benefit that I can store the number of items allocated as well as the number of items in use -- sort of like how a List works in .net. I can add items up to the limit (I have no need to expand the array; I know how many items I need up front).
* Didn't we used to call that a Control Block? A simple way to avoid having bullions and bullions of function parameters?
Didn't we used to call that a Control Block? A simple way to avoid having bullions and bullions of function parameters?
Of course I am aware of the general technique (pass a struct instead of tons of parameters, again Windows API docet), however it is the very first time I hear the term 'Control Block' used with such a meaning.
PIEBALD whips out his trusty "MS-DOS Programmer's Reference" (1993, "covers through version 6"!)... and it just says "structure", e.g. RWBLOCK structure.
And VMS uses "descriptors" which are similar.
Classic C programming uses pointers to various structures, including null-terminated strings; ASCIZ strings. These are used within the OpenVMS standard C library, though most OpenVMS interfaces use descriptors. An OpenVMS construct that will be entirely new to even experienced C programmers is the string descriptor. This is typically a small data structure, containing the data length, data type, descriptor class, and data address for a chunk of data.
" -- http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/273[^]
But I'm sure we used the term "Control Block" where I worked. Maybe it's from the UNIX culture? :shrug:
A good place to look for the actual data/commands sent using the various protocols is in the microcontroller community. The Arduino/8501 forums/libraries have plenty of code available.
I once setup an arduino to record the incoming pulses from a remote. I then swapped the IR receiver module for a cheap 1mw laser - I can control the IR equipment from over 100m away now.
Unfortunately, the code's on a machine I dont have access to now and I've long since forgotten where I got the info from, sorry.
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon