Old C Changes

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This is the contents of the 'Old C Changes' help file, which is believed to refer to Typesetter C.

                            C Changes

1.  Long integers

The compiler implements 32-bit  integers.   The  associated  type
keyword  is `long'.  The word can act rather like an adjective in
that `long int' means a 32-bit integer and `long float' means the
same as `double.' But plain `long' is a long integer.  Essential-
ly  all  operations  on  longs  are   implemented   except   that
assignment-type  operators  do  not  have  values, so l1+(l2=+l3)
won't work.  Neither will l1 = l2 = 0.

Long constants are written with a terminating `l' or  `L'.   E.g.
"123L"  or  "0177777777L" or "0X56789abcdL".  The latter is a hex
constant, which could also have been  short;   it  is  marked  by
starting  with  "0X".   Every  fixed decimal constant larger than
32767 is taken to be long, and so  are  octal  or  hex  constants
larger  than  0177777 (0Xffff, or 0xFFFF if you like).  A warning
is given in such a case since this is actually an incompatibility
with  the  older compiler.  Where the constant is just used as an
initializer or assigned to something it doesn't matter.  If it is
passed  to a subroutine then the routine will not get what it ex-

When a short and a long integer are  operands  of  an  arithmetic
operator,  the  short is converted to long (with sign extension).
This is true also when a short is assigned to  a  long.   When  a
long  is  assigned to a short integer it is truncated at the high
order end with no notice of possible loss of significant  digits.
This is true as well when a long is added to a pointer (which in-
cludes its usage as a subscript).  The conversion rules  for  ex-
pressions  involving  doubles and floats mixed with longs are the
same as those for short integers, _�m_�u_�t_�a_�t_�i_�s _�m_�u_�t_�a_�n_�d_�i_�s.

A point to note is that constant expressions involving longs  are
not  evaluated  at  compile  time, and may not be used where con-
stants are expected.  Thus

        long x {5000L*5000L};

is illegal;

        long x {5000*5000};

is legal but wrong because the high-order part is lost;  but both

        long x 25000000L;


        long x 25.e6;

are correct and have the same meaning because the double constant
is converted to long at compile time.

2.  Unsigned integers

A new fundamental data type with keyword  `unsigned,'  is  avail-
able.  It may be used alone:

        unsigned u;

or as an adjective with `int'

        unsigned int u;

with the same meaning.  There are not yet (or possibly ever)  un-
signed  longs  or  chars.  The meaning of an unsigned variable is
that of an integer modulo 2^n, where n is 16 on the PDP-11.   All
operators  whose operands are unsigned produce results consistent
with this interpretation except division and remainder where  the
divisor  is larger than 32767; then the result is incorrect.  The
dividend in an unsigned division may however have any value (i.e.
up  to  65535)  with  correct  results.  Right shifts of unsigned
quantities are guaranteed to be logical shifts.

When an ordinary integer and an  unsigned  integer  are  combined
then  the ordinary integer is mapped into an integer mod 2^16 and
the result is unsigned.  Thus, for example `u =  -1'  results  in
assigning  65535  to  u.   This is mathematically reasonable, and
also happens to involve no run-time overhead.

When an unsigned integer is assigned to a plain integer, an  (un-
diagnosed)  overflow  occurs  when  the  unsigned integer exceeds

It is intended that unsigned integers be used in  contexts  where
previously  character  pointers  were used (artificially and non-
portably) to represent unsigned integers.

3.  Block structure.

A sequence of declarations may now appear at the beginning of any
compound statement in {}.  The variables declared thereby are lo-
cal to the compound statement.  Any declarations of the same name
existing  before  the  block  was entered are pushed down for the
duration of the block.  Just as in  functions,  as  before,  auto
variables disappear and lose their values when the block is left;
static variables retain their values.  Also according to the same
rules  as for the declarations previously allowed at the start of
functions, if no storage class is mentioned in a declaration  the
default is automatic.

Implementation of inner-block declarations is such that there  is
no run-time cost associated with using them.

4.  Initialization (part 1)

This compiler properly handles initialization  of  structures  so
the construction

        struct { char name[8]; char type; float val; } x
                { "abc", 'a', 123.4 };

compiles correctly.  In particular  it  is  recognized  that  the
string  is  supposed  to  fill an 8-character array, the `a' goes
into a character, and that the 123.4 must be rounded  and  placed
in  a  single-precision  cell.   Structures  of arrays, arrays of
structures, and the like all work;  a more formal description  of
what is done follows.

<initializer> ::= <element>

<element> ::= <expression> | <element> , <element> |
                { <element> } | { <element> , }

An element is an expression or a comma-separated sequence of ele-
ments possibly enclosed in braces.  In a brace-enclosed sequence,
a comma is optional after the last element.  This very  ambiguous
definition  is  parsed  as described below.  "Expression" must of
course be a constant expression within the  previous  meaning  of
the Act.

An initializer for a non-structured scalar is an element with ex-
actly one expression in it.

An "aggregate" is a structure or an array.   If  the  initializer
for  an  aggregate  begins with a left brace, then the succeeding
comma-separated sequence of elements initialize  the  members  of
the  aggregate.  It is erroneous for the number of members in the
sequence to exceed the number of elements in the  aggregate.   If
the sequence has too few members the aggregate is padded.

If the initializer for an aggregate does not begin  with  a  left
brace,  then  the  members  of the aggregate are initialized with
successive elements from the succeeding comma-separated sequence.
If the sequence terminates before the aggregate is filled the ag-
gregate is padded.

The "top level" initializer is the object  which  initializes  an
external  object  itself,  as opposed to one of its members.  The
top level initializer for an aggregate must  begin  with  a  left

If the top-level object being initialized is an array and if  its
size is omitted in the declaration, e.g. "int a[]", then the size
is calculated from the number of elements which initialized it.

Short of complete assimilation of this description, there are two
simple  approaches  to the initialization of complicated objects.
First, observe that it is always legal to initialize  any  object
with  a  comma-separated sequence of expressions.  The members of
every structure and array are stored in a specified order, so the
expressions which initialize these members may if desired be laid
out in a row to successively,  and  recursively,  initialize  the

Alternatively, the sequences of expressions which initialize  ar-
rays or structures may uniformly be enclosed in braces.

5.  Initialization (part 2)

Declarations, whether external, at the head of functions,  or  in
inner blocks may have initializations whose syntax is the same as
previous external declarations with  initializations.   The  only
restrictions  are that automatic structures and arrays may not be
initialized (they can't be assigned either); nor, for the  moment
at least, may external variables when declared inside a function.

The declarations and initializations should be thought of as  oc-
curring  in lexical order so that forward references in initiali-
zations are unlikely to work.  E.g.,

        { int a a;
          int b c;
          int c 5;

Here a is initialized by itself (and  its  value  is  thus  unde-
fined); b is initialized with the old value of c (which is either
undefined or any c declared in an outer block).

6.  Bit fields

A declarator inside a structure may have the form

        <declarator> : <constant>

which specifies that the object declared is stored in a field the
number of bits in which is specified by the constant.  If several
such things are stacked up next to each other then  the  compiler
allocates  the  fields from right to left, going to the next word
when the new field will not fit.  The declarator  may  also  have
the form

        : <constant>

which allocates an unnamed field to simplify  accurate  modelling
of  things  like  hardware formats where there are unused fields.

        : 0

means to force the next field to start on a word boundary.

The types of bit fields can be only "int" or  "char".   The  only
difference  between  the  two is in the alignment and length res-
trictions:  no int field can be longer than 16 bits, nor any char
longer  than  8  bits.   If  a  char  field will not fit into the
current character, then it is moved  up  to  the  next  character

Both int and char fields are taken to be unsigned  (non-negative)

Bit-field variables are not quite full-class citizens.   Although
most  operators  can  be  applied  to  them, including assignment
operators, they do not have addresses  (i.e.  there  are  no  bit
pointers) so the unary & operator cannot be applied to them.  For
essentially this reason there are no arrays of  bit  field  vari-

There are three twoes in the implementation:  addition  (=+)  ap-
plied  to  fields  can result in an overflow into the next field;
it is not possible to initialize bit fields.

7.  Macro preprocessor

The proprocessor handles `define' statements  with  formal  argu-
ments.  The line

        #define macro(a1,...,an) ...a1...an...

is recognized by the presence of a left parenthesis following the
defined name.  When the form


is recognized in normal C program text, it is replaced by the de-
finition,  with  the corresponding _�b_�i actual argument string sub-
stituted for the corresponding _�a_�i formal arguments.  Both  actual
and  formal  arguments  are  separated  by commas not included in
parentheses; the formal arguments have the syntax of names.

Macro expansions are no longer surrounded by  spaces.   Lines  in
which a replacement has taken place are rescanned until no macros

The preprocessor has a rudimentary conditional facility.  A  line
of the form

        #ifdef name

is ignored if `name' is defined to the preprocessor (i.e. was the
subject  of  a  `define'  line).  If name is not defined then all
lines through a line of the form


are ignored.  A corresponding form is

        #ifndef name

which ignores the intervening lines  unless  `name'  is  defined.
The name `unix' is predefined and replaced by itself to aid writ-
ers of C programs which are expected to be transported  to  other
machines with C compilers.

In connection with this, there is a new option to the cc command:

        cc -Dname

which causes `name' to be defined to the  preprocessor  (and  re-
placed  by  itself).   This can be used together with conditional
preprocessor statements to select variant versions of  a  program
at compile time.

The previous two facilities (macros with  arguments,  conditional
compilation)  were  actually available in the 6th Edition system,
but undocumented.  New in this release of the cc command  is  the
ability  to nest `include' files.  Preprocessor include lines may
have the new form

        #include <file>

where the angle brackets replace double quotes.   In  this  case,
the  file  name  is  prepended  with  a  standard  prefix, namely
`/usr/include'.  In is intended that commonly-used include  files
be  placed  in this directory;  the convention reduces the depen-
dence on system-specific naming conventions.  The standard prefix
can be replaced by the cc command option `-I':

        cc -Iotherdirectory

8.  Registers

A formal argument may be given the storage class `register.' When
this occurs the save sequence copies it from the place the caller
left it into a fast register;  all usual restrictions on its  use
are the same as for ordinary register variables.

Now any variable inside a function may be declared `register;' if
the  type is unsuitable, or if there are more than three register
declarations, then the compiler makes  it  `auto'  instead.   The
restriction  that the & operator may not be applied to a register

9.  Mode declarations

A declaration of the form

        typedef type-specifier declarator ;

makes the name given in the declarator into the equivalent  of  a
keyword specifying the type which the name would have in an ordi-
nary declaration.  Thus

        typedef int *iptr;

makes `iptr' usable in  declarations  of  pointers  to  integers;
subsequently the declarations

        iptr ip;
        int *ip;

would mean the same thing.  Type names  introduced  in  this  way
obey the same scope rules as ordinary variables.  The facility is
new, experimental, and probably buggy.

10.  Top-level static

The storage class `static' can be specified in top-level declara-
tions.  Names declared thereby are global to the rest of the file
in which they appear (except as modified by block structure,  see
3  above)  but  are  unconnected  with names in programs in other
files.  This may be useful to systems of library  routines  which
want to keep their internal interfaces hidden.

11. Restrictions

The compiler is somewhat stickier about some  constructions  that
used to be accepted.

One difference is that external declarations  made  inside  func-
tions  are  remembered  to the end of the file, that is even past
the end of the function.  The most  frequent  problem  that  this
causes  is  that implicit declaration of a function as an integer
in one routine, and subsequent  explicit  declaration  of  it  as
another  type, is not allowed.  This turned out to affect several
source programs distributed with the system.

It is now required that all forward references to labels inside a
function  be  the subject of a `goto.' This has turned out to af-
fect mainly people who pass a label to the routine `setexit.'  In
fact  a  routine  is  supposed to be passed here, and why a label
worked I do not know.

In general this compiler makes it more  difficult  to  use  label
variables.   Think  of  this as a contribution to structured pro-

The compiler now checks multiple declarations of  the  same  name
more  carefully  for  consistency.  It used to be possible to de-
clare the same name to be  a  pointer  to  different  structures;
this  is  caught.   So  too are declarations of the same array as
having different sizes.  The exception is that array declarations
with empty brackets may be used in conjunction with a declaration
with a specified size.  Thus

        int a[];          int a[50];

is acceptable (in either order).

An external array all of whose definitions involve empty brackets
is  diagnosed  as `undefined' by the loader;  it used to be taken
as having 1 element.