building and analysing C structs with Storable

Henning Thielemann lemming at
Tue Oct 16 03:44:27 EDT 2007

On Sun, 14 Oct 2007, John Meacham wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 14, 2007 at 09:28:45PM +0200, Henning Thielemann wrote:
>>> You say "the system's C compiler" as if there was only one.  It's quite
>>> common for UNIXoid systems to have several C compilers installed
>>> simultaneously; and if you use the module corresponding to the wrong
>>> compiler, you get silent data loss.  I wouldn't risk it.
>> Do different C compilers on the same platform actually use different
>> layouts for structs? If yes, how can I find out, with which compiler a
>> library was compiled?
> Not in general, the exact layout of C structs and whatnot is set forth
> in the ABI spec developed by the chip manufacturer. All compilers must
> follow it or they cannot even use the same libraries. that said, some
> compilers out there do sometimes deviate from the ABI, or allow it as an
> option, but there is generally an accepted ABI for a OS-platform pair.
> Otherwise things like 'libc' would not be abled to be linked against.

This means, if this knowledge is baked into system dependent instances of 
Storable (especially 'alignment') then generic routines for constructing 
and disecting C structs are straightforward to implement. Right?

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