Monthly Archives: April 2011

GNU, and void pointers

Glennan Carnie

Glennan Carnie

Technical Consultant at Feabhas Ltd
Glennan is an embedded systems and software engineer with over 20 years experience, mostly in high-integrity systems for the defence and aerospace industry.

He specialises in C++, UML, software modelling, Systems Engineering and process development.
Glennan Carnie

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Void pointers were introduced in ANSI C as ‘generic’ pointers; or, if you prefer, ‘pointers to no particular type’. They were designed to replace unsigned char* pointers in instances where the type of the object being pointed to could change.

unsigned char* has the least restrictive alignment – it aligns on a byte boundary. This means an unsigned char* pointer could be used to point to any object (with an appropriate cast, of course).

Remember, though, the type of a pointer defines […]

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