Monthly Archives: April 2011

GNU, and void pointers

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.

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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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