Hrrmmm shouldn't those lines be...

Russ Allbery rra at
Fri Sep 8 01:44:41 UTC 2000

Rick Irving <rirving at> writes:

> Placing an ampersand in front of an array, even if it is an element of
> the structure.....

It really is entirely defined behavior.  ISO C99 section

1 The operand of the unary & operator shall be either a function
  designator, the result of a [] or unary * operator, or an lvalue that
  designates an object that is not a bit-field and is not declared with
  the register storage-class specifier.


1 An lvalue is an expression with an object type or an incomplete type
  other than void;

so given that an array is an object which is neither a bit-field nor
declared with a register storage-class specifier, taking its address is a
fully defined operation.  The result is a pointer to "array of X objects
of type Y", which is different than the pointer value that the array
degrades into ("pointer to type Y"), but which is still a well-defined
pointer value pointing to the beginning of the array.  Then, per section

2 The memcmp function compares the first n characters of the object
  pointed to by s1 to the first n characters of the object pointed to by

so those pointers are interpreted as char * pointers, which per the
standard are permitted to access any object.

>    Hrrm. I think this logic may not lint clean...

>    char array[9999];

>    Now, I can memcpy ( array, target, size), or, I can memcpy (
> &array, target, size ).

>    According to my tired old K&R background, number 2 is wrong..
> err...sloppy, in C.

They're defined by the standard as being entirely equivalent in this
context, and I'm pretty sure that even K&R would have treated them as

>    If you want to use the second, in the manner you suggest, I might
> recommend

>    memcpy ( &array[0], target, size ).   Which is great if the array
> -isn't- an array of chars.

"&array[0]" is completely equivalent to "array" when used as an argument
to a function, yes.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

More information about the inn-workers mailing list