Interacting with C

Numerics vs. Arrays

One of the major reasons why FORTRAN can chew through numbers so well is that it is defined to be free of pointer aliasing, an assumption that C89 is not allowed to make, and neither is C++98. C99 adds a new keyword, restrict, to apply to individual pointers. The C++ solution is contained in the library rather than the language (although many vendors can be expected to add this to their compilers as an extension).

That library solution is a set of two classes, five template classes, and "a whole bunch" of functions. The classes are required to be free of pointer aliasing, so compilers can optimize the daylights out of them the same way that they have been for FORTRAN. They are collectively called valarray, although strictly speaking this is only one of the five template classes, and they are designed to be familiar to people who have worked with the BLAS libraries before.


In addition to the other topics on this page, we'll note here some of the C99 features that appear in libstdc++.

The C99 features depend on the --enable-c99 configure flag. This flag is already on by default, but it can be disabled by the user. Also, the configuration machinery will disable it if the necessary support for C99 (e.g., header files) cannot be found.

As of GCC 3.0, C99 support includes classification functions such as isnormal, isgreater, isnan, etc. The functions used for 'long long' support such as strtoll are supported, as is the lldiv_t typedef. Also supported are the wide character functions using 'long long', like wcstoll.