view doc/alloca.texi @ 16464:2a3849cfe7b9

Tests for module 'modf-ieee'. * modules/modf-ieee-tests: New file. * tests/test-modf-ieee.c: New file.
author Bruno Haible <>
date Sun, 26 Feb 2012 17:55:21 +0100
parents 8250f2777afc
children e542fd46ad6f
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@c Documentation of gnulib module 'alloca'.

@c Copyright (C) 2004, 2007, 2009-2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

@c Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
@c under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
@c any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
@c Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover
@c Texts.  A copy of the license is included in the ``GNU Free
@c Documentation License'' file as part of this distribution.

The alloca module provides for a function @code{alloca} which allocates
memory on the stack, where the system allows it. A memory block allocated with
@code{alloca} exists only until the function that calls @code{alloca} returns
or exits abruptly.

There are a few systems where this is not possible: HP-UX systems, and some
other platforms when the C++ compiler is used. On these platforms the alloca
module provides a @code{malloc} based emulation. This emulation will not free a
memory block immediately when the calling function returns, but rather will
wait until the next @code{alloca} call from a function with the same or a
shorter stack length. Thus, in some cases, a few memory blocks will be kept
although they are not needed any more.

The user can @code{#include <alloca.h>} and use @code{alloca} on all platforms.
Note that the @code{#include <alloca.h>} must be the first one after the
autoconf-generated @file{config.h}, for AIX 3 compatibility. Thanks to IBM for
this nice restriction!

Note that GCC 3.1 and 3.2 can @emph{inline} functions that call @code{alloca}.
When this happens, the memory blocks allocated with @code{alloca} will not be
freed until @emph{the end of the calling function}. If this calling function
runs a loop calling the function that uses @code{alloca}, the program easily
gets a stack overflow and crashes. To protect against this compiler behaviour,
you can mark the function that uses @code{alloca} with the following attribute:

#ifdef __GNUC__
__attribute__ ((__noinline__))
@end smallexample

An alternative to this module is the @samp{alloca-opt} module.