Thread: Critique my code

  1. #1
    Tweaking master Aslaville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Critique my code

    I have something like this:

    struct State{
     unsigned char *buf;
    I want to read/write values from the buffer in chunks of 8, 16, and 32 bits.

    This is the code I have come up with (which I would like someone to critique)
    /* basically read the values from the last backwards */
    static uint32_t read(State *s, size_t offset, size_t size)
        ssize_t i;
        uint32_t ret;
            return 0;
        ret = s->buf[offset + size - 1];
        for(i = size - 2; i >= 0; i--)
            ret <<= 8;
            ret |= s->buf[offset + i];
        return ret;
    /* write the value from the first */
    static void write(State *s, size_t offset, uint32_t val){
        size_t i;
        for (i = 0; i < size; i++)
            s->buf[offset + i] = val & 0xff;
            val >>= 8;
    Ignoring the complication brought by the 'offset' part and assuming that 'i' indexes the array, is this the best way to do it ?

  2. #2
    Hurry Slowly vart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Rishon LeZion, Israel
    you declare size as size_t and i as well
    if user passed size = 1
    i will start with (size_t)-1 value which is positive...
    anyway size_t value is unsigned so condition i>=0 never gets false - you have and infinite loop which will crash due to out-of-bounds access
    All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection,
    except for the problem of too many layers of indirection.
    David J. Wheeler

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    ssize_t is signed, so the loop will correctly not run if size=1.

    On the code....
    You seem to be missing a parameter for size in your write() function, but other than that it seems to work.
    • You don't need to use ssize_t and size_t at all, since the maximum value of "size" is 4 bytes. If 'offset' points into an arbitrarily large buffer then I think size_t is the right thing to use there.
    • Style comment: When assigning between uint32_t and char, it would be good to have explicit char casts to indicate exactly what's going on. They're not strictly necessary -- but then neither is the "& 0xff" you have to mask off the bottom byte during write() -- but it makes things clearer.
    • Why do you have the assignment of the first byte outside of the loop? Might as well put it inside the loop and adjust the loop to do 1 more byte.

    Looks fine to me -- byte-by-byte copies are the simplest way to deal with issues like alignment, so long as speed isn't a major issue.

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