alloca()

Allocate automatic space from the stack

Synopsis:

#include <alloca.h>

void* alloca( size_t size );

Since:

BlackBerry 10.0.0

Arguments:

size
The number of bytes of memory to allocate.

Library:

libc

Use the -l c option to qcc to link against this library. This library is usually included automatically.

Description:

The alloca() function allocates space for an object of size bytes from the stack. The allocated space is automatically discarded when the current function exits.

  • Don't use this function in an expression that's an argument to a function.
  • By default, alloca() is implemented as __builtin_alloca(). If you compile with the -fno-builtin option, you'll use the libc version of alloca(), which is a cover for malloc() and behaves in a slightly different manner:
    • It keeps track of all blocks allocated with alloca() and reclaims any that are found to be deeper in the stack than the current invocation. It therefore doesn't reclaim storage as soon as it becomes invalid, but it will do so eventually.
    • As a special case, alloca(0) reclaims storage without allocating any. You can use this feature to force garbage collection.

Returns:

A pointer to the start of the allocated memory, or NULL if an error occurred ( errno is set).

Examples:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <malloc.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

FILE *open_err_file( char *name )
{
    char *buffer;

    /* allocate temporary buffer for file name */
    buffer = (char *)alloca( strlen( name ) + 5 );

    if( buffer ) {
        FILE *fp;

        sprintf( buffer, "%s.err", name );
        fp = fopen( buffer, "w" );

        return fp;
    }

    return (FILE *)NULL;
}

int main( void )
{
    FILE *fp;

    fp = open_err_file( "alloca_test" );
    if( fp == NULL ) {
        printf( "Unable to open error file\n" );
    } else {
        fprintf( fp, "Hello from the alloca test.\n" );
        fclose( fp );
    }

    return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

Classification:

Unix

Safety:  
Cancellation point No
Interrupt handler No
Signal handler Yes
Thread Yes

Caveats:

Don't use alloca() as an argument to a function.

Last modified: 2014-06-24



Got questions about leaving a comment? Get answers from our Disqus FAQ.

comments powered by Disqus