Posted Mar 19, 2008 22:39 UTC (Wed) by vmole
In reply to: null pointers
Parent article: Who maintains dpkg?
Whose talking about littering the code with strange casts? Do you really find:
somevarargfunc("these", "are", "some", "strings", (char *) NULL);
strange or confusing? Because that's all we're talking about. Any non-varargs function will have a prototype that will take care of this. (At this point someone will pipe-up with the comment that C89 doesn't require prototypes. That's true. But then you have to cast a lot of things, and my argument becomes stronger, not weaker.)
And of course there's a tradeoff in not making assumptions. But the kind of thing you're talking about, such as OS features available, is a whole different level, and no, I don't see anything wrong with assuming (for example) that a program is unix-like specific, and coding it as such, when
the cost of doing otherwise is non-trivial. But why this desire to willfully violate a basic standard to save a few characters, when the (not-likely, but could happen) downside is obscure failures and tedious debugging?
Oh, and there's a big difference between "assume char is 8 bits" and "assume char is at *least* 8 bits". The first is an assumption that will eventually bite you, the second is not an assumption at all, but is guaranteed by the C89 standard.
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