Betrayed by a bitfield
Posted Feb 4, 2012 22:25 UTC (Sat) by nix
In reply to: Betrayed by a bitfield
Parent article: Betrayed by a bitfield
That's very interesting, because it seems to say the provision for "volatile" is so incomplete as to be a pointless language feature.
I dunno. As long as compiler vendors cooperate, it's useful for its intended purpose, which was pretty much entirely *reading* from memory-mapped I/O regions and writing into them very carefully, in a serial environment. It wasn't particularly intended for parallel processing environments or multithreading, AIUI (though since I was only 13 when C89 was finalized, I obviously wasn't there and don't know for sure).
In general you can't (and never could) rely on 'volatile' without knowing what the compiler would do when you asked it: implementations have had horrible bugs in their treatment of volatile often enough that care is warranted. But at the very least, it provides a way to flag that 'something tricky is happening here, look out'. It's proved more useful than 'register', low bar though that is. :)
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