James Moores, Computing Lab, University of Kent, UK
26th March 1997
This document is intended to provide a guide to using the dynamic string library supplied as an example usage of the new user defined operators.
Obvious warning: The occam compiler cannot check the usage and aliasing of these dynamically created data types -- they live in the "C" world.
The library first defines a new data type --
DSTRING, which is a reference to a string. It
also provides a set of fuctions for creating and deleting the
strings that the variables of this new
type refer to; a string copy function, a set of comparason
concatination operator, length function, printing function, and
procedure to convert the new string format back into
To declare a new string, all that is required is:
DSTRING x:This variable, however does not refer to anything at the moment, so a function must be called to create a string (allocate its memory dynamically) which takes an array of bytes (a standard occam string) and returns a reference to the string created:
DSTRING x: SEQ x := new.dstring("Hello World*c*n")
Assigning variables of type
DSTRING to each other
will simply copy the reference to the string:
DSTRING x,y: SEQ x := new.dstring("Hello World*c*n") y := xboth
ynow refer to the same string -- containing
"Hello world". This means that if an operation is performed on string
ywill also have been changed. To make an independent copy of a string, use
DSTRING x,y: SEQ x := new.dstring("Hello World*c*n") y := copy.dstring(x)x and y are now independent.
Strings can be deallocated (destroyed and the memory returned to the heap) using:
DSTRING a: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") delete.string(a)which should always be done when strings are no longer useful, or the variables holding string pointers are about to go out of scope - otherwise the memory will be ``lost''.
There will often be the need to convert a
to an occam format string (array of
BYTEs). This is done using the routine
oc.string; note that the array of
BYTEs passed to it should be big enough to hold
the string referenced by the string variable, but if it is
insufficient, then the array is filled to capacity. If the
array is too big (as will often be the case), then the rest of
the array is padded with zero bytes (which will, of course be
ignored if the array is 'printed' using the standard C
DSTRING a: BYTE buf: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") oc.string(a, buf) -- buf now contains "Hello\0\0\0\0..." (in C speak)
The library provides all of the boolean comparison operators on strings. Comparison is done on the basis of lexical equivalence:
DSTRING x,y: SEQ x := new.dstring("aaaaaa") y := new.dstring("aaaaab") IF (exp)
where the exp and its values for the above
|x = y||FALSE||x and y are lexically equivalent|
|x < y||TRUE||x is lexically less than y|
|x > y||FALSE||x is lexically greater than y|
|x <= y||TRUE||x is lexically less than or equal to y|
|x >= y||FALSE||x is lexically less than or equal to y|
|x <> y||TRUE||x is not equal to y|
they are based on the result of the call strcmp(s1,s2) in the C world.
There is a reference equivalence operator
returns true if both the string variables refer to at the same
string (See Figure 1)
Figure 1: Aliasing with string references
DSTRING a,b,c: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") b := new.dstring("Hello") -- could be copy.dstring(a) c := a -- c is now an alias for a IF (exp) ...
where exp and its values for the above program are:
|a = b||TRUE||a and b are lexically equivalent|
|a = c||TRUE||a and b are lexically and reference equivalent, but only lexical equivalence tested here|
|a == b||FALSE||lexically, but not reference equivalent|
|a == c||TRUE||reference and lexically equivalent, but only reference equivalence tested here|
The concatenation operator is
++ and is used as follows:
DSTRING a,b,c: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") b := new.dstring(" world") c := a ++ b
c now contains the string
world"; it is worth noting that this creates a new
string holding the union of the two operands, not a modified
copy of either
b (ie they are
left as they were). However, care must be taken not to do the
DSTRING a,b: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") b := new.dstring(" world") a := a ++ b
This is legal occam, but the string that
originally referred to is lost, ie we have memory leakage. This
will also be a problem if concatenations are nested eg:
DSTRING a,b,c,d: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") b := new.dstring(" world") c := new.dstring(" at large") d := (a ++ b) ++ c
The resulting intermediate string reference from evaluating
(a ++ b) will be lost and cause memory leakage.
This is really caused by, and the price to be paid for,
allowing (in fact by tricking the occam compiler by
using calls to C/assembler code it cannot check) expressions to
cause side effects, in this case the allocation of memory from
dstring.length function returns the length of the
INT length: DSTRING a: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") length := dstring.length(a) -- length now equals 5
it will return the length as defined by the C function strlen(s), which is "the number of characters in s, not including the null-terminating character.".
A simple printing function is provided for convenience:
PROC test (CHAN OF BYTE in,out,err) DSTRING a: SEQ a := new.dstring("Hello") print.dstring(out,a)
which will place the string referred to by
a on the
standard output. Please note that the channel passed is
currently ignored and stdout is always used.
The example directory examples/udo contains the source for the library:
dstring.occ-- the occam interface (visible to code) containing the user defined operator functions (eg
!=etc.) normal functions (eg
new.dstring) and procedures (eg
c_dstring.c-- the C functions called by the above (and their interfaces, which convert between calling conventions)
conv.occ-- two occam routines that convert between the endianess of the transputer world, and that of the native world (which is what C works in)
These can be built using the given Makefile - just type ``make''. This will compile and build a native code library libdstring.a and an occam module dstring.tco.
If a ``make install'' is done, the library elements will be copied into the default KROC library area and in that case programs can be compiled using:
kroc -X2 prog.occ -ldstring
the -X2 flag turns on the experimental user defined operators.
Note that if you don't want to install the library you will have to use the -L flag of kroc to indicate the directory containing the library. The -L flag can be dropped if the environment variable OCSEARCH is set to include this directory.
At the start of programs using this library you must include
DSTRING definitions, inline
and reference the occam module dstring.tco:
#INCLUDE "dstring.inc" #INCLUDE "dstring.oci" #USE "dstring.tco" PROC main.code (...) ... use DSTRING here :
Please report bugs to:
email@example.com please note that we cannot guarantee support.
Dynamic string library - an example of User Defined Operators
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