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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for cdecl (redhat section 1)

CDECL(1)			    Linux Programmer's Manual				 CDECL(1)

       cdecl, c++decl - Compose C and C++ type declarations

       cdecl [-a | -+ | -p | -r] [-ciqdDV]
	    [[ files ...] | explain ... | declare ... | cast ... | set ... | help | ? ]
       c++decl [-a | -+ | -p | -r] [-ciqdDV]
	    [[ files ...] | explain ... | declare ... | cast ... | set ... | help | ? ]
       explain ...
       declare ...
       cast ...

       Cdecl  (and  c++decl) is a program for encoding and decoding C (or C++) type declarations.
       The C language is based on the (draft proposed) X3J11 ANSI  Standard;  optionally,  the	C
       language  may  be  based on the pre-ANSI definition defined by Kernighan & Ritchie's The C
       Programming Language book, or the C language defined by the  Ritchie  PDP-11  C	compiler.
       The  C++  language  is based on Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language, plus the
       version 2.0 additions to the language.

       -a     Use the ANSI C dialect of the C language.

       -p     Use the pre-ANSI dialect defined by Kernighan & Ritchie's book.

       -r     Use the dialect defined by the Ritchie PDP-11 C compiler.

       -+     Use the C++ language, rather than C.

       -i     Run in interactive mode (the default when reading  from  a  terminal).   This  also
	      turns on prompting, line editing, and line history.

       -q     Quiet the prompt.  Turns off the prompt in interactive mode.

       -c     Create  compilable  C or C++ code as output.  Cdecl will add a semicolon to the end
	      of a declaration and a pair of curly braces to the end of a function definition.

       -d     Turn on debugging information (if compiled in).

       -D     Turn on YACC debugging information (if compiled in).

       -V     Display version information and exit.

       Cdecl may be invoked under a number of different names (by either renaming the executable,
       or  creating  a symlink or hard link to it).  If it is invoked as cdecl then ANSI C is the
       default language.  If it is invoked as c++decl then C++ is the default.	If it is  invoked
       as  either  explain,  cast, or declare then it will interpret the rest of the command line
       options as parameters to that command, execute the command, and exit.   It  will  also  do
       this  if the first non-switch argument on the command line is one of those three commands.
       Input may also come from a file.

       Cdecl reads the named files for statements in the language described below.  A transforma-
       tion  is made from that language to C (C++) or pseudo-English.  The results of this trans-
       formation are written on standard output.  If no files are named, or a filename	of  ``-''
       is encountered, standard input will be read.  If standard input is coming from a terminal,
       (or the -i option is used), a prompt will be written to the  terminal  before  each  line.
       The  prompt can be turned off by the -q option (or the set noprompt command).  If cdecl is
       invoked as explain, declare or cast, or the first argument is one  of  the  commands  dis-
       cussed  below,  the argument list will be interpreted according to the grammar shown below
       instead of as file names.

       When it is run interactively, cdecl uses the GNU readline library to provide keyword  com-
       pletion	and  command line history, very much like bash(1) (q.v.).  Pressing TAB will com-
       plete the partial keyword before the cursor, unless there is more than one  possible  com-
       pletion,  in which case a second TAB will show the list of possible completions and redis-
       play the command line.  The left and right arrow keys and backspace can be used for  edit-
       ing  in a natural way, and the up and down arrow keys retrieve previous command lines from
       the history.  Most other familiar keys, such as Ctrl-U to delete all text from the  cursor
       back  to  the  beginning of the line, work as expected.	There is an ambiguity between the
       int and into keywords, but cdecl will guess which one you meant,  and  it  always  guesses

       You  can  use  cdecl as you create a C program with an editor like vi(1) or emacs(1).  You
       simply type in the pseudo-English version of the declaration and apply cdecl as	a  filter
       to the line.  (In vi(1), type ``!!cdecl<cr>''.)

       If  the	create program option -c is used, the output will include semi-colons after vari-
       able declarations and curly brace pairs after function declarations.

       The -V option will print out the version numbers of the files used to create the  process.
       If  the source is compiled with debugging information turned on, the -d option will enable
       it to be output.  If the source is compiled with YACC debugging information turned on, the
       -D option will enable it to be output.

       There  are six statements in the language.  The declare statement composes a C type decla-
       ration from a verbose description.  The cast statement composes a C  type  cast	as  might
       appear in an expression.  The explain statement decodes a C type declaration or cast, pro-
       ducing a verbose description.  The help (or ?)  statement provides a  help  message.   The
       quit (or exit) statement (or the end of file) exits the program.  The set statement allows
       the command line options to be set interactively.  Each statement is separated by a  semi-
       colon or a newline.

       Some synonyms are permitted during a declaration:

	      character   is a synonym for   char
	       constant   is a synonym for   const
	    enumeration   is a synonym for   enum
		   func   is a synonym for   function
		integer   is a synonym for   int
		    ptr   is a synonym for   pointer
		    ref   is a synonym for   reference
		    ret   is a synonym for   returning
	      structure   is a synonym for   struct
		 vector   is a synonym for   array

       The TAB completion feature only knows about the keywords in the right column of the struc-
       ture, not the ones in the left column.  TAB completion is a lot less useful when the lead-
       ing characters of different keywords are the same (the keywords confict with one another),
       and putting both columns in would cause quite a few conflicts.

       The following grammar describes the language.  In the grammar, words in "<>" are  non-ter-
       minals,	bare  lower-case  words are terminals that stand for themselves.  Bare upper-case
       words are other lexical tokens: NOTHING means the empty string; NAME means a C identifier;
       NUMBER  means  a string of decimal digits; and NL means the new-line or semi-colon charac-

	    <program> ::= NOTHING
		 | <program> <stmt> NL
	    <stmt>    ::= NOTHING
		 | declare NAME as <adecl>
		 | declare <adecl>
		 | cast NAME into <adecl>
		 | cast <adecl>
		 | explain <optstorage> <ptrmodlist> <type> <cdecl>
		 | explain <storage> <ptrmodlist> <cdecl>
		 | explain ( <ptrmodlist> <type> <cast> ) optional-NAME
		 | set <options>
		 | help | ?
		 | quit
		 | exit
	    <adecl>   ::= array of <adecl>
		 | array NUMBER of <adecl>
		 | function returning <adecl>
		 | function ( <adecl-list> ) returning <adecl>
		 | <ptrmodlist> pointer to <adecl>
		 | <ptrmodlist> pointer to member of class NAME <adecl>
		 | <ptrmodlist> reference to <adecl>
		 | <ptrmodlist> <type>
	    <cdecl>   ::= <cdecl1>
		 | * <ptrmodlist> <cdecl>
		 | NAME :: * <cdecl>
		 | & <ptrmodlist> <cdecl>
	    <cdecl1>  ::= <cdecl1> ( )
		 | <cdecl1> ( <castlist> )
		 | <cdecl1> [ ]
		 | <cdecl1> [ NUMBER ]
		 | ( <cdecl> )
		 | NAME
	    <cast>    ::= NOTHING
		 | ( )
		 | ( <cast> ) ( )
		 | ( <cast> ) ( <castlist> )
		 | ( <cast> )
		 | NAME :: * <cast>
		 | * <cast>
		 | & <cast>
		 | <cast> [ ]
		 | <cast> [ NUMBER ]
	    <type>    ::= <typename> | <modlist>
		 | <modlist> <typename>
		 | struct NAME | union NAME | enum NAME | class NAME
	    <castlist>	   ::= <castlist> , <castlist>
		 | <ptrmodlist> <type> <cast>
		 | <name>
	    <adecllist>    ::= <adecllist> , <adecllist>
		 | <name>
		 | <adecl>
		 | <name> as <adecl>
	    <typename>	   ::= int | char | double | float | void
	    <modlist> ::= <modifier> | <modlist> <modifier>
	    <modifier>	   ::= short | long | unsigned | signed | <ptrmod>
	    <ptrmodlist>   ::= <ptrmod> <ptrmodlist> | NOTHING
	    <ptrmod>  ::= const | volatile | noalias
	    <storage> ::= auto | extern | register | auto
	    <optstorage>   ::= NOTHING | <storage>
	    <options> ::= NOTHING | <options>
		 | create | nocreate
		 | prompt | noprompt
		 | ritchie | preansi | ansi | cplusplus
		 | debug | nodebug | yydebug | noyydebug

       The set command takes several options.  You can type set or set options to  see	the  cur-
       rently  selected options and a summary of the options which are available.  The first four
       correspond to the -a, -p, -r, and -+ command line options, respectively.

       ansi   Use the ANSI C dialect of the C language.

	      Use the pre-ANSI dialect defined by Kernighan & Ritchie's book.

	      Use the dialect defined by the Ritchie PDP-11 C compiler.

	      Use the C++ language, rather than C.

	      Turn on or off the prompt in interactive mode.

	      Turn on or off the appending of semicolon or curly braces to the declarations  out-
	      put by cdecl.  This corresponds to the -c command line option.

	      Turn on or off debugging information.

	      Turn on or off YACC debugging information.

       Note: debugging information and YACC debugging information are only available if they have
       been compiled into cdecl.  The last two options correspond to the -d and -D  command  line
       options, respectively.  Debugging information is normally used in program development, and
       is not generally compiled into distributed executables.

       To declare an array of pointers to functions that are like malloc(3), do

	      declare fptab as array of pointer to function returning pointer to char

       The result of this command is

	      char *(*fptab[])()

       When you see this declaration in someone else's code, you can make  sense  out  of  it  by

	      explain char *(*fptab[])()

       The proper declaration for signal(2), ignoring function prototypes, is easily described in
       cdecl's language:

	      declare signal as function returning pointer to function returning void

       which produces

	      void (*signal())()

       The function declaration that results has two sets of empty parentheses.   The  author  of
       such a function might wonder where to put the parameters:

	      declare signal as function (arg1,arg2) returning pointer to function returning void

       provides the following solution (when run with the -c option):

	      void (*signal(arg1,arg2))() { }

       If  we  want to add in the function prototypes, the function prototype for a function such
       as _exit(2) would be declared with:

	      declare _exit as function (retvalue as int) returning void


	      void _exit(int retvalue) { }

       As a more complex example using function prototypes, signal(2) could be fully defined as:

	      declare signal as function(x as int, y as pointer to function(int) returning  void)
	      returning pointer to function(int) returning void

       giving (with -c)

	      void (*signal(int x, void (*y)(int )))(int ) { }

       Cdecl  can help figure out the where to put the "const" and "volatile" modifiers in decla-
       rations, thus

	      declare foo as pointer to const int


	      const int *foo


	      declare foo as const pointer to int


	      int * const foo

       C++decl can help with declaring references, thus

	      declare x as reference to pointer to character


	      char *&x

       C++decl can help with pointers to member of classes, thus declaring a pointer to an  inte-
       ger member of a class X with

	      declare foo as pointer to member of class X int


	      int X::*foo


	      declare foo as pointer to member of class X function (arg1, arg2) returning pointer
	      to class Y


	      class Y *(X::*foo)(arg1, arg2)

       The declare, cast and explain statements try to point out constructions that are not  sup-
       ported  in  C.	In  some cases, a guess is made as to what was really intended.  In these
       cases, the C result is a toy declaration whose semantics will work only in Algol-68.   The
       list  of unsupported C constructs is dependent on which version of the C language is being
       used (see the ANSI, pre-ANSI, and Ritchie options).  The set of supported  C++  constructs
       is a superset of the ANSI set, with the exception of the noalias keyword.

       ANSI Standard X3.159-1989 (ANSI C)

       ISO/IEC 9899:1990 (the ISO standard)

       The comp.lang.c FAQ

       Section	8.4 of the C Reference Manual within The C Programming Language by B. Kernighan &
       D. Ritchie.

       Section 8 of the C++ Reference Manual within The C++ Programming Language  by  B.  Strous-

       The pseudo-English syntax is excessively verbose.

       There is a wealth of semantic checking that isn't being done.

       Cdecl  was  written before the ANSI C standard was completed, and no attempt has been made
       to bring it up-to-date.	Nevertheless, it is very close to the standard, with the  obvious
       exception of noalias.

       Cdecl's scope is intentionally small.  It doesn't help you figure out initializations.  It
       expects storage classes to be at the beginning of  a  declaration,  followed  by  the  the
       const,  volatile  and  noalias  modifiers,  followed  by  the type of the variable.  Cdecl
       doesn't know anything about variable length argument lists.  (This includes  the  ``,...''

       Cdecl  thinks all the declarations you utter are going to be used as external definitions.
       Some declaration contexts in C allow more flexibility than this.  An example of this is:

	      declare argv as array of array of char

       where cdecl responds with

	      Warning: Unsupported in C -- 'Inner array of unspecified size'
		      (maybe you mean "array of pointer")
	      char argv[][]

       Tentative support for the noalias keyword was put in because it	was  in  the  draft  ANSI

       Originally  written by Graham Ross, improved and expanded by David Wolverton, Tony Hansen,
       and Merlyn LeRoy.

       GNU readline support and Linux port by David R. Conrad, <conrad@detroit.freenet.org>

       bash(1), emacs(1), malloc(3), vi(1).

Version 2.5				 15 January 1996				 CDECL(1)

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