When to define functions in C?

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Old 03-31-2014
If you had to compile all of stdio whenever you did #include <stdio.h>, for example, that would be a real pain. But instead, it can just include a lot of definition-less declarations, and let you find the functions inside a library file when it gets linked.

It also lets someone give you a library file without necessarily giving you the code that made it(though inevitably system-specific).
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stat.h(3HEAD)							      Headers							     stat.h(3HEAD)

stat.h, stat - data returned by stat system call SYNOPSIS
#include <sys/types.h> #include <sys/stat.h> DESCRIPTION
The system calls stat, lstat and fstat return data in a stat structure, which is defined in <stat.h>. The constants used in the st_mode field are also defined in this file: #define S_IFMT /* type of file */ #define S_IAMB /* access mode bits */ #define S_IFIFO /* fifo */ #define S_IFCHR /* character special */ #define S_IFDIR /* directory */ #define S_IFNAM /* XENIX special named file */ #define S_INSEM /* XENIX semaphore subtype of IFNAM */ #define S_INSHD /* XENIX shared data subtype of IFNAM */ #define S_IFBLK /* block special */ #define S_IFREG /* regular */ #define S_IFLNK /* symbolic link */ #define S_IFSOCK /* socket */ #define S_IFDOOR /* door */ #define S_ISUID /* set user id on execution */ #define S_ISGID /* set group id on execution */ #define S_ISVTX /* save swapped text even after use */ #define S_IREAD /* read permission, owner */ #define S_IWRITE /* write permission, owner */ #define S_IEXEC /* execute/search permission, owner */ #define S_ENFMT /* record locking enforcement flag */ #define S_IRWXU /* read, write, execute: owner */ #define S_IRUSR /* read permission: owner */ #define S_IWUSR /* write permission: owner */ #define S_IXUSR /* execute permission: owner */ #define S_IRWXG /* read, write, execute: group */ #define S_IRGRP /* read permission: group */ #define S_IWGRP /* write permission: group */ #define S_IXGRP /* execute permission: group */ #define S_IRWXO /* read, write, execute: other */ #define S_IROTH /* read permission: other */ #define S_IWOTH /* write permission: other */ #define S_IXOTH /* execute permission: other */ The following macros are for POSIX conformance (see standards(5)): #define S_ISBLK(mode) block special file #define S_ISCHR(mode) character special file #define S_ISDIR(mode) directory file #define S_ISFIFO(mode) pipe or fifo file #define S_ISREG(mode) regular file #define S_ISSOCK(mode) socket file ATTRIBUTES
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes: +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ | ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ |Interface Stability |Standard | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ SEE ALSO
stat(2), types.h(3HEAD), attributes(5), standards(5) SunOS 5.10 30 Aug 2002 stat.h(3HEAD)