Re: Zero-size array as struct member

Joe Greer <>
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:47:48 +0000 (UTC)
Vladimir Jovic <> wrote in

This looks like a hack. Why declare an array of size 0? Why not use a
pointer (like someone suggested)? Is it another (now obsolete and
depreciated) way of declaring pointers?

Indeed, it is a hack, but a useful one. Usually the array is declared of
size 1 and not 0, but that doesn't make it any prettier. You can't use a
pointer because that would require 2 allocations and doesn't pass through
the network near as well. This is a mechanism for creating a struct with
some dynamically sized data using only 1 buffer. Memory allocation is not
in anyway cheap (not only to you have the usual overhead, but there is also
a mutex in there somewhere and possibly a kernel transistion) and in some
cases, one needs to have only one. This sort of thing can be the
difference between passing your data in hours instead of days for some
kinds of applications. You certainly would only use this technique if
profiling indicated that it was required, but it is useful to understand


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