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C1X

C1X

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C1X is the unofficial name of the planned new standard
Open standard
An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed . There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage....

 for the C programming language. It is intended to replace the existing C standard, informally known as C99
C99
C99 is a modern dialect of the C programming language. It extends the previous version with new linguistic and library features, and helps implementations make better use of available computer hardware and compiler technology.-History:...

. This new version mainly standardizes features that have already been supported by common contemporary compilers, and includes a detailed memory model to better support multiple threads
Thread (computer science)
In computer science, a thread of execution is the smallest unit of processing that can be scheduled by an operating system. The implementation of threads and processes differs from one operating system to another, but in most cases, a thread is contained inside a process...

 of execution. Due to delayed availability of conforming C99 implementations, C1X may make more features optional, to make it easier to comply with the core language standard.

The most recent working draft, N1570, was published in April 2011. The new standard passed its final draft review on October 10, 2011, with no comments requiring resolution from participating national bodies; therefore, official ratification is likely with no further technical changes.

GCC
GNU Compiler Collection
The GNU Compiler Collection is a compiler system produced by the GNU Project supporting various programming languages. GCC is a key component of the GNU toolchain...

 version 4.6 has added initial support for some features from the C1X draft.

Changes from C99


The October 2010 draft includes several changes to the C99 language and library specifications, such as:
  • Alignment
    Data structure alignment
    Data structure alignment is the way data is arranged and accessed in computer memory. It consists of two separate but related issues: data alignment and data structure padding. When a modern computer reads from or writes to a memory address, it will do this in word sized chunks...

     specification (_Alignas specifier, alignof operator, aligned_alloc function, header file)
  • The _Noreturn function specifier
  • Type-generic expressions using the _Generic keyword. For example, the following macro cbrt(x) translates to cbrtl(x), cbrt(x) or cbrtf(x) depending on the type of x:

  • Multithreading
    Thread (computer science)
    In computer science, a thread of execution is the smallest unit of processing that can be scheduled by an operating system. The implementation of threads and processes differs from one operating system to another, but in most cases, a thread is contained inside a process...

     support (_Thread_local storage-class specifier, header including thread creation/management functions, mutex
    Mutual exclusion
    Mutual exclusion algorithms are used in concurrent programming to avoid the simultaneous use of a common resource, such as a global variable, by pieces of computer code called critical sections. A critical section is a piece of code in which a process or thread accesses a common resource...

    , condition variable and thread-specific storage
    Thread-local storage
    Thread-local storage is a computer programming method that uses static or global memory local to a thread.This is sometimes needed because normally all threads in a process share the same address space, which is sometimes undesirable...

     functionality, as well as the _Atomic type qualifier and for uninterruptible object access
    Linearizability
    In concurrent programming, an operation is atomic, linearizable, indivisible or uninterruptible if it appears to the rest of the system to occur instantaneously. Atomicity is a guarantee of isolation from concurrent processes...

    ).
  • Improved Unicode
    Unicode
    Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

     support based on the C Unicode Technical Report ISO/IEC TR 19769:2004 (char16_t and char32_t types for storing UTF-16/UTF-32 encoded data, including conversion functions in and the corresponding u and U string literal prefixes, as well as the u8 prefix for UTF-8
    UTF-8
    UTF-8 is a multibyte character encoding for Unicode. Like UTF-16 and UTF-32, UTF-8 can represent every character in the Unicode character set. Unlike them, it is backward-compatible with ASCII and avoids the complications of endianness and byte order marks...

     encoded literals).
  • Removal of the gets function, deprecated in the current C language standard revision, ISO/IEC 9899:1999/Cor.3:2007(E), in favor of a new safe alternative, gets s.
  • Bounds-checking
    Bounds checking
    In computer programming, bounds checking is any method of detecting whether a variable is within some bounds before its use. It is particularly relevant to a variable used as an index into an array to ensure its value lies within the bounds of the array...

     interfaces (Annex K).
  • Analyzability features (Annex L).
  • More macros for querying the characteristics of floating point types, concerning subnormal floating point numbers
    Denormal number
    In computer science, denormal numbers or denormalized numbers fill the underflow gap around zero in floating point arithmetic: any non-zero number which is smaller than the smallest normal number is 'sub-normal'.For example, if the smallest positive 'normal' number is 1×β−n In computer...

     and the number of decimal digits the type is able to store.
  • Anonymous structures and unions, useful when unions and structures are nested, e.g. in struct T { int tag; union { float x; int n; }; };.
  • Static assertions, which are evaluated during translation at a later phase than #if and #error, when types are understood by the translator.
  • An exclusive create-and-open mode ("…x") for fopen. This behaves like O_CREAT|O_EXCL in POSIX
    Open (system call)
    For most file systems, a program initializes access to a file in a filesystem using the open system call. This allocates resources associated to the file , and returns a handle that the process will use to refer to that file...

    , which is commonly used for lock files.
  • The quick exit function as a third way to terminate a program, intended to do at least minimal deinitializition if termination with exit
    Exit (operating system)
    On many computer operating systems, a computer process terminates its execution by making an exit system call. More generally, an exit in a multithreading environment means that a thread of execution has stopped running. The operating system reclaims resources that were used by the process...

    fails.
  • Macros for the construction of complex values
    Complex number
    A complex number is a number consisting of a real part and an imaginary part. Complex numbers extend the idea of the one-dimensional number line to the two-dimensional complex plane by using the number line for the real part and adding a vertical axis to plot the imaginary part...

     (partly because real + imaginary*I might not yield the expected value if imaginary is infinite or NaN
    NaN
    In computing, NaN is a value of the numeric data type representing an undefined or unrepresentable value, especially in floating-point calculations...

    ).

Optional features


The new revision will allow implementations not to support certain parts of the standard — including some that had been mandatory to support in the 1999 revision. Programs can use predefined macros to determine whether an implementation supports a certain feature or not.
Optional features in C1X
Feature Feature test macro Availability in C99
Analyzability (Annex L) __STDC_ANALYZABLE__
IEC 60559 floating-point arithmetic (Annex F) __STDC_IEC_559__
IEC 60559 compatible complex arithmetic (Annex G) __STDC_IEC_559_COMPLEX__
Bounds-checking interfaces (Annex K) __STDC_LIB_EXT1__
Complex types () __STDC_NO_COMPLEX__
Multithreading () __STDC_NO_THREADS__
Atomic primitives and types ( and the _Atomic type qualifier) __STDC_NO_ATOMICS__
Variable length arrays __STDC_NO_VLA__

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