The Wiert Corner – irregular stream of stuff

Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

  • My badges

  • Twitter Updates

  • My Flickr Stream

  • Pages

  • All categories

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,352 other followers

Archive for the ‘C’ Category

Delphi compile time assertions

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/02/24

My post on Delphi intrinsic functions that evaluate to consts as a step up to Delphi compile time assertions.

This is a corner case of Delphi language use, which can come in very handy when your code is changed in the future, and you want to be prepared to ensure that some changes do not violate some predefined boundaries.

Hopefully a future post will elaborate a bit more on actual usage, but for now, lets first show some examples, then some other languages that have a richer set of compile time assertions.

My original goal was to see if I could come up with a mechanism that allowed for better validation of generic types because Delphi generic constraints – still – are quite limited: Delphi Constraints in Generics – RAD Studio XE documentation wiki, so limiting or verifying the aspects of the concrete type often cannot be done by constraints.

C# had a similar limitation for constraining to enum, which finally got added some 13 years after adding generics, in 2018: [WayBack] Unmanaged, delegate and enum type constraints – C# 7.3 in Rider and ReSharper – .NET Tools Blog.NET Tools Blog.

Let’s start simple:

  // forbidden const values to check compile time assert:
  A = 0;
  B = 1;
  C = -1;
  // The below expressions all each generate a "[dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero" (so multiple errors in one compile)
  // Asserting at compile time using boolean expressions:
  BooleanAssertAIsNotZero =  1 div Ord(A <> 0);
  BooleanAssertBIsNotOne = 1 div Ord(B <> 1);
  // Asserting at compile time using numeric expressions:
  AssertAIsNotZero = 1 div A;
  AssertBIsNotOne =  1 div (B - 1);
  AssertBIsNotAbsOne =  1 div (Abs(B) - 1);
  AssertCIsNotAbsOne =  1 div (Abs(C) - 1);

This is all centered around generating a compile time error "[dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero", of which multiple can occur in one compile go (after compilation, the cursor focus will be at the first error) and which has been in the language for a very long time [WayBack] E2098: Division by zero.

The conversion of Boolean to Integer is done using Ord, a very powerful compile time intrinsic that evaluates to a constant.

You can use this for other intrinsics as well, for example:

  TDigits = 0..9;

  DigitsAreInteger = GetTypeKind(TDigits) = tkInteger;
  DigitsAreIntegerIsTrue = 1 div Ord(DigitsAreInteger);
  DigitsAreEnumeration = GetTypeKind(TDigits) = tkEnumeration; // compiles fine
  DigitsAreEnumerationIsTrue = 1 div Ord(DigitsAreEnumeration); // [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero

The above learns that integer subranges are not enumerations, but stay integers.

You can now extend this to check longer boolean expressions, for instance to check if a record size matches certain criteria. For this we create records having zero to four bytes in size (yes, you can have empty record in Delphi, it in fact the only data structure that can be zero bytes in length, though the documentation [WayBack] Structured Types: record types does not state this is in fact possible ), then validate the sizes:

  TRecord0 = record

  TRecord1 = packed record
    FByte0: Byte;

  TRecord2 = packed record
    FByte0: Byte;
    FByte1: Byte;

  TRecord3 = packed record
    FByte0: Byte;
    FByte1: Byte;
    FByte2: Byte;

  TRecord4 = packed record
    FByte0: Byte;
    FByte1: Byte;
    FByte2: Byte;
    FByte3: Byte;

  AssertTRecord0SizeOf0 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord0) = 0); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOf1 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord1) = 1); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOf2 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord2) = 2); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOf3 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord3) = 3); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOf4 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord4) = 4); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOfMultipleOf4 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord0) mod 4 = 0); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord4SizeOfMultipleOf4 = 1 div Ord(SizeOf(TRecord4) mod 4 = 0); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord0SizeOfMultipleOf4AndGreaterThan0 = 1 div Ord((SizeOf(TRecord0) mod 4 = 0) and (SizeOf(TRecord0) > 0)); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero
  AssertTRecord4SizeOfMultipleOf4AndGreaterThan0 = 1 div Ord((SizeOf(TRecord4) mod 4 = 0) and (SizeOf(TRecord4) > 0)); // When expression is false: [dcc32 Error] E2098 Division by zero

That’s how far I got in my first experiments using this mechanism. Hopefully it gave you some inspiration too, so I welcome any usages you made with it.

Inline use of intrinsics can lead to no generated code at all

Since Delphi has no macro language, you cannot create your own intrinsic functions that evaluate to const. You could use a pre-processor though, as described in [WayBack] How to write Delphi compile-time functions – Stack Overflow.

The answer by Johan there however mentions clever use of in-line functions that do not generate any code at all (so effectively evaluate to a const). More on that in a future post.

Compile time assertions in other languages

Many languages support a form of [WayBack] Compile-time calculation – Rosetta Code. If such a language can errors out on compiling such a calculation, then you can have compile time assertions.

Compile time assertions are very much used in C and C++, where they are often called static assertions. Often they depend on macros, but C11 (C standard revision 11) has it built-in.

Since I also do quite a bit of .NET: [WayBack] Can C# Provide a static_assert? – Stack Overflow

Some links on how they work in C and C++, and what you can do with them:


Posted in .NET, C, C#, C++, Conference Topics, Conferences, Delphi, Development, Event, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

A garbage collector for C and C++ (and a wrapper for Delphi): The Boehm-Demers-Weiser conservative C/C++ Garbage Collector

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/12/30

I bumped into [WayBackA garbage collector for C and C++ a while ago, for which the source is at [WayBack] GitHub – ivmai/bdwgc: The Boehm-Demers-Weiser conservative C/C++ Garbage Collector (libgc, bdwgc, boehm-gc).

There is a (very old!) wrapper for Delphi too: [WayBack] 21646 API for Boehm Garbage Collector DLL

Barry Kelly <>,
19 April 2004
This archive contains a simple API unit for the Boehm Garbage Collector DLL, along with another unit which makes it easier to use with classes, and a demonstration application. Also included is the Boehm GC DLL binary, along with source code in the gc_dll_src directory.

The files:

This unit exports a dozen or so routines from the Boehm GC dll. Since the GC integrates with and replaces the Delphi default memory manager, you probably don’t need to use this unit unless you want to fine-tune the behaviour of the DLL. The DLL exports more routines than are in this unit; the C prototypes are in the gc_dll_src/gc.h header file, and can be imported as needed. If you allocate large chunks of memory (>100K) which don’t contain references to other chunks (and thus don’t need to be scanned for pointers), there are routines in this unit which you can use to increase performance.

General advice: don’t tweak until you need to tweak.

This is the main unit. Put this unit first in the uses clause of you project and the project will automatically use garbage collection. If you want to use objects which require finalization and you don’t want to have to call TObject.Free / TObject.Destroy on them manually, you can use the MarkForFinalization(TObject) function. The basic pattern is to register the object for finalization in its constructor and unregister it with UnmarkForFinalization in its destructor. This handles the two most common use cases for finalization: GC-invoked finalization and manual finalization. Note that it’s always safe to behave as if GC doesn’t exist, and use GetMem/FreeMem, New/Dispose, Create/Free etc. The use of these units simply allows you to also program with garbage collection.

GcTest.dpr & GcTest.exe
This program contains simple sample code demonstrating the garbage collector in action.

This contains the implementation of the garbage collector itself. The DLL can be recompiled from the source in gc_dll_src with various options, including multithreaded support, different pointer alignment granularities, etc.

The original Boehm GC source comes from:

I’m Barry Kelly:

You can do anything you like with my source code (*.pas, *.dpr).

See the file gc_dll_src/LICENSEa for permissions for the GC itself.


Although when trying to download, I got this for both and

Access to the path ‘\\\f\webcache\cc\2004\4\19\’ is denied.

An error has occurred while processing the page.

Please try to refresh the page, or return to the home page.


and [WayBackJeroen Pluimers auf Twitter: “It looks like the @EmbarcaderoTech code central file is broken: “Access to the path ‘\\f\webcache\cc\2004\4\19\’ is denied.” when exploring or downloading.…”

 Explore the files in this upload

File Exploration is Disabled

We’re sorry, but errors in the uploaded zip file prevent it from being explored.

The error generated by the Zip attachment is:

Access to the path ‘\\\f\webcache\cc\2004\4\19\’ is denied.You may still be able to repair the zip file contents if you download the entire zip locally. You may also want to ask the author to repost the attachment.

Via [WayBack] delphi – Reference-counting for objects – Stack Overflow which also points to:

Downloads of stable versions: [WayBack] Download · ivmai/bdwgc Wiki · GitHub


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in C, C++, Delphi, Development, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

List Of Windows Messages – WineHQ Wiki

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/12/17

Easiest way to find which message # (decimal or hexadecimal) belongs to which message and vice versa:

None of the lists are completely accurate, but they get you going.

For comparison: an early Windows 10 SDK WinUser.h and [] NativeMethods.cs



Posted in C, C++, Delphi, Development, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

LD_PRELOAD: preload a Linux library, for instance to obtain more information on a segmentation fault

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/06/11

Not being a proficient Linux programmer, I wondered what other means than learning gdb intrinsics I had to get more information about a segmentation fault.

A while back, pip list 2> /dev/null would cause a segmentation fault on my system (see [WayBack] Bug 1084812 – [aarch64] IPv4 DNS leading to segfaults).

It turns out that LD_PRELOAD was my friend (like TERM=xterm was a friend before): pip list 2> /dev/null

It indicated that the problem was in libc, which on opensuse is implemented by glibc.

This meant that the originally diagnosed problem was already accurately describing the symptoms.

Searching for glibc didn’t reveal many useful links, so I’ve included the one making most sense to me here:

The cool thing: most of the links above come from [WayBack] segmentation fault – Can you get any program in Linux to print a stack trace if it segfaults? – Server Fault which I found when searching for linux find segmentation fault stack trace

That link explains both the LD_PRELOAD steps and gdb steps (:

An alternative is to use gdb directly: [WayBack] command line arguments – How do I run a program with commandline args using gdb within a bash script? – Stack Overflow:

gdb -ex=run --args pip list


Posted in *nix, C, Development, gcc, Linux, Power User, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Why Is SQLite Coded In C

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/06/04

Old, but still an interesting read: [WayBack] Why Is SQLite Coded In C and [WayBack] Appropriate Uses For SQLite.

TL;DR: SQLite – mainly competing with fopen has few dependencies and uses C in a boring way. I think that’s good.

Via: [WayBack] Why Is SQLite Coded In C – ThisIsWhyICode – Google+


Posted in C, Database Development, Development, Software Development, SQLite | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: