[Tinyos-help] Casting between independent type and dependent type in tinyos

Philip Levis pal at cs.stanford.edu
Tue Apr 13 22:05:28 PDT 2010

On Apr 13, 2010, at 8:52 AM, Michael Schippling wrote:

> There's a couple things going on in your example...
> First, my belief based on not using or having looked
> very deeply into nx_ types, is that they are byte reversed --
> nx_int16 is the big-endian version of the usual suspect
> which is little-endian on all the platforms we commonly use.
> However I don't know where the byte reversal occurs, if it's
> in the message transmit code then some of the following probably
> doesn't pertain.

On every access. Take a look at the generated C.

> Second, the "typeA  x = (typeA) y;" code is actually a structure
> assignment, not just a cast, so it would try to copy the contents
> of y into x. I think this will work on any two structs, but it
> might be size dependent. Your two structs are probably the same
> size so you might not have an issue. However, depending on where
> the byte-reversal takes place, you might end up with reversed
> integer values in x after the copy if you have anything other
> than single byte objects in the struct -- you should slip by
> given the two definitions you show here though.

> If your code was this it would be a simple cast:
>     typeA  *x = (typeA) &y;
> I think you would have no complaints from the C compiler, unless
> something in NESCC traps nx_ conversions. You might still have
> the byte reversal issues though.

This would be a bad idea, as nx types also affect alignment. Just because the structures have fields with the same names doesn't really help nesC; it can't assume that the fields correspond. The correct thing to do is just copy each field individually:

y.a = x.a;
y.b = x.b;
y.c = x.c;


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