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

Michael Schippling schip at santafe.edu
Wed Apr 14 11:10:03 PDT 2010

Ah, good point on alignment and padding...
So the take home message is: Don't do that.

Philip Levis wrote:
> 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;
> Phil

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