6.10.3.5 Scope of macro definitions

Previous Table of Contents "New C Standard" commentary

1974 A macro definition lasts (independent of block structure) until a corresponding #undef directive is encountered or (if none is encountered) until the end of the preprocessing translation unit.

1975 Macro definitions have no significance after translation phase 4.

1976 A preprocessing directive of the form

  # undef identifier new-line

causes the specified identifier no longer to be defined as a macro name.

1977 It is ignored if the specified identifier is not currently defined as a macro name.

1978 EXAMPLE 1 The simplest use of this facility is to define a “manifest constant”, as in


        #define TABSIZE 100
        int table[TABSIZE];

1979 EXAMPLE 2 The following defines a function-like macro whose value is the maximum of its arguments. It has the advantages of working for any compatible types of the arguments and of generating in-line code without the overhead of function calling. It has the disadvantages of evaluating one or the other of its arguments a second time (including side effects) and generating more code than a function if invoked several times. Also it cannot have its address taken, as it has none.


        #define max(a, b) ((a) > (b) ? (a) : (b))

The parentheses ensure that the arguments and the resulting expression are bound properly.

1980 EXAMPLE 3 To illustrate the rules for redefinition and reexamination, the sequence


        #define x      3
        #define f(a)   f(x * (a))
        #undef  x
        #define x      2
        #define g      f
        #define z      z[0]
        #define h      g(~
        #define m(a)   a(w)
        #define w      0,1
        #define t(a)   a
        #define p()    int
        #define q(x)   x
        #define r(x,y) x ## y
        #define str(x) # x
        
        f(y+1) + f(f(z)) % t(t(g)(0) + t)(1);
        g(x+(3,4)-w) | h 5) & m
                (f)^m(m);
        p() i[q()] = { q(1), r(2,3), r(4,), r(,5), r(,) };
        char c[2][6] = { str(hello), str() };

results in


        f(2 * (y+1)) + f(2 * (f(2 * (z[0])))) % f(2 * (0)) + t(1);
        f(2 * (2+(3,4)-0,1)) | f(2 * (~ 5)) & f(2 * (0,1))^m(0,1);
        int i[] = { 1, 23, 4, 5,  };
        char c[2][6] = { "hello" "" };

1981 EXAMPLE 4 To illustrate the rules for creating character string literals and concatenating tokens, the sequence


        #define str(s)      # s
        #define xstr(s)     str(s)
        #define debug(s, t) printf("x" # s "= %d, x" # t "= %s" \
                                x ## s, x ## t)
        #define INCFILE(n)  vers ## n
        #define glue(a, b)  a ## b
        #define xglue(a, b) glue(a, b)
        #define HIGHLOW     "hello"
        #define LOW         LOW ", world"
        
        debug(1, 2);
        fputs(str(strncmp("abc\0d" "abc", '\4') // this goes away
              == 0) str(: @\n), s);
        #include xstr(INCFILE(2).h)
        glue(HIGH, LOW);
        xglue(HIGH, LOW)

results in


        printf("x" "1" "= %d, x" "2" "= %s", x1, x2);
        fputs(
          "strncmp(\"abc\\0d\", \"abc\", '\\4') == 0" ": @\n",
          s);
        #include "vers2.h"    (after macro replacement, before file access)
        "hello";
        "hello" ", world"

or, after concatenation of the character string literals,


        printf("x1= %d, x2= %s", x1, x2);
        fputs(
          "strncmp(\"abc\\0d\", \"abc\", '\\4') == 0: @\n",
          s);
        #include "vers2.h"    (after macro replacement, before file access)
        "hello";
        "hello, world"

Space around the # and ## tokens in the macro definition is optional.

1982 EXAMPLE 5 To illustrate the rules for placemarker preprocessing tokens, the sequence


        #define t(x,y,z) x ## y ## z
        int j[] = { t(1,2,3), t(,4,5), t(6,,7), t(8,9,),
                   t(10,,), t(,11,), t(,,12), t(,,) };

results in


        int j[] = { 123, 45, 67, 89,
                    10, 11, 12,  };

1983 EXAMPLE 6 To demonstrate the redefinition rules, the following sequence is valid.


        #define OBJ_LIKE      (1-1)
        #define OBJ_LIKE      /* white space */ (1-1) /* other */
        #define FUNC_LIKE(a)   ( a )
        #define FUNC_LIKE( a )(        /* note the white space */ \
                                a /* other stuff on this line
                                   */ )

But the following redefinitions are invalid:


        #define OBJ_LIKE    (0)     // different token sequence
        #define OBJ_LIKE    (1 - 1) // different white space
        #define FUNC_LIKE(b) ( a )  // different parameter usage
        #define FUNC_LIKE(b) ( b )  // different parameter spelling

1984 EXAMPLE 7 Finally, to show the variable argument list macro facilities:


        #define debug(...)        fprintf(stderr, __VA_ARGS__)
        #define showlist(...)        puts(#__VA_ARGS__)
        #define report(test, ...) ((test)?puts(#test):\
                        printf(__VA_ARGS__))
        debug("Flag");
        debug("X = %d\n", x);
        showlist(The first, second, and third items.);
        report(x>y, "x is %d but y is %d", x, y);

results in


        fprintf(stderr,  "Flag" );
        fprintf(stderr,  "X = %d\n", x );
        puts( "The first, second, and third items." );
        ((x>y)?puts("x>y"):
                        printf("x is %d but y is %d", x, y));

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Created at: 2008-01-30 02:39:45 The text from WG14/N1256 is copyright © ISO