6.7.8 Initialization

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                { initializer-list }
                { initializer-list , }

initializer-list: designationopt initializer initializer-list , designationopt initializer

designation: designator-list =

designator-list: designator designator-list designator

designator: [ constant-expression ] . identifier

1642 No initializer shall attempt to provide a value for an object not contained within the entity being initialized.

1643 The type of the entity to be initialized shall be an array of unknown size or an object type that is not a variable length array type.

1644 All the expressions in an initializer for an object that has static storage duration shall be constant expressions or string literals.

1645 If the declaration of an identifier has block scope, and the identifier has external or internal linkage, the declaration shall have no initializer for the identifier.

1646 If a designator has the form

        [ constant-expression ]

then the current object (defined below) shall have array type and the expression shall be an integer constant expression.

1647 If the array is of unknown size, any nonnegative value is valid.

1648 If a designator has the form

        . identifier 

then the current object (defined below) shall have structure or union type and the identifier shall be the name of a member of that type.

1649 An initializer specifies the initial value stored in an object.

1650 Except where explicitly stated otherwise, for the purposes of this subclause unnamed members of objects of structure and union type do not participate in initialization.

1651 Unnamed members of structure objects have indeterminate value even after initialization.

1652 If an object that has automatic storage duration is not initialized explicitly, its value is indeterminate.

1653 If an object that has static storage duration is not initialized explicitly, then:

1654 —  if it has pointer type, it is initialized to a null pointer;

1655 —  if it has arithmetic type, it is initialized to (positive or unsigned) zero;

1656 —  if it is an aggregate, every member is initialized (recursively) according to these rules;

1657 —  if it is a union, the first named member is initialized (recursively) according to these rules.

1658 The initializer for a scalar shall be a single expression, optionally enclosed in braces.

1659 The initial value of the object is that of the expression (after conversion);

1660 the same type constraints and conversions as for simple assignment apply, taking the type of the scalar to be the unqualified version of its declared type.

1661 The rest of this subclause deals with initializers for objects that have aggregate or union type.

1662 The initializer for a structure or union object that has automatic storage duration shall be either an initializer list as described below, or a single expression that has compatible structure or union type.

1663 In the latter case, the initial value of the object, including unnamed members, is that of the expression.

1664 An array of character type may be initialized by a character string literal, optionally enclosed in braces.

1665 Successive characters of the character string literal (including the terminating null character if there is room or if the array is of unknown size) initialize the elements of the array.

1666 An array with element type compatible with wchar_t may be initialized by a wide string literal, optionally enclosed in braces.

1667 Successive wide characters of the wide string literal (including the terminating null wide character if there is room or if the array is of unknown size) initialize the elements of the array.

1668 Otherwise, the initializer for an object that has aggregate or union type shall be a brace-enclosed list of initializers for the elements or named members.

1669 Each brace-enclosed initializer list has an associated current object.

1670 When no designations are present, subobjects of the current object are initialized in order according to the type of the current object: array elements in increasing subscript order, structure members in declaration order, and the first named member of a union.127)

1671 In contrast, a designation causes the following initializer to begin initialization of the subobject described by the designator.

1672 Initialization then continues forward in order, beginning with the next subobject after that described by the designator.128)

1673 Each designator list begins its description with the current object associated with the closest surrounding brace pair.

1674 Each item in the designator list (in order) specifies a particular member of its current object and changes the current object for the next designator (if any) to be that member.129)

1675 The current object that results at the end of the designator list is the subobject to be initialized by the following initializer.

1676 The initialization shall occur in initializer list order, each initializer provided for a particular subobject overriding any previously listed initializer for the same subobject;130)

1677 all subobjects that are not initialized explicitly shall be initialized implicitly the same as objects that have static storage duration.

1678 If the aggregate or union contains elements or members that are aggregates or unions, these rules apply recursively to the subaggregates or contained unions.

1679 If the initializer of a subaggregate or contained union begins with a left brace, the initializers enclosed by that brace and its matching right brace initialize the elements or members of the subaggregate or the contained union.

1680 Otherwise, only enough initializers from the list are taken to account for the elements or members of the subaggregate or the first member of the contained union;

1681 any remaining initializers are left to initialize the next element or member of the aggregate of which the current subaggregate or contained union is a part.

1682 If there are fewer initializers in a brace-enclosed list than there are elements or members of an aggregate, or fewer characters in a string literal used to initialize an array of known size than there are elements in the array, the remainder of the aggregate shall be initialized implicitly the same as objects that have static storage duration.

1683 If an array of unknown size is initialized, its size is determined by the largest indexed element with an explicit initializer.

1684 At the end of its initializer list, the array no longer has incomplete type.

1685 127) If the initializer list for a subaggregate or contained union does not begin with a left brace, its subobjects are initialized as usual, but the subaggregate or contained union does not become the current object: current objects are associated only with brace-enclosed initializer lists.

1686 128) After a union member is initialized, the next object is not the next member of the union;

1687 instead, it is the next subobject of an object containing the union.

1688 129) Thus, a designator can only specify a strict subobject of the aggregate or union that is associated with the surrounding brace pair.

1689 Note, too, that each separate designator list is independent.

1690 130)Any initializer for the subobject which is overridden and so not used to initialize that subobject might not be evaluated at all.

1691 The order in which any side effects occur among the initialization list expressions is unspecified.131)

1692 EXAMPLE 1 Provided that <complex.h> has been #included, the declarations

        int i = 3.5;
        double complex c = 5 + 3 * I;

define and initialize i with the value 3 and c with the value 5.0 + i3.0.

1693 EXAMPLE 2 The declaration

        int x[] = { 1, 3, 5 };

defines and initializes x as a one-dimensional array object that has three elements, as no size was specified and there are three initializers.

1694 EXAMPLE 3 The declaration

        int y[4][3] = {
                { 1, 3, 5 },
                { 2, 4, 6 },
                { 3, 5, 7 },

is a definition with a fully bracketed initialization: 1, 3, and 5 initialize the first row of y (the array object y[0]), namely y[0][0], y[0][1], and y[0][2]. Likewise the next two lines initialize y[1] and y[2]. The initializer ends early, so y[3] is initialized with zeros. Precisely the same effect could have been achieved by

        int y[4][3] = {
                1, 3, 5, 2, 4, 6, 3, 5, 7

The initializer for y[0] does not begin with a left brace, so three items from the list are used. Likewise the next three are taken successively for y[1] and y[2].

1695 EXAMPLE 4 The declaration

        int z[4][3] = {
                { 1 }, { 2 }, { 3 }, { 4 }

initializes the first column of z as specified and initializes the rest with zeros.

1696 EXAMPLE 5 The declaration

        struct { int a[3], b; } w[] = { { 1 }, 2 };

is a definition with an inconsistently bracketed initialization. It defines an array with two element structures: w[0].a[0] is 1 and w[1].a[0] is 2; all the other elements are zero.

1697 131) In particular, the evaluation order need not be the same as the order of subobject initialization.

1698 EXAMPLE 6 The declaration

        short q[4][3][2] = {
                { 1 },
                { 2, 3 },
                { 4, 5, 6 }

contains an incompletely but consistently bracketed initialization. It defines a three-dimensional array object: q[0][0][0] is 1, q[1][0][0] is 2, q[1][0][1] is 3, and 4, 5, and 6 initialize q[2][0][0], q[2][0][1], and q[2][1][0], respectively; all the rest are zero. The initializer for q[0][0] does not begin with a left brace, so up to six items from the current list may be used. There is only one, so the values for the remaining five elements are initialized with zero. Likewise, the initializers for q[1][0] and q[2][0] do not begin with a left brace, so each uses up to six items, initializing their respective two-dimensional subaggregates. If there had been more than six items in any of the lists, a diagnostic message would have been issued. The same initialization result could have been achieved by:

        short q[4][3][2] = {
                1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
                2, 3, 0, 0, 0, 0,
                4, 5, 6

or by:

        short q[4][3][2] = {
                        { 1 },
                        { 2, 3 },
                        { 4, 5 },
                        { 6 },

in a fully bracketed form.

Note that the fully bracketed and minimally bracketed forms of initialization are, in general, less likely to cause confusion.

1699 EXAMPLE 7

One form of initialization that completes array types involves typedef names. Given the declaration

        typedef int A[];        // OK - declared with block scope

the declaration

        A a = { 1, 2 }, b = { 3, 4, 5 };

is identical to

        int a[] = { 1, 2 }, b[] = { 3, 4, 5 };

due to the rules for incomplete types.

1700 EXAMPLE 8 The declaration

        char s[] = "abc", t[3] = "abc";

defines “plain” char array objects s and t whose elements are initialized with character string literals. This declaration is identical to

        char s[] = { 'a', 'b', 'c', '\0' },
             t[] = { 'a', 'b', 'c' };

The contents of the arrays are modifiable. On the other hand, the declaration

        char *p = "abc";

defines p with type “pointer to char” and initializes it to point to an object with type “array of char” with length 4 whose elements are initialized with a character string literal. If an attempt is made to use p to modify the contents of the array, the behavior is undefined.

1701 EXAMPLE 9 Arrays can be initialized to correspond to the elements of an enumeration by using designators:

        enum { member_one, member_two };
        const char *nm[] = {
                [member_two] = "member two",
                [member_one] = "member one",

1702 EXAMPLE 10 Structure members can be initialized to nonzero values without depending on their order:

        div_t answer = { .quot = 2, .rem = -1 };

1703 EXAMPLE 11 Designators can be used to provide explicit initialization when unadorned initializer lists might be misunderstood:

        struct { int a[3], b; } w[] =
                { [0].a = {1}, [1].a[0] = 2 };

1704 EXAMPLE 12 Space can be “allocated” from both ends of an array by using a single designator:

        int a[MAX] = {
                1, 3, 5, 7, 9, [MAX-5] = 8, 6, 4, 2, 0

In the above, if MAX is greater than ten, there will be some zero-valued elements in the middle; if it is less than ten, some of the values provided by the first five initializers will be overridden by the second five.

1705 EXAMPLE 13 Any member of a union can be initialized:

        union { /* ... */ } u = { .any_member = 42 };

1706 Forward references: common definitions <stddef.h> (7.17).


Created at: 2008-01-30 02:39:44 The text from WG14/N1256 is copyright © ISO