What exactly is lvalue & rvalue (old c.l.c. posts are all over the map)?

  • Permalink
  • submit to reddit
  • Email
  • Follow


Hi,

Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
contexts?  If so please share.

I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
disagreeing).

My take on it is that an "lvalue" is an expression that refers to an
object (which can have (a) value(s) within it), and "rvalue" is an
expression that only has a value (ephemeral value as Chris Torek would
claim) and no association with an object.

As far as their use, an "lvalue" that refers to an object of type T,
can be used anwhere an "rvalue" that that has a type T can be, but not
vice versa.  So if one uses an lvalue that refers to an int variable in
an context that requires an int value, then simply the value sitting in
the object is dumped into that context.

Is this a fair description?

0
Reply wwromeo (17) 2/6/2005 5:07:47 AM

See related articles to this posting


Romeo Colacitti wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and
different
> contexts?  If so please share.
>
> I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> disagreeing).
>
> My take on it is that an "lvalue" is an expression that refers to an
> object (which can have (a) value(s) within it), and "rvalue" is an
> expression that only has a value (ephemeral value as Chris Torek
points out) >and no association with an object.
>
> As far as their use, an "lvalue" that refers to an object of type T,
> can be used anwhere an "rvalue" that that has a type T can be, but
not
> vice versa.  So if one uses an lvalue that refers to an int variable
in
> an context that requires an int value, then simply the value sitting
in
> the object is dumped into that context.
>
> Is this a fair description?

Both "lvalue" and "(r)value" [current standards prefer to leave out the
'r' and  insist that the 'l' means 'locator'] are expressions.

Some expressions are lvalues, while others are rvalues. By "are" I
mean, "evaluate to results that are." "Expression" need not be a full
expression  but refers also to subexpressions too (even down to a
token-sequence for a variable name).

Every lvalue is converted to the corresponding (r)value represented in
it's object when used in a context that does not need an object
("value" context), EXCEPT for an lvalue referring to and array object
of type T (it is converted to an (r)value equal to the address of the
first element of the array and of type pointer to T).

When an lvalue is used in an "general object context," then the lvalue
is directly acted upon (no conversion to an rvalue takes place).
Examples are & and sizeof.

There is another special type of "object context" that requires not
only an lvalue, but a MODIFIABLE lvalue. These "special objects
contexts" include expressions involved with ++, --, and the left hand
sides of both = and op= . So only lvalues that are modifiable can be
used here, and they include all lvalues that are NOT: array names,
connected with objects declared as const, or connected with objects of
incomplete type (these are nonmodifiable lvalues).


All other contexts/operators (unless I missed some) require (r)values
as their expressions/operands.  For example, arguments in function
calls are expected to be (r)value expressions (but we also lvalues
expressions, but they are automatically converted to the (r)values
represented by their associated objects).
[Another way to say this is, the function call arguments is of "value"
context]

Hope this helps.

0
Reply LookSkywalker (71) 2/6/2005 5:48:23 AM

Romeo Colacitti wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects,
> and different contexts?  If so please share.
> 
> I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> disagreeing).
> 
> My take on it is that an "lvalue" is an expression that refers to an
> object (which can have (a) value(s) within it), and "rvalue" is an
> expression that only has a value (ephemeral value as Chris Torek would
> claim) and no association with an object.
> 
> As far as their use, an "lvalue" that refers to an object of type T,
> can be used anwhere an "rvalue" that that has a type T can be, but not
> vice versa.
> So if one uses an lvalue that refers to an int variable in
> an context that requires an int value,
> then simply the value sitting in
> the object is dumped into that context.
> 
> Is this a fair description?

The lvalue, rvalue distinction 
is something that can be determined at compile time.
If you have
    int array[1];
then
    array[-1] is an example of an lvalue which doesn't refer
to an object. The use of such an lvalue would be undefined behavior.

-- 
pete
0
Reply pfiland (6614) 2/6/2005 6:46:51 AM

In article <4205BD5C.6DC8@mindspring.com>
pete  <pfiland@mindspring.com> wrote:
>The lvalue, rvalue distinction 
>is something that can be determined at compile time.

Well, in C99, maybe. :-)  The C89 definition says, in part, that
if one has a pointer of type "T *":

    T *p;

then *p is an lvalue if and only if p actually points to an
object.  Thus, in:

    p = malloc(sizeof *p);
    *p = some_T_value();

"*p" is an lvalue if malloc() succeeded, but not if it failed
(returned NULL).

This is of course a ridiculous situation, which is why the N869
draft wording says that *p is an lvalue in all cases -- even if
p==NULL for instance -- but that the effect is undefined if p does
not point to a valid object of type T.

Unfortunately, the C99 definition is apparently defective as well
(see past discussion here and in comp.std.c).

The terms date back to (at least) Algol, and the intent is clear
enough: lvalues occur on the left side of assignment operators,
and rvalues occur on the right -- hence the names "left value" and
"right value".  In languages that lack C's profusion of operators,
a simple definition like this suffices; we write:

    a := b;

and there is nothing like "b++" to clutter up the issue.  C mixes
everything up into a wonderful, confusing jumble, and even
compiler-writers sometimes get it wrong. :-)

>If you have
>    int array[1];
>then
>    array[-1] is an example of an lvalue which doesn't refer
>to an object. The use of such an lvalue would be undefined behavior.

Again, apparently true in C99, but not (technically) in C89.  But
this just means the C89 standard has a defect.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Wind River Systems
Salt Lake City, UT, USA (40�39.22'N, 111�50.29'W)  +1 801 277 2603
email: forget about it   http://web.torek.net/torek/index.html
Reading email is like searching for food in the garbage, thanks to spammers.
0
Reply nospam252 (1722) 2/6/2005 8:19:12 AM

Luke Wu wrote:
>
> When an lvalue is used in an "general object context," then the
lvalue
> is directly acted upon (no conversion to an rvalue takes place).
> Examples are & and sizeof.
>

sizeof takes more than lvalues, consider...

sizeof(int *)
sizeof('A')
sizeof(33.029e-3LD)

so are types and constants objects too (note, size of directly taking
the objects as input above, not just lvalues that refer to the objects)


here is another example

sizeof("String Literal")

here, size is receiving only a pointer to the first element of the
string ('S'), so its equivalent to: sizeof(char *)

but that's not what we get, sizeof actually returns the size of the
whole string literal

I don't think sizeof fits cleanly with the theory of lvalues/rvalues.

0
Reply kobu.selva (53) 2/6/2005 5:04:38 PM

>Luke Wu wrote:
>> When an lvalue is used in an "general object context," then the
>>lvalue is directly acted upon (no conversion to an rvalue takes
>>place).  Examples are & and sizeof.

In article <1107709477.995487.296710@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>
Kobu <kobu.selva@gmail.com> wrote:
>sizeof takes more than lvalues ...

Yes; and it also has more than one syntax:

    sizeof expr
    sizeof ( type-name )

An expression can, but need not, include outer parentheses; but
to use sizeof on a type-name you must use the parentheses.

>consider...
>
>sizeof(int *)

This one requires the parentheses.

>sizeof('A')
>sizeof(33.029e-3LD)

These two do not.  (But "e-3LD" is syntactically wrong; I assume
you mean "e-3L", to make it a long-double constant.)

>so are types and constants objects too (note, size of directly taking
>the objects as input above, not just lvalues that refer to the objects)

No, but they *are* expressions.

>here is another example
>
>sizeof("String Literal")
>
>here, size is receiving only a pointer to the first element of the
>string ('S'), so its equivalent to: sizeof(char *)
>
>but that's not what we get, sizeof actually returns the size of the
>whole string literal
>
>I don't think sizeof fits cleanly with the theory of lvalues/rvalues.

This is a more interesting case, because of an earlier comp.lang.c
discussion about string literals as initializers:

    char s1[] = "this is OK";
    char s2[] = ("but this is not");

A string literal -- which is a source code construct, rather than
something you might see at runtime -- can be used as an initializer
for an object of type "array N_opt of char", but if it is to be
used this way, it *must not* be enclosed in parentheses.  A number
of compilers allow the parentheses anyway, no doubt because their
parsers have stripped them off by the time the partially-digested
token-sequence is delivered to the part of the compiler front-end
that finishes decorating the parse tree (adjusting types, adding
conversions where implied, and so on).

All of this is something of an aside, though, because given:

    char buf[20];

we know that:

    sizeof(buf) == sizeof buf

and both arguments to the equality operator are (size_t)20.  The
implication here is that, although an array may be surrounded by
parentheses in an expression, it remains an array: it does not
undergo the "degeneration" or "decay", as some like to call it,
that converts "array N of T" to "pointer to T" merely because it
is parenthesized.  (It merely happens that some compilers do this
parentheses-stripping a bit "overzealously", as it were, so that
the string-literal-as-initializer works even when a diagnostic is
required.)

The whole point of the "object context" vs "value context" that
Luke Wu brings up is to maintain, within the compiler's parse-tree
code, the notion of whether we want to convert array-objects to
pointer-values by computing &arr[0].  (In addition, we must also
remember whether we need to fetch the value of an ordinary object,
so that in:

    int a = 3, b = 5;
    ... any (or no) code that does not change a or b ...
    a = b;

we put the value/"rvalue" of b -- 5 -- into the ["lvalue"] object
a, rather than fetching a's previous value of 3, and trying to put
b's value into 3.)  Inside the compiler, this context is generally
implicit: we know, based on the operator(s), whether we want to
find the actual *value* of "a" (3, in this case), or simply remember
the *name*:

       =
     /   \
    a     b

can be optimized to:

       =
     /   \
    a     5

(because b is still known to be 5), but not to:

       =
     /   \
    3     5

which is nonsensical.  This property of "I want a value on the
right, but an object on the left" is associated with the ordinary
assignment operator "=".

Now, there *is* a significant difference between the sizeof and
assignment operators here, in that sizeof permits any expression
of any (legal) type *as well as* an object-name, while "=" demands
*only* an object-name ("lvalue") on the left: "3 = 5;" is an
error, but "sizeof 3" is OK.

All this means is that, in the part of the compiler that deals
with an "=" operator, we have:

    /* assume "struct tree *tree" and tree->op is the op, tree->left
       is the LHS and tree->right is the RHS, with tree->monad #defined
       as either tree->left or tree->right for monadic (unary)
       operators */

    switch (tree->op) {
    ...
    case ASSIGN:
        if (!is_lvalue(tree->left))
            error("assignment operator requires an lvalue");
        tree->right = rvalue_convert(tree->right, get_typecode(tree->left));
        /* rvalue_convert produces the error if the conversion is invalid */
        break;

while in the code for "sizeof" we have:

    case SIZEOF:
        typecode = get_typecode(tree->monad);
        if (is_incomplete_type(typecode)) /* includes sizeof(void) */
            error("sizeof incomplete type");
        if (is_function_type(typecode))
            error("cannot take size of function");
        tree->type = TYPE_SIZE_T;
        tree->value = type_size(typecode) / type_size(TYPE_CHAR);
        tree->is_constant = 1;
        /* the division is to get the size in bytes rather than bits */

        tree_releasenode(tree->monad); /* no longer needed */
        break;

In other words, we do not need to *check* whether the argument to
sizeof is an object or a value, nor do we have to pass it into the
part of the compiler that extracts an rvalue from an lvalue (which
I called "rvalue_convert" here) if necessary, because all we care
about, in evaluating the "sizeof" operator, is the *type* of the
argument to sizeof.  (This is no longer true in C99, where we have
to check whether the argument is a VLA and perhaps generate code
at runtime rather than just marking the result as "is a constant".
But C99 is a much more complicated language than C89.)
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Wind River Systems
Salt Lake City, UT, USA (40�39.22'N, 111�50.29'W)  +1 801 277 2603
email: forget about it   http://web.torek.net/torek/index.html
Reading email is like searching for food in the garbage, thanks to spammers.
0
Reply nospam252 (1722) 2/6/2005 6:47:58 PM

Chris Torek wrote:
> In article <4205BD5C.6DC8@mindspring.com>
> pete  <pfiland@mindspring.com> wrote:
> >The lvalue, rvalue distinction
> >is something that can be determined at compile time.
>
> Well, in C99, maybe. :-)  The C89 definition says, in part, that
> if one has a pointer of type "T *":

snipping

> >If you have
> >    int array[1];
> >then
> >    array[-1] is an example of an lvalue which doesn't refer
> >to an object. The use of such an lvalue would be undefined behavior.
>
> Again, apparently true in C99, but not (technically) in C89.  But
> this just means the C89 standard has a defect.
>

C99 is worse, because as per the said standard almost every expression
that doesn't resolve to an incomplete types or function type is an
LVALUE.  So something like 2+3 is an lvalue in C99.  I'll just modify
that errant sentence in the C99, it must obviously be a typo (they
forgot to mention that an lvalue "designates an object.")

Thanks for the help everyone.

0
Reply wwromeo (17) 2/6/2005 8:05:48 PM

pete wrote:
> Romeo Colacitti wrote:
> >

/

> >
> > Is this a fair description?
>
> The lvalue, rvalue distinction
> is something that can be determined at compile time.
> If you have
>     int array[1];
> then
>     array[-1] is an example of an lvalue which doesn't refer
> to an object. The use of such an lvalue would be undefined behavior.
>

Yes, "lvalues" and "objects" are not the same thing.

An lvalues are just an expression (or the resolution of an expression)
that is of a form that can normally be used to designate objects (in
your case, array[-1] is of a form that is normally used to designate an
object, but this specific case is not referring to a valid object -
thus undefined behaviour).

Objects can also exist without lvalues . For example,

1)

char *ptr = "Hello";
ptr = NULL;

/* Hereafter the object "Hello" (an array) is lost in our abstract
machine
never to be referred to by an lvalue */

2)

malloc(100);

/* Hereafter the object allocated (100 bytes) is lost, never to be
referred to by an lvalue */




So objects and lvalues are different things.

0
Reply LookSkywalker (71) 2/6/2005 10:08:02 PM

"Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1107666467.021755.326460@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
> contexts?  If so please share.
>
> I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> disagreeing).

I always thought an lvalue was something you could take the address of using
&.

So an assignment like:

a=b;

could be rewritten as:

 *(&a)=b;

if a was a legal lvalue. If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might be) is not
an lvalue.

Bart



0
Reply bc (2337) 2/6/2005 10:37:11 PM

Luke Wu wrote:
>

snip

>
> Yes, "lvalues" and "objects" are not the same thing.
>
> An lvalues are just an expression (or the resolution of an
expression)
> that is of a form that can normally be used to designate objects (in
> your case, array[-1] is of a form that is normally used to designate
an
> object, but this specific case is not referring to a valid object -
> thus undefined behaviour).
>
> Objects can also exist without lvalues . For example,
>
> 1)
>
> char *ptr = "Hello";
> ptr = NULL;
>

Even without reassigning ptr to NULL, there still can never exist an
lvalue that maps to the entire string literal object.  The string
literal is an ANONYMOUS object.  Pointers can only point to the
independent char object that make up the string literal aggregate array
(object).

>
> /* Hereafter the object "Hello" (an array) is lost in our abstract
> machine
> never to be referred to by an lvalue */
>
> 2)
>
> malloc(100);
>

The same applies here.  Even if you did capture the return value of
malloc (void *) into a pointer with some sort of reference type, you
will still never get an lvalue that suggests the whole 100 byte object
on the heap (it's an ANONYMOUS object).

Although, you can capture the returned (void *) into a pointer to an
array of size equal to 100 bytes, but that is simply a useless case
(the pointer would serve no purpose).

>
> /* Hereafter the object allocated (100 bytes) is lost, never to be
> referred to by an lvalue */
>
>
>
>
> So objects and lvalues are different things.

There are normal objects, and anonymous objects.
There are valid lvalues, and invalid lvalues.

Only the former from each sentence above can possibly be part of a
lvalue>object mapping.

0
Reply kenneth.bull (37) 2/6/2005 10:40:48 PM

In article <42069c1e@212.67.96.135>, "Bart C" <bc@freeuk.com> wrote:

> "Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1107666467.021755.326460@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Hi,
> >
> > Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> > terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
> > contexts?  If so please share.
> >
> > I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> > never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> > disagreeing).
> 
> I always thought an lvalue was something you could take the address of using
> &.
> 
> So an assignment like:
> 
> a=b;
> 
> could be rewritten as:
> 
>  *(&a)=b;
> 
> if a was a legal lvalue. If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might be) is not
> an lvalue.

Bitfields can be lvalues, but you can't take the address of a bitfield.
0
Reply christian.bau (880) 2/6/2005 10:52:15 PM

In article 
<christian.bau-0CD778.22521506022005@slb-newsm1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
 Christian Bau <christian.bau@cbau.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <42069c1e@212.67.96.135>, "Bart C" <bc@freeuk.com> wrote:
> 
> > "Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:1107666467.021755.326460@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> > > terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
> > > contexts?  If so please share.
> > >
> > > I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> > > never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> > > disagreeing).
> > 
> > I always thought an lvalue was something you could take the address of using
> > &.
> > 
> > So an assignment like:
> > 
> > a=b;
> > 
> > could be rewritten as:
> > 
> >  *(&a)=b;
> > 
> > if a was a legal lvalue. If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might be) is not
> > an lvalue.
> 
> Bitfields can be lvalues, but you can't take the address of a bitfield.

And I forgot: Functions are most definitely not lvalues, but you can 
take the address of a function.
0
Reply christian.bau (880) 2/6/2005 10:53:25 PM

Christian,
You wrote  on Sun, 06 Feb 2005 22:53:25 +0000:

>> > So an assignment like:
>> > a=b;
>> > could be rewritten as:
>> >  *(&a)=b;
>> > if a was a legal lvalue. If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might
>> be) is not an lvalue.
>> Bitfields can be lvalues, but you can't take the address of a
>> bitfield.
CB> And I forgot: Functions are most definitely not lvalues, but you can
CB> take the address of a function.

You also forgot that there are non-modifiable lvalues like those that are 
const-qualified or that have incomplete types.

--
Ivan

Unicals Group -- Your own commercial high-quality C99 front end for US $1
http://unicals.com/own-business.html


0
Reply ikosarev (15) 2/6/2005 11:29:00 PM

In article <36nnhvF50s0mnU1@individual.net>,
 "Ivan A. Kosarev" <ikosarev@online.ru> wrote:

> Christian,
> You wrote  on Sun, 06 Feb 2005 22:53:25 +0000:
> 

-- Re-inserted original post here: 
> > "Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:1107666467.021755.326460@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> > > terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
> > > contexts?  If so please share.
> > >
> > > I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they
> > > never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and
> > > disagreeing).
> > 
> > I always thought an lvalue was something you could take the address of using
> > &.
> > 
-- End of re-inserted original post
> >> > So an assignment like:
> >> > a=b;
> >> > could be rewritten as:
> >> >  *(&a)=b;
> >> > if a was a legal lvalue. If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might
> >> be) is not an lvalue.
> >> Bitfields can be lvalues, but you can't take the address of a
> >> bitfield.
> CB> And I forgot: Functions are most definitely not lvalues, but you can
> CB> take the address of a function.
> 
> You also forgot that there are non-modifiable lvalues like those that are 
> const-qualified or that have incomplete types.

Looks like I didn't forget anything; you just snipped the part of the 
original post that I answered to.
0
Reply christian.bau (880) 2/6/2005 11:40:20 PM

Kobu wrote:
> Luke Wu wrote:
> >
> > When an lvalue is used in an "general object context," then the
> lvalue
> > is directly acted upon (no conversion to an rvalue takes place).
> > Examples are & and sizeof.
> >
>
> sizeof takes more than lvalues, consider...
>
> sizeof(int *)
> sizeof('A')
> sizeof(33.029e-3LD)
>
> so are types and constants objects too (note, size of directly taking
> the objects as input above, not just lvalues that refer to the
objects)
>
>
> here is another example
>
> sizeof("String Literal")
>
> here, size is receiving only a pointer to the first element of the
> string ('S'), so its equivalent to: sizeof(char *)
>
> but that's not what we get, sizeof actually returns the size of the
> whole string literal
>
> I don't think sizeof fits cleanly with the theory of lvalues/rvalues.


Sizeof is an operator that can take two types of operands:

- types
- expressions(if lvalue expression, gives the size of the entire object
designated by the lvalue, if rvalue expression, gives the size of
object required to properly hold the rvalue)

When considering the sizeof(exp) syntax's behaviour, one might be
tempted to call this an example of an "object context." I argue that it
incorrect to say that sizeof(exp) is a case of "lvalue/object context."
Even though no lvalue-to-rvalue substitution takes plac for lvalue
expression, the fact that rvalues can be operands too should forbit us
from calling it an "object context." It is neither an "object context"
or a "value context", but rather a "makes no assumptions or
substitutions, operates directly on what you hand it CONTEXT"

This is why sizeof('A') works, not because 'A' is an lvalue or object
(constants are not objects).

0
Reply kenneth.bull (37) 2/6/2005 11:41:38 PM

Romeo Colacitti wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the
> terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different
> contexts?  If so please share.
[...]

The simplest way to think of them would probably be:

    An lvalue can go on the left of an assignment statement, and an
    rvalue can go on the right.  (Hence "l" and "r".)

-- 
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------------+
| Kenneth J. Brody        | www.hvcomputer.com |                             |
| kenbrody/at\spamcop.net | www.fptech.com     | #include <std_disclaimer.h> |
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------------+
Don't e-mail me at: <mailto:ThisIsASpamTrap@gmail.com>

0
Reply kenbrody (1879) 2/6/2005 11:47:04 PM

"Christian Bau" <christian.bau@cbau.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message 
news:christian.bau-31BAE1.22532506022005@slb-newsm1.svr.pol.co.uk...
....
>> In article <42069c1e@212.67.96.135>, "Bart C" <bc@freeuk.com> wrote:
>> > I always thought an lvalue was something you could take the address of 
>> > using
>> > &.
....
>> Bitfields can be lvalues, but you can't take the address of a bitfield.
>
> And I forgot: Functions are most definitely not lvalues, but you can
> take the address of a function.

I think I'm still right apart from these two exceptions..

Bart



0
Reply bc (2337) 2/7/2005 12:47:16 AM

Kenneth Bull wrote:
 
> Sizeof is an operator that can take two types of operands:
> 
> - types
> - expressions

The types must be object types 
and the expressions must be expressions of object type.

-- 
pete
0
Reply pfiland (6614) 2/7/2005 1:16:48 AM

Christian Bau wrote:
> 
> In article
> <christian.bau-0CD778.22521506022005@slb-newsm1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
>  Christian Bau <christian.bau@cbau.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> > In article <42069c1e@212.67.96.135>, "Bart C" <bc@freeuk.com> wrote:
> >
> > > "Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> wrote in message
> > > news:1107666467.021755.326460@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > Does anyone here have a strong understanding for
> > > > the meanings of the
> > > > terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C,
> > > > objects, and different
> > > > contexts?  If so please share.
> > > >
> > > > I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject,
> > > > and they
> > > > never end with a conclusion
> > > > (people keep correcting each other and
> > > > disagreeing).
> > >
> > > I always thought an lvalue was something you could
> > > take the address of using
> > > &.
> > >
> > > So an assignment like:
> > >
> > > a=b;
> > >
> > > could be rewritten as:
> > >
> > >  *(&a)=b;
> > >
> > > if a was a legal lvalue.
> > > If you can't then 'a' (whatever it might be) is not
> > > an lvalue.
> >
> > Bitfields can be lvalues,
> > but you can't take the address of a bitfield.
> 
> And I forgot: Functions are most definitely not lvalues, but you can
> take the address of a function.

register qualified variables are lvalues without addresses.

-- 
pete
0
Reply pfiland (6614) 2/7/2005 1:21:52 AM

Kenneth Bull wrote:
>
> There are normal objects, and anonymous objects.
>

A search for the term - anonymous - in the C standard came up with 0
results.

Explanation for malloc does say that it allocates AN OBJECT.
Explanation for calloc does say that it allocates AN ARRAY OF OBJECTS.
No mention of anonymous though.

I've come to the conclusion that the C language (and it's standard) has
so many exceptions, loopholes and gray areas that it's better to learn
and see all the cases than to try to understand the definitions and
rules within the standard.

I bet every C programmer has a different idea for what all these terms
mean, but all experts have seen all the cases/uses enough to understand
things deep enough not to care for exact definitions. Such a
frustrating language, but I can't live without it :-)

0
Reply wwromeo (17) 2/7/2005 5:27:18 AM

On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 14:08:02 -0800, Luke Wu wrote:

....

> Objects can also exist without lvalues . For example,
> 
> 1)
> 
> char *ptr = "Hello";
> ptr = NULL;
> 
> /* Hereafter the object "Hello" (an array) is lost in our abstract
> machine
> never to be referred to by an lvalue */

The string literal itself i.e. the "Hello" in the source code is an lvalue.

> 2)
> 
> malloc(100);
> 
> /* Hereafter the object allocated (100 bytes) is lost, never to be
> referred to by an lvalue */

True, but not very interesting or useful.

> So objects and lvalues are different things.

lvalues exist in the source code, objects exist in the execution
environment.

Lawrence
0
Reply lknews (877) 2/7/2005 11:27:51 AM

On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 09:04:38 -0800, Kobu wrote:

> 
> Luke Wu wrote:
>>
>> When an lvalue is used in an "general object context," then the
> lvalue
>> is directly acted upon (no conversion to an rvalue takes place).
>> Examples are & and sizeof.
>>
> 
> sizeof takes more than lvalues, consider...
> 
> sizeof(int *)
> sizeof('A')
> sizeof(33.029e-3LD)
> 
> so are types and constants objects too (note, size of directly taking
> the objects as input above, not just lvalues that refer to the objects)
> 
> 
> here is another example
> 
> sizeof("String Literal")
> 
> here, size is receiving only a pointer to the first element of the
> string ('S'), so its equivalent to: sizeof(char *)

Why do you assume that to start with? Note that while you are using a
string literal here, it is just an example of an array lvalue.

> but that's not what we get, sizeof actually returns the size of the
> whole string literal
> 
> I don't think sizeof fits cleanly with the theory of lvalues/rvalues.

sizeof is unique because it doesn't evaluate its operand (as a value or an
lvalue); all sizeof cares about is the type of the operand. With C99 VLAs
determining the operand type can require a calculation based on runtime
information but it still isn't accessing the value or lvalue of the
operand (and obviously not if the operand is specifically a type).

Lawrence

0
Reply lknews (877) 2/7/2005 11:45:09 AM

"Romeo Colacitti" <wwromeo@gmail.com> writes:
> Chris Torek wrote:
>> In article <4205BD5C.6DC8@mindspring.com>
>> pete  <pfiland@mindspring.com> wrote:
[...]
>> >If you have
>> >    int array[1];
>> >then
>> >    array[-1] is an example of an lvalue which doesn't refer
>> >to an object. The use of such an lvalue would be undefined behavior.
>>
>> Again, apparently true in C99, but not (technically) in C89.  But
>> this just means the C89 standard has a defect.
>>
>
> C99 is worse, because as per the said standard almost every expression
> that doesn't resolve to an incomplete types or function type is an
> LVALUE.  So something like 2+3 is an lvalue in C99.  I'll just modify
> that errant sentence in the C99, it must obviously be a typo (they
> forgot to mention that an lvalue "designates an object.")

Alas, it wasn't a typo.  In C90, an lvalue is defined as "an
expression (with an object type or an incomplete type other than void)
that designates an object".  The flaw in this definition, given
    int *ptr;
the expression *ptr may or may not designate an object (it doesn't of
ptr==NULL, for example).  So strictly speaking, you can't always
determine whether an expression is an lvalue until runtime, which
clearly was not the intent.

C99 attempted to correct this by dropping the absolute requirement
that an lvalue must designate an object; an lvalue is now "an
expression with an object type or an incomplete type other than void;
if an lvalue does not designate an object when it is evaluated, the
behavior is undefined."  Strictly speaking, 42 is an lvalue (it's an
expression with an object type) -- and evaluating it invokes undefined
behavior.  Again, this clearly was not the intent.

An lvalue *should* be defined as an expression that *potentially*
designates an object.  For example, *ptr is an lvalue regardless of
the value of ptr, and evaluating *ptr invokes undefined behavior if it
doesn't currently designate an object.  The expression 42 is not an
lvalue.  The problem, I suppose, is expressing this in standardese,
but IMHO correctness is more important than rigor here.

-- 
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u@mib.org  <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center             <*>  <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something.  This is something.  Therefore, we must do this.
0
Reply kst-u (21963) 2/7/2005 9:28:30 PM

Keith Thompson wrote:
>
> An lvalue *should* be defined as an expression that *potentially*
> designates an object.  For example, *ptr is an lvalue regardless of
> the value of ptr, and evaluating *ptr invokes undefined behavior if
it
> doesn't currently designate an object.  The expression 42 is not an
> lvalue.  The problem, I suppose, is expressing this in standardese,
> but IMHO correctness is more important than rigor here.
>

Or they could just list all possible types of lvalues in a short
passage (there aren't many).  They would have to define it according to
the final result of expressions (what they evaluate to), which is what
they mean by "expressions" in the current standard anyway.

0
Reply kenneth.bull (37) 2/8/2005 10:02:26 PM

Lawrence Kirby wrote:

> sizeof is unique because it doesn't evaluate its operand (as a value
or an
> lvalue); all sizeof cares about is the type of the operand. With C99
VLAs
> determining the operand type can require a calculation based on
runtime
> information but it still isn't accessing the value or lvalue of the
> operand (and obviously not if the operand is specifically a type).
>
> Lawrence

Which is why people shouldn't call sizeof an "object context" or
"lvalue context"

0
Reply kenneth.bull (37) 2/8/2005 10:07:52 PM
comp.lang.c 29673 articles. 34 followers. Post

24 Replies
127 Views

Similar Articles

[PageSpeed] 28


  • Permalink
  • submit to reddit
  • Email
  • Follow


Reply:

Similar Artilces:

What exactly is lvalue & rvalue (old c.l.c. posts are all over the map)?
Hi, Does anyone here have a strong understanding for the meanings of the terms "lvalue" and "rvalue" as it pertains to C, objects, and different contexts? If so please share. I've been reading several old posts/threads on the subject, and they never end with a conclusion (people keep correcting each other and disagreeing). My take on it is that an "lvalue" is an expression that refers to an object (which can have (a) value(s) within it), and "rvalue" is an expression that only has a value (ephemeral value as Chris Torek would claim) and no associ...

Better C/C++ Than C/C++?
I am looking for a good systems programming language that can be used instead of C/C++. My qualifications for the language are: * mature compiler(s) that produce native-code binaries (for Windows) * open source - preferable, but not 100% necessary Thanks, Kevin "Kevin Albrecht" <kevin@albrecht.net> writes: > I am looking for a good systems programming language > that can be used instead of C/C++. My qualifications > for the language are: > > * mature compiler(s) that produce native-code > binaries (for Windows) Ocaml, D, cyclone, Eiffel, Beta >...

jython and C-c C-c
How do I get C-c C-c to work with jython? I have the jpython command set to jython, and I can start the interpreter with C-C ! and then use C-c C-c, but this is rather frustrating. If I try to use C-c C-c without first starting the interpreter in another window I get wrong type argument: sequencep, jpython Thanks, Dave Cook ...

c------->c++ and c++------>c
We can write c program in turbo c++ editor.But reverse is not true why? i.e The program will not compile if u write c++ program in turbo c editor vim wrote: > We can write c program in turbo c++ editor.But reverse is not true why? > i.e The program will not compile if u write c++ program in turbo c > editor This isn't about C; this is about some editor. Why the fircone should /we/ know? Ask in a relevant group. [And /why/, in an editor specialised to some specific programming languages, would you expect it to compile a /different/ one? Would you expect turbo perl to compi...

C/C++ in matlab and matlab in C/C++ ?
Is it possible to read C/C++ code in matlab and the other way around too? Hi, as long as C or C++ are written in text files you can edit them in the matlab editor. To see the special character of C or C++ coding language, in the editor go to menus: file>preferences>Edito/Debugger>language and on popup "Language" select "C/C++". This does not allow you to run the C/C++ code, just to view it i nicer way... regards, chris saneman <asdfsdf@asd.com> wrote in message <frl846 $f8i$2@news.net.uni-c.dk>... > Is it possible to read C/C...

C as a Subset of C++ (or C++ as a superset of C)
Isn't it a lame use of human time and effort to maintain completely separate C and C++ standards? As in the words of Betty White about Facebook: "It seems like an incredible waste of time". Why don't the two standards groups get together and agree on a common specification for the ground which both standards cover? There would still be two separate standards, but they'd both be exactly the same for the common ground. The common ground document could be referred to by both standards instead of being maintained by both groups in individual efforts resulting in...

C/C++ in MATALB or MATLAB in C/C++?
Hi I've been asking on the net how to use MEX properly so that I can use C/C++ in MATLAB, but information is not forthcoming. There seems to be a lot on using MATLAB in C/C++ but not the other way around. I understand Mathworks is trying very hard to sell the Matlab Compiler, but even so, why is it SO hard to get information about MEX? Or is it that I've missed something very fundamental, meaning that I'm struggling over something that is actually quite easy? Any thoughts and info would be great. Thanks BullDog BullDog wrote: > Hi > > I've been asking on the net ...

C, C++ and C# Forums
Throne Software has opened up C, C++ and C# Forums at: http://www.thronesoftware.com/forum/ Join us! In article <1120963701.862698.160260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Throne Software <mail@thronesoftware.com> writes >Throne Software has opened up C, C++ and C# Forums at: > >http://www.thronesoftware.com/forum/ > >Join us! Why? The beauty of news groups is that they come to me I don't have to go to them. Also all the people who have been around a while know what they are doing and are here. I noticed that there are some C and C++ Forums on another system...

C, C++ and C# Forums
Throne Software has opened up C, C++ and C# Forums at: http://www.thronesoftware.com/forum/ Join us! Throne Software wrote: > Throne Software has opened up C, C++ and C# Forums at: > > http://www.thronesoftware.com/forum/ For all of your forums newsgroups already exist. > Join us! Why? Don't see any reason to support your marketing. ...

c,c++,obj-c
Of the 3 languages titled in this post is c++ older than obj-c ? Would someone experienced in C be able to dive right into C++ rather than obj-c ? Java is out for me now except applet programming I think I'm going to go with just C and C++. Bill Bill Cunningham wrote: > Of the 3 languages titled in this post is c++ older than obj-c ? Why does that matter? Do you want to use an old language? Try Fortran or LISP. > Would > someone experienced in C be able to dive right into C++ rather than > obj-c ? Not quite dive in, at least not into the OO parts of C++. ...

C,, C++, Java, C#
I come from C,C++,Java and C#. What can SmallTalk do for me and for what cost? Regarding the Squeak thing, it's interesting though confusing. Is it an IDE? Why are the menus so wacky? "DM McGowan II" <nospam@nospam.net> wrote in message news:PLednX2vnLd11IncRVn-rA@comcast.com... > I come from C,C++,Java and C#. What can SmallTalk do for me ...? Ask not what Smalltalk can do for, but what can you do with Smalltalk. :-) In very few words, it significantly reduces time to market, while enhancig the development experience. This is because: 1. It...

C, C++ and C# Forums
Throne Software has opened up C, C++ and C# Forums at: http://www.thronesoftware.com/forum/ Join us! ...

s u b j e c t : L o w c o s t m e d i c a l a n d m e d i c i n e f r o m C h i n a
s u b j e c t : L o w c o s t m e d i c a l a n d m e d i c i n e f r o m C h i n a U n i V i s u a l G r o u p I n c . M o n t h l y N e w s - - - August E d i t i o n ########################################################## U L T R A S O U N D ......................... $ 6 5 0 P A C S ........................... $ 1 0 0 0 H I S ............................. $ 1 0 0 0 P a t i e n t M o n i t o r .................. $ 1 28 0 C a b l e E C G ............................ $ 9 9 9 M i c r o s c o...

C++ or C?
I am new to MPI and have a basic understanding of C and C++. So I was wondering if any of you guys with experience in using MPI had any pointers with regards choosing either C or C++. I intend to use MPI in parallelizing code I have that was written in Java. So obviously the Java code it is heavly object orientated. With regards parallelizing it; right now I think it will mainly be a Master-Slave style of design with no inter-process communication needed once the master has sent the work to the slave. Most, if not all, of my communications will involve simply sending a large object from the ...

c++/c
hi i have been recently told that there is no exception handling ic c+ +.?? as far as i remember i have read, it has. also java has exception handling for sure but there we can use finally also which we cant use in c ++. what other differences do we have in the two languages c++ and java in exception handling. and which one is better? rupika wrote: > > i have been recently told that there is no exception handling ic > c++.?? You should ask about C in comp.lang.c, about C++ in comp.lang.c++. -- [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net) [page]: <http://cbfalconer.home...

C++ to C
Are there any open source C++ compilers that will produce C code? I understand the first C++ compilers operated this way. On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 23:07:19 GMT, "Bootstrap Bill" <wrcousert@yahoo.com> wrote in comp.lang.c: > Are there any open source C++ compilers that will produce C code? I > understand the first C++ compilers operated this way. C++ compilers are off-topic in comp.lang.c. -- Jack Klein Home: http://JK-Technology.Com FAQs for comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/ alt.comp.lang.learn.c-...

C and C++
Hello, I have been having trouble getting used to C. A very simple language. Could this be because I was very familiar with C++ before trying to learn C? The fstream header is so simple. using fopen, fread and fwrite for example seems complicated. Bill "Bill Cunningham" <nospam@nspam.com> writes: > I have been having trouble getting used to C. A very simple > language. Could this be because I was very familiar with C++ before trying > to learn C? The fstream header is so simple. using fopen, fread and fwrite > for example seems compli...

C and C
Please Who wants to post Command and Conquer Red Alert 3. I'm looking for the whole version. If you do so Thank you. --------------= Posted using GrabIt =---------------- ------= Binary Usenet downloading made easy =--------- -= Get GrabIt for free from http://www.shemes.com/ =- Shaniel's Usenet wrote: > Please > Who wants to post Command and Conquer Red Alert 3. > I'm looking for the whole version. > If you do so Thank you. > > > --------------= Posted using GrabIt =---------------- > ------= Binary Usenet downloading made easy =--------- &g...

What After C and C++?
First it was C, then C++, what comes next? "Penna Elabi" <terebinthus@go.com> wrote in message news:77081966.0311290846.3d5a7064@posting.google.com... > First it was A whole bunch of computer languages, then >C, then a whole bunch more computer languages, then >C++, what comes next? A whole bunch more. So what? Did you have a question about C++ (which is the *only* topic here) ? -Mike "Penna Elabi" <terebinthus@go.com> wrote... > First it was C, then C++, what comes next? Who cares? This newsgroup is concerned with C++, not with what c...

C or C++?
Hi, I am a newbie to programming, and sorry again that I have to ask the C or C++ questions. Is C required before learning C++? And become better in C does it also make you a better C++ programmer? Or that to be a C+ + programmer, it's better not to have any knowledge of C and start a new in the C++ way as some books suggest? weidongtom@gmail.com wrote: > Hi, > > I am a newbie to programming, and sorry again that I have to ask the C > or C++ questions. Is C required before learning C++? No. And become better > in C does it also make you a better C++ programmer? Not n...

C++ to C
Hi all, does anyone out there have an awk/sed/perl script to assist me with manual rewriting from C++ to C? (Class --> struct, method --> function, << >> to printf, etc...) I have to rewrite a lot of legacy C++ code into a C-dialect of Plan 9 OS [sweetest Os around ;-) ] http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9/ Thanks, regards, ++pac. tyapca7@gmail.com wrote: > does anyone out there have an awk/sed/perl script to assist me with > manual rewriting from C++ to C? I'd ask a C language group... Yours, Laurenz Albe This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this t...

c and c++
what do i do to learn c and c++,i hope to become a programmer in future.what are the materials needed for a beginner like me mama wrote: > what do i do to learn c and c++,i hope to become a programmer in > future.what are the materials needed for a beginner like me For a start... patience. Ben Pope -- I'm not just a number. To many, I'm known as a string... "mama" <tawwa2003@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:1133869392.103644.215390@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com... > what do i do to learn c and c++,i hope to become a programmer in > future.what are the...

C or C++
i would like someone with experience to answer my question ! C or C++ and why? Which one is stronger ? The criteria are yours! Thanks in advance guys. -- --------------------------------- --- -- - Posted with NewsLeecher v3.7 Final Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet ------------------- ----- ---- -- - vadam17@hotmail.com ha scritto: > i would like someone with experience to answer my question ! C or > C++ and why? Which one is stronger ? The criteria are yours! > Thanks in advance guys. why cat or dog ? they are 2 different animals .... it is the same ... in my opinion...

C C++
While reading some source code, I saw a variable called "end" of type "time". So I investigated what the type "time" meant and saw that time was a typedef for "Real". So what does "Real" mean? "Real" is a typedef for QL_REAL. So what does "QL_REAL" mean? QL_REAL is type double via the line of code #define QL_REAL double.... "Mallik * G" <gadde.mallik@gmail.com> wrote in message news:7e4a882c-6f46-46eb-aa54-903842fa1b4d@p39g2000prm.googlegroups.com... > While reading some source code, I saw a variable cal...

C... Why not c++?
Someone can exaplain me why use C instead C++? Until now i've never found exaplanation for this. Every project written in C on which i've worked could be written in c++, and when in nowadays happen still to see C code i really don't understand why the same things cannot be written in c++. Using c++ it's possble to reduce developing time achieving the same result. Can you give me a valid reason for C? Simple enough, the OO & template features are not needed on some projects targeted to OS kernel development and device driver development and other low-level libraries. Moreov...