Subject: Re: new openssl won't build on powerpc
To: gabriel rosenkoetter <>
From: Martin Husemann <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/16/2001 12:33:54
> > 	the variables are auto variables (on stack, not in structure nor union)
> > 	and are used just as flags.  i don't think the use of char will help
> > 	anybody, or anybody cares.
> Machines with small quantities of memory will probably care if every
> char that "doesn't really need to be one" becomes an int. It's just
> a bad precedent to set, that's all.

No, you are missing something here:

 - due to alignment constraints changing this single auto variable to
   int (instead of "signed char") will not make a difference on many
   platforms (if you have four bytes instead of four ints that would
   be different [for 32 bit plattforms])

 - there is a reason char is unsigned on some architectures, e.g. in the
   case of PPC (IIRC) the sign extension when using this variable in an
   integer expression (like passing to a variadic function) needs to be
   done in software, causing quite a performance hit

Rule of thumb: if used as an int and no particular size restrictions apply,
just make it an int.