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Re: CVS commit: src/lib/libutil

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:21:09AM +0000, David Laight wrote:
 > > > Modified Files:
 > > >  src/lib/libutil: efun.c
 > > > 
 > > > Log Message:
 > > > If malloc, calloc, or realloc returns NULL when a size of 0 was
 > > > requested, which is allowed by pertinent standards, honor it instead
 > > > of bombing.
 > > > 
 > > > Do not do this for calloc(x, y) where x != 0 && y != 0 but x*y == 0;
 > > > in that case bomb.
 > > 
 > > The commit message is misleading. We expect calloc(x,y) to return NULL
 > > if x!=0 && y!=0 && x*y==0.
 > I've never quite understood why calloc() was ever defined with 2
 > parameters.

Me either.

 > The only time it can be different (and valid) from a naiive multiply
 > is when the multiply is done as 'int' on a system where size_t > int.

It does mean that the overflow test is centralized instead of being
replicated at every allocation site, which has its virtues.

 > I'd have thought calloc() should be required to check that the
 > multiply doesn't overflow - but that ought (probably) require a different
 > errno than ENOMEM.

This is not explicitly stated in C99, but from the wording it is
certainly *allowed* to check, and one could construct a reasonable
argument that it's required to.

 > Certainly checking for multiply overflow would seem better than
 > checking for the product being zero.

Yes. But, you know, I didn't change calloc, I changed ecalloc. The
question is when a NULL return is an error. It is not an error if a
size of zero is requested, but it is on overflow. A size of zero is
requested only if one or both of the arguments is zero, *not* if the
product is zero. Hence the logic I described.

TBH, I don't understand why this is apparently confusing.

David A. Holland

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