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Run-Time Library Reference Manual for OpenVMS Systems

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7.2 Error Detection

To help you detect run-time errors, the <errno.h> header file defines the following two symbolic values that are returned by many (but not all) of the mathematical functions:

  • EDOM indicates that an argument is inappropriate; the argument is not within the function's domain.
  • ERANGE indicates that a result is out of range; the argument is too large or too small to be represented by the machine.

When using the math functions, you can check the external variable errno for either or both of these values and take the appropriate action if an error occurs.

The following program example checks the variable errno for the value EDOM, which indicates that a negative number was specified as input to the function sqrt :

#include <errno.h>
#include <math.h>
#include <stdio.h>

   double input, square_root;

   printf("Enter a number: ");
   scanf("%le", &input);
   errno = 0;
   square_root = sqrt(input);

   if (errno == EDOM)
      perror("Input was negative");
      printf("Square root of %e = %e\n",
              input, square_root);

If you did not check errno for this symbolic value, the sqrt function returns 0 when a negative number is entered. For more information about the <errno.h> header file, see Chapter 4.

7.3 The <fp.h> Header File

The <fp.h> header file implements some of the features defined by the Numerical C Extensions Group of the ANSI X3J11 committee. You might find this useful for applications that make extensive use of floating-point functions.

Some of the double-precision functions listed in this chapter return the value ±HUGE_VAL (defined in either <math.h> or <fp.h> ) if the result is out of range. The float version of those functions return the value HUGE_VALF (defined only in <fp.h> ) for the same conditions. The long double version returns the value HUGE_VALL (also defined in <fp.h> ).

For programs compiled to enable IEEE infinity and NaN values, the values HUGE_VAL, HUGE_VALF, and HUGE_VALL are expressions, not compile-time constants. Initializations such as the following cause a compile-time error:

#include <fp.h>

double my_huge_val = HUGE_VAL

double my_huge_val = HUGE_VAL;
%CC-E-NEEDCONSTEXPR, In the initializer for my_huge_val, "decc$gt_dbl_infinity"
is not constant, but occurs in a context that requires a constant expression.
at line number 3 in file WORK1$:[RTL]IEEE_INFINITY.C;1

When using both <math.h> and <fp.h> , be aware that <math.h> defines a function isnan and <fp.h> defines a macro by the same name. Whichever header is included first in the application will resolve a reference to isnan .

7.4 Example

Example 7-1 shows how the tan , sin , and cos functions operate.

Example 7-1 Calculating and Verifying a Tangent Value

/*        CHAP_7_MATH_EXAMPLE.C                                 */

/* This example uses two functions --- mytan and main ---       */
/* to calculate the tangent value of a number, and to check     */
/* the calculation using the sin and cos functions.             */

#include <math.h>
#include <stdio.h>

/* This function calculates the tangent using the sin and       */
/* cos functions.                                               */

double mytan(x)
    double x;
    double y,

    y1 = sin(x);
    y2 = cos(x);

    if (y2 == 0)
        y = 0;
        y = y1 / y2;

    return y;
    double x;

    /*  Print values: compare   */
    for (x = 0.0; x < 1.5; x += 0.1)
        printf("tan of %4.1f = %6.2f\t%6.2f\n", x, mytan(x), tan(x));

Example 7-1 produces the following output:

tan of  0.0 =   0.00      0.00
tan of  0.1 =   0.10      0.10
tan of  0.2 =   0.20      0.20
tan of  0.3 =   0.31      0.31
tan of  0.4 =   0.42      0.42
tan of  0.5 =   0.55      0.55
tan of  0.6 =   0.68      0.68
tan of  0.7 =   0.84      0.84
tan of  0.8 =   1.03      1.03
tan of  0.9 =   1.26      1.26
tan of  1.0 =   1.56      1.56
tan of  1.1 =   1.96      1.96
tan of  1.2 =   2.57      2.57
tan of  1.3 =   3.60      3.60
tan of  1.4 =   5.80      5.80

Chapter 8
Memory Allocation Functions

Table 8-1 lists and describes all the memory allocation functions found in the HP C Run-Time Library (RTL). For a more detailed description of each function, see the Reference Section.

Table 8-1 Memory Allocation Functions
Function Description
brk, sbrk Determine the lowest virtual address that is not used with the program.
calloc, malloc Allocate an area of memory.
cfree, free Make available for reallocation the area allocated by a previous calloc , malloc , or realloc call.
realloc Changes the size of the area pointed to by the first argument to the number of bytes given by the second argument.
strdup Duplicates a string.

All HP C RTL functions requiring additional storage from the heap get that storage using the HP C RTL memory allocation functions malloc , calloc , realloc , free , and cfree . Memory allocated by these functions is quadword-aligned.

The ANSI C standard does not include cfree . For this reason, it is preferable to free memory using the functionally equivalent free function.

The brk and sbrk functions assume that memory can be allocated contiguously from the top of your address space. However, the malloc function and RMS may allocate space from this same address space. Do not use the brk and sbrk functions in conjunction with RMS and HP C RTL routines that use malloc .

Previous versions of the VAX C RTL documentation indicated that the memory allocation routines used the OpenVMS RTL functions LIB$GET_VM and LIB$FREE_VM to acquire and return dynamic memory. This is no longer the case; interaction between these routines and the HP C RTL memory allocation routines is no longer problematic (although LIB$SHOW_VM can no longer be used to track HP C RTL malloc and free usage).

The HP C RTL memory allocation functions calloc , malloc , realloc , and free are based on the LIB$ routines LIB$VM_CALLOC, LIB$VM_MALLOC, LIB$VM_REALLOC and LIB$VM_FREE, respectively.

The routines VAXC$CALLOC_OPT , VAXC$CFREE_OPT , VAXC$FREE_OPT , VAXC$MALLOC_OPT , and VAXC$REALLOC_OPT are now obsolete and should not be used in new development. However, versions of these routines that are equivalent to the standard C memory allocation routines are provided for backward compatibility.

8.1 Program Example

Example 8-1 shows the use of the malloc , calloc , and free functions.

Example 8-1 Allocating and Deallocating Memory for Structures

/*        CHAP_8_MEM_MANAGEMENT.C                               */

/* This example takes lines of input from the terminal until    */
/* it encounters a Ctrl/Z, places the strings into an           */
/* allocated buffer, copies the strings to memory allocated for */
/* structures, prints the lines back to the screen, and then    */
/* deallocates all the memory used for the structures.          */

#include  <stdlib.h>
#include  <stdio.h>
#define   MAX_LINE_LENGTH  80

struct line_rec {               /*  Declare the structure.   */
    struct line_rec *next;      /*  Pointer to next line.    */
    char *data;                 /*  A line from terminal.    */

int main(void)
    char *buffer;

    /* Define pointers to        */
    /*  structure (input lines). */

    struct line_rec *first_line = NULL,
            *last_line = NULL;

    /* Buffer points to memory.  */
    buffer = malloc(MAX_LINE_LENGTH);

    if (buffer == NULL) {       /* If error ...  */

    while (gets(buffer) != NULL) {      /* While not Ctrl/Z ...  */
        /* Allocate for input line.  */
        next_line = calloc(1, sizeof (struct line_rec));

        if (next_line == NULL) {

        /* Put line in data area.    */
        next_line->data = buffer;

        if (last_line == NULL)  /* Reset pointers.   */
            first_line = next_line;
            last_line->next = next_line;

        last_line = next_line;
        /* Allocate space for the     */
        /*  next input line.          */
        buffer = malloc(MAX_LINE_LENGTH);

        if (buffer == NULL) {
    free(buffer);       /* Last buffer always unused. */
    next_line = first_line;     /* Pointer to beginning.  */

    while (next_line != NULL) {
        puts(next_line->data);  /* Write line to screen.  */
        free(next_line->data);  /* Deallocate a line.     */
        last_line = next_line;
        next_line = next_line->next;


The sample input and output for Example 8-1 are as follows:

line one
line two
line one
line two

Chapter 9
System Functions

The C programming language is a good choice if you wish to write operating systems. For example, much of the UNIX operating system is written in C. When writing system programs, it is sometimes necessary to retrieve or modify the environment in which the program is running. This chapter describes the HP C Run-Time Library (RTL) functions that accomplish this and other system tasks.

Table 9-1 lists and describes all the system functions found in the HP C RTL. For a more detailed description of each function, see the Reference Section.

Table 9-1 System Functions
Function Description
System Functions---Searching and Sorting Utilities
bsearch Performs a binary search on an array of sorted objects for a specified object.
qsort Sorts an array of objects in place by implementing the quick-sort algorithm.
System Functions---Retrieving Process Information
ctermid Returns a character string giving the equivalence string of SYS$COMMAND, which is the name of the controlling terminal.
cuserid Returns a pointer to a character string containing the name of the user who initiated the current process.
getcwd Returns a pointer to the file specification for the current working directory.
getegid , geteuid ,
getgid , getuid
Return, in OpenVMS terms, group and member numbers from the user-identification code (UIC).
getenv Searches the environment array for the current process and returns the value associated with a specified environment.
getlogin Gets the login name of the user associated with the current session.
getpid Returns the process ID of the current process.
getppid Returns the parent process ID of the calling process.
getpwnam Accesses user-name information in the user database.
getpwuid Accesses user-ID information in the user database.
System Functions---Changing Process Information
chdir Changes the default directory.
chmod Changes the file protection of a file.
chown Changes the owner user identification code (UIC) of a file.
mkdir Creates a directory.
nice Increases or decreases the process priority to the process base priority by the amount of the argument.
putenv Sets an environmental variable.
setenv Inserts or resets the environment variable name in the current environment list.
setgid, setuid Implemented for program portability and have no functionality.
sleep , usleep Suspend the execution of the current process for at least the number of seconds indicated by its argument.
umask Creates a file protection mask that is used whenever a new file is created. It returns the old mask value.
System Functions---Retrieving and Converting Date/Time Information
asctime Converts a broken-down time into a 26-character string.
clock Determines the CPU time, in microseconds, used since the beginning of the program execution.
clock_getres Gets the resolution for the specified clock.
clock_gettime Returns the current time (in seconds and nanoseconds) for the specified clock.
clock_settime Sets the specified clock.
ctime Converts a time, in seconds, to an ASCII string in the form generated by the asctime function.
decc$fix_time Converts OpenVMS binary system times to UNIX binary times.
difftime Computes the difference, in seconds, between the two times specified by its arguments.
ftime Returns the elapsed time since 00:00:00, January 1, 1970, in the structure timeb .
getclock Gets the current value of the systemwide clock.
getdate Converts a formatted string to a time/date structure.
getitimer Returns the value of interval timers.
gettimeofday Gets the date and time.
gmtime Converts time units to broken-down UTC time.
localtime Converts a time (expressed as the number of seconds elapsed since 00:00:00, January 1, 1970) into hours, minutes, seconds, and so on.
mktime Converts a local-time structure into time since the Epoch.
nanosleep High-resolution sleep (REALTIME). Suspends a process from execution for the specified timer interval.
setitimer Sets the value of interval timers.
strftime, wcsftime Place characters into an array, as controlled by a specified format string.
strptime Converts a character string into date and time values.
time Returns the time elapsed since 00:00:00, January 1, 1970, in seconds.
times Returns the accumulated times of the current process and of its terminated child processes.
tzset Sets and accesses time-zone conversion.
ualarm Sets or changes the timeout of interval timers.
wcsftime Uses date and time information stored in a tm structure to create a wide-character output string.
System Function---Miscellaneous
VAXC$CRTL_INIT Initializes the run-time environment and establishes an exit and condition handler, which makes it possible for HP C RTL functions to be called from other languages.

Example 9-1 shows how the cuserid function is used.

Example 9-1 Accessing the User Name

/*        CHAP_9_GET_USER.C                                   */

/* Using cuserid, this program returns the user name.         */

#include <stdio.h>

    static char string[L_cuserid];

    printf("Initiating user: %s\n", string);

If a user named TOLLIVER runs the program, the following is displayed on stdout :

Initiating user: TOLLIVER

Example 9-2 shows how the getenv function is used.

Example 9-2 Accessing Terminal Information

/*        CHAP_9_GETTERM.C                              */

/* Using getenv, this program returns the terminal.     */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

    printf("Terminal type: %s\n", getenv("TERM"));

Running Example 9-2 on a VT100 terminal in 132-column mode displays the following:

Terminal type: vt100-132

Example 9-3 shows how to use getenv to find the user's default login directory and how to use chdir to change to that directory.

Example 9-3 Manipulating the Default Directory

/*       CHAP_9_CHANGE_DIR.C                                    */

/* This program performs the equivalent of the DCL command      */
/* SET DEFAULT SYS$LOGIN. However, once the program exits, the  */
/* directory is reset to the directory from which the program   */
/* was run.                                                     */

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

    char *dir;
    int i;

    dir = getenv("HOME");
    if ((i = chdir(dir)) != 0) {
        perror("Cannot set directory");

    printf("Current directory: %s\n", dir);

Running Example 9-3 displays the following:

Current directory: dba0:[tolliver]

Example 9-4 shows how to use the time , localtime , and strftime functions to print the correct date and time at the terminal.

Example 9-4 Printing the Date and Time

/*        CHAP_9_DATE_TIME.C                                    */

/* The time function returns the time in seconds; the localtime */
/* function converts the time to hours, minutes, and so on;     */
/* the strftime function uses these values to obtain a string   */
/* in the desired format.                                       */

#include <time.h>
#include <stdio.h>

#define MAX_STRING 80

    struct tm *time_structure;
    time_t time_val;
    char output_str[MAX_STRING];

    time_structure = localtime(&time_val);

    /* Print the date  */

    strftime(output_str, MAX_STRING,
             "Today is %A, %B %d, %Y", time_structure);

    printf("%s\n", output_str);

    /* Print the time using a 12-hour clock format. */

    strftime(output_str, MAX_STRING,
             "The time is %I:%M %p", time_structure);

    printf("%s\n", output_str);

Running Example 9-4 displays the following:

Today is Thursday, May 20, 1993
The time is 10:18 AM

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