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SubjectRe: Recent change in tcp_output.c is surely wrong
Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> > For a signed int, that optimisation would be valid on an Alpha. Even in
> > GCC's model. Think about what signed right shifts do. But for an
> > unsigned int, it would be equivalent to `a & 0x0fffffff'.
> I don't think so.

Correct, the first paragraph above is a thinko. Please see followup
where I retract it.

> Here, we start with a 1 and shift it over into the
> sign-bit. It now becomes the highest negative number. Now, we shift
> it back exactly the same number of bits. See that the sign-bits are
> __extended__! It now becomes -1.

Now you're thinking about GCC, not the ISO C standard. In ISO C, sign
bits don't exist (not every machine does signed arithmetic with 2's
complement -- rounded floating point is possible for example), and the
shift you described leads to undefined behaviour.

Even real compilers don't always sign extend signed right shifts.

> This is because 'C' treats shifts as arithmetic shifts, not logical
> shifts. The code is (for Intel) sar and sal, not shr and shl. You
> cannot reliably use shifts for ANDing operations if you are writing
> in 'C'.

GCC and probably most C compilers do that but it is not guaranteed by C
in general. Maybe all known x86 compilers use sar. However, I am sure
there have been C compilers that donn't use arithmetic shifts. If only
I could remember which ones :-)

-- Jamie

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