The void type, in several programming languages derived from C and Algol68, is the type for the result of a function that returns normally, but does not provide a result value to its caller. Usually such functions are called for their side effects, such as performing some task or writing to their output parameters. The usage of the void type in such context is comparable to procedures in Pascal and syntactic constructs which define subroutines in Visual Basic. It is also similar to the unit type used in functional programming languages and type theory. See Unit type#In programming languages for a comparison.
C and C++ also support the pointer to void type (specified as
void *), but this is an unrelated notion. Variables of this type are pointers to data of an unspecified type, so in this context (but not the others)
void * acts roughly like a universal or top type. A program can probably convert a pointer to any type of data (except a function pointer) to a pointer to void and back to the original type without losing information, which makes these pointers useful for polymorphic functions. The C language standard does not guarantee that the different pointer types have the same size or alignment.
A function with void result type ends either by reaching the end of the function or by executing a return statement with no returned value. The void type may also appear as the sole argument of a function prototype to indicate that the function takes no arguments. Note that despite the name, in all of these situations, the void type serves as a unit type, not as a zero or bottom type (which is sometimes confusingly called the "void type"), even though unlike a real unit type which is a singleton, the void type lacks a way to represent its value and the language does not provide any way to declare an object or represent a value with type
In the earliest versions of C, functions with no specific result defaulted to a return type of
int and functions with no arguments simply had empty argument lists. Pointers to untyped data were declared as integers or pointers to
char. Some early C compilers had the feature, now seen as an annoyance, of generating a warning on any function call that did not use the function's returned value. Old code sometimes casts such function calls to void to suppress this warning. By the time Bjarne Stroustrup began his work on C++ in 1979–1980, void and void pointers were part of the C language dialect supported by AT&T-derived compilers.
The explicit use of void vs. giving no arguments in a function prototype has different semantics in C and C++, as detailed in the following table:
(not strictly equivalent)
A C prototype taking no arguments, e.g.
void f() above, has been deprecated in C99, however.
Quite contrary to C++, in the functional programming language Haskell the void type denotes the empty type, which has no inhabitants . A function into the void type does not return results, and a side-effectful program with type signature
IO Void does not terminate, or crashes. In particular, there are no total functions into the void type.
C is a general-purpose, procedural computer programming language supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope, and recursion, with a static type system. By design, C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions. It has found lasting use in applications previously coded in assembly language. Such applications include operating systems and various application software for computer architectures that range from supercomputers to PLCs and embedded systems.
In programming languages, a closure, also lexical closure or function closure, is a technique for implementing lexically scoped name binding in a language with first-class functions. Operationally, a closure is a record storing a function together with an environment. The environment is a mapping associating each free variable of the function with the value or reference to which the name was bound when the closure was created. Unlike a plain function, a closure allows the function to access those captured variables through the closure's copies of their values or references, even when the function is invoked outside their scope.
C++ is a general-purpose programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension of the C programming language, or "C with Classes". The language has expanded significantly over time, and modern C++ now has object-oriented, generic, and functional features in addition to facilities for low-level memory manipulation. It is almost always implemented as a compiled language, and many vendors provide C++ compilers, including the Free Software Foundation, LLVM, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, and IBM, so it is available on many platforms.
Generic programming is a style of computer programming in which algorithms are written in terms of types to-be-specified-later that are then instantiated when needed for specific types provided as parameters. This approach, pioneered by the ML programming language in 1973, permits writing common functions or types that differ only in the set of types on which they operate when used, thus reducing duplication. Such software entities are known as generics in Ada, C#, Delphi, Eiffel, F#, Java, Nim, Python, Rust, Swift, TypeScript and Visual Basic .NET. They are known as parametric polymorphism in ML, Scala, Julia, and Haskell ; templates in C++ and D; and parameterized types in the influential 1994 book Design Patterns.
In programming languages and type theory, polymorphism is the provision of a single interface to entities of different types or the use of a single symbol to represent multiple different types.
The syntax of the C programming language is the set of rules governing writing of software in the C language. It is designed to allow for programs that are extremely terse, have a close relationship with the resulting object code, and yet provide relatively high-level data abstraction. C was the first widely successful high-level language for portable operating-system development.
In computer science, a pointer is an object in many programming languages that stores a memory address. This can be that of another value located in computer memory, or in some cases, that of memory-mapped computer hardware. A pointer references a location in memory, and obtaining the value stored at that location is known as dereferencing the pointer. As an analogy, a page number in a book's index could be considered a pointer to the corresponding page; dereferencing such a pointer would be done by flipping to the page with the given page number and reading the text found on that page. The actual format and content of a pointer variable is dependent on the underlying computer architecture.
In computer programming, run-time type information or run-time type identification (RTTI) is a feature of the C++ programming language that exposes information about an object's data type at runtime. Run-time type information can apply to simple data types, such as integers and characters, or to generic types. This is a C++ specialization of a more general concept called type introspection. Similar mechanisms are also known in other programming languages, such as Object Pascal (Delphi).
In computer programming, a function prototype or function interface is a declaration of a function that specifies the function’s name and type signature, but omits the function body. While a function definition specifies how the function does what it does, a function prototype merely specifies its interface, i.e. what data types go in and come out of it. The term function prototype is particularly used in the context of the programming languages C and C++ where placing forward declarations of functions in header files allows for splitting a program into translation units, i.e. into parts that a compiler can separately translate into object files, to be combined by a linker into an executable or a library.
const in the C family of languages differs from similar constructs in other languages in being part of the type, and thus has complicated behavior when combined with pointers, references, composite data types, and type-checking.
typedef is a reserved keyword in the programming languages C and C++. It is used to create an additional name (alias) for another data type, but does not create a new type, except in the obscure case of a qualified typedef of an array type where the typedef qualifiers are transferred to the array element type. As such, it is often used to simplify the syntax of declaring complex data structures consisting of struct and union types, but is just as common in providing specific descriptive type names for integer data types of varying lengths.
In the C++ programming language, new and delete are a pair of language constructs that perform dynamic memory allocation, object construction and object destruction.
In the area of mathematical logic and computer science known as type theory, a unit type is a type that allows only one value. The carrier associated with a unit type can be any singleton set. There is an isomorphism between any two such sets, so it is customary to talk about the unit type and ignore the details of its value. One may also regard the unit type as the type of 0-tuples, i.e. the product of no types.
The C and C++ programming languages are closely related but have many significant differences. C++ began as a fork of an early, pre-standardized C, and was designed to be mostly source-and-link compatible with C compilers of the time. Due to this, development tools for the two languages are often integrated into a single product, with the programmer able to specify C or C++ as their source language.
C++11 is a version of the standard for the programming language C++. It was approved by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on 12 August 2011, replacing C++03, superseded by C++14 on 18 August 2014 and later, by C++17. The name follows the tradition of naming language versions by the publication year of the specification, though it was formerly named C++0x because it was expected to be published before 2010.
The C++ programming language has support for string handling, mostly implemented in its standard library. The language standard specifies several string types, some inherited from C, some designed to make use of the language's features, such as classes and RAII. The most-used of these is std::string.
In the C++ programming language, placement syntax allows programmers to explicitly specify the memory management of individual objects — i.e. their "placement" in memory. Normally, when an object is created dynamically, an allocation function is invoked in such a way that it will both allocate memory for the object, and initialize the object within the newly allocated memory. The placement syntax allows the programmer to supply additional arguments to the allocation function. A common use is to supply a pointer to a suitable region of storage where the object can be initialized, thus separating memory allocation from object construction.
In C++ computer programming, allocators are a component of the C++ Standard Library. The standard library provides several data structures, such as list and set, commonly referred to as containers. A common trait among these containers is their ability to change size during the execution of the program. To achieve this, some form of dynamic memory allocation is usually required. Allocators handle all the requests for allocation and deallocation of memory for a given container. The C++ Standard Library provides general-purpose allocators that are used by default, however, custom allocators may also be supplied by the programmer.
Concepts are an extension to the templates feature provided by the C++ programming language. Concepts are named Boolean predicates on template parameters, evaluated at compile time. A concept may be associated with a template, in which case it serves as a constraint: it limits the set of arguments that are accepted as template parameters.
typename" is a keyword in the C++ programming language used when writing templates. It is used for specifying that a dependent name in a template definition or declaration is a type. In the original C++ compilers before the first ISO standard was completed, the
typename keyword was not part of the C++ language and Bjarne Stroustrup used the
class keyword for template arguments instead. While
typename is now the preferred keyword, older source code may still use the
class keyword instead.