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From: Mattias Flodin (flodin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-07-24 21:29:04

> Again, I think the possibilities outstrip reality, and reality is the
> only thing that counts here... as long as each architecture has a
> specific #define that can be detected at compile time. The worst thing
> is that a particular architecture may not be supported, and a #error can
> be issued.
> I imagine architectures are consistent themselves, but something like
> this would help if that were necessary:
> #if defined(__i386__)
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_16 12
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_32 1234
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_64 12345678
> #elif defined(__sparc__)
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_16 21
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_32 4321
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_64 87654321
> #elif defined(__dinosaur__)
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_16 21
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_32 4321
> #define BOOST_BYTEORDER_64 87654321
> #else
> #error Byte ordering undetected
> #endif

It gets worse. IA-64 supports switching endianness at runtime. :-) See e.g.
section 4.4: "Accesses to memory quantities larger than a byte may be
done in a big-endian or little-endian fashion. The byte order for all
memory access instructions is determined by UM in the User Mask

The user mask can be changed at user-level program's discretion and
thus isn't a function of the OS platform used either. I suppose the
least incorrect thing to do here would be to define it depending on
the default for the particular OS/compiler used.


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