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STDARG(3)                BSD Library Functions Manual                STDARG(3)

NAME
     stdarg -- variable argument lists

SYNOPSIS
     #include <stdarg.h>

     void
     va_start(va_list ap, last);

     type
     va_arg(va_list ap, type);

     void
     va_end(va_list ap);

DESCRIPTION
     A function may be called with a varying number of arguments of varying
     types.  The include file <stdarg.h> declares a type (va_list) and defines
     three macros for stepping through a list of arguments whose number and
     types are not known to the called function.

     The called function must declare an object of type va_list which is used
     by the macros va_start(), va_arg(), and va_end().

     The va_start() macro initializes ap for subsequent use by va_arg() and
     va_end(), and must be called first.

     The parameter last is the name of the last parameter before the variable
     argument list, i.e. the last parameter of which the calling function
     knows the type.

     Because the address of this parameter is used in the va_start() macro, it
     should not be declared as a register variable, or as a function or an
     array type.

     The va_start() macro returns no value.

     The va_arg() macro expands to an expression that has the type and value
     of the next argument in the call.  The parameter ap is the va_list ap
     initialized by va_start().  Each call to va_arg() modifies ap so that the
     next call returns the next argument.  The parameter type is a type name
     specified so that the type of a pointer to an object that has the speci-fied specified
     fied type can be obtained simply by adding a * to type.

     If there is no next argument, or if type is not compatible with the type
     of the actual next argument (as promoted according to the default argu-ment argument
     ment promotions), random errors will occur.

     The first use of the va_arg() macro after that of the va_start() macro
     returns the argument after last.  Successive invocations return the val-ues values
     ues of the remaining arguments.

     The va_end() macro handles a normal return from the function whose vari-able variable
     able argument list was initialized by va_start().

     The va_end() macro returns no value.

EXAMPLES
     The function foo takes a string of format characters and prints out the
     argument associated with each format character based on the type.

           void foo(char *fmt, ...)
           {
                   va_list ap;
                   int d;
                   char c, *p, *s;

                   va_start(ap, fmt);
                   while (*fmt)
                           switch(*fmt++) {
                           case 's':                       /* string */
                                   s = va_arg(ap, char *);
                                   printf("string %s\n", s);
                                   break;
                           case 'd':                       /* int */
                                   d = va_arg(ap, int);
                                   printf("int %d\n", d);
                                   break;
                           case 'c':                       /* char */
                                   c = va_arg(ap, char);
                                   printf("char %c\n", c);
                                   break;
                           }
                   va_end(ap);
           }

STANDARDS
     The va_start(), va_arg(), and va_end() macros conform to ANSI X3.159-1989
     (``ANSI C89'').

COMPATIBILITY
     These macros are not compatible with the historic macros they replace.  A
     backward compatible version can be found in the include file <varargs.h>.

BUGS
     Unlike the varargs macros, the stdarg macros do not permit programmers to
     code a function with no fixed arguments.  This problem generates work
     mainly when converting varargs code to stdarg code, but it also creates
     difficulties for variadic functions that wish to pass all of their argu-ments arguments
     ments on to a function that takes a va_list argument, such as
     vfprintf(3).

BSD                              June 5, 1993                              BSD
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