How does array_needsize macro work?

Marc Lehmann schmorp at
Thu May 7 06:15:34 CEST 2015

On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 04:45:14PM +0000, Jie Liu <ljie314 at> wrote:
> When I'm reading the code of libev, I find this definition of "array_needsize":
> #define array_needsize(type,base,cur,cnt,init)            \
>   if (expect_false ((cnt) > (cur)))                \
>     {                                \
>       int ecb_unused ocur_ = (cur);                    \
>       (base) = (type *)array_realloc                \
>          (sizeof (type), (base), &(cur), (cnt));        \
>       init ((base) + (ocur_), (cur) - ocur_);            \
>     }
> According to the comments, memories are allocated in chunks of "MALLOC_ROUND". It is possible that the size needed is larger than "MALLOC_ROUND". In this case, the "array_needsize" may not allocate enough memories because it is using "if" instead of "while". I though there would be a "while" loop but I didn't find it. The library is proved by many projects, so I must miss something here. Could anyone point out how it works?

You missed that the macro does not call malloc but array_realloc, which
contains a while (via array_nextsize).

The if in array_needsize exists merely to decide whether an allocation
is needed at all, and MALLOC_ROUND is used to round allocations up to a
multiple of this size.

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