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digitalmars.D.bugs - [Issue 15397] New: std.bitmanip.bitfields should support pointers


          Issue ID: 15397
           Summary: std.bitmanip.bitfields should support pointers
           Product: D
           Version: D2
          Hardware: All
                OS: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: enhancement
          Priority: P1
         Component: phobos
          Assignee: nobody puremagic.com
          Reporter: andrei erdani.com

It is known that pointers have available bits, sometimes at both ends. Pointers
to aligned storage have their least significant bits always zero (their number
depends on alignment). Also, on some operating systems, it is guaranteed that
some of the most significant bits are always zero.

Consequently std.bitmanip.bitfields should support pointers - an elegant way to
keep client code high-level but also optimal in layout.

Since pointers have available bits at both ends, code with pointers should not
do shifting; only masking. The client code chooses whether lower bits or upper
bits are to be used.

Example 1: using two lower bits:

struct S {
    bool, "flag1",    1,
    bool, "flag2",    1,
    S*,   "next",     62

In bitfields, layout is allocated from the LSB to MSB so flag1 and flag2 will
occupy the two LSBs. The pointer will be masked when returned. When setting the
pointer, an assert() verifies that the two LSBs are clear.

Example 2: using one lower bit and four upper bits:

struct S {
    bool, "flag1",    1,
    S*,   "next",     59,
    uint, "color",    4

Documentation should specify that pointers manipulated that way may have impact
on the GC. Because of that, it seems to me we can't  trust the respective

Dec 02 2015