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11.2.3 Containers

Two common container data structures can be represented directly with tree nodes. A TREE_LIST is a singly linked list containing two trees per node. These are the TREE_PURPOSE and TREE_VALUE of each node. (Often, the TREE_PURPOSE contains some kind of tag, or additional information, while the TREE_VALUE contains the majority of the payload. In other cases, the TREE_PURPOSE is simply NULL_TREE, while in still others both the TREE_PURPOSE and TREE_VALUE are of equal stature.) Given one TREE_LIST node, the next node is found by following the TREE_CHAIN. If the TREE_CHAIN is NULL_TREE, then you have reached the end of the list.

A TREE_VEC is a simple vector. The TREE_VEC_LENGTH is an integer (not a tree) giving the number of nodes in the vector. The nodes themselves are accessed using the TREE_VEC_ELT macro, which takes two arguments. The first is the TREE_VEC in question; the second is an integer indicating which element in the vector is desired. The elements are indexed from zero.