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8.259 TRANSFER — Transfer bit patterns

Description:
Interprets the bitwise representation of SOURCE in memory as if it is the representation of a variable or array of the same type and type parameters as MOLD.

This is approximately equivalent to the C concept of casting one type to another.

Standard:
Fortran 95 and later
Class:
Transformational function
Syntax:
RESULT = TRANSFER(SOURCE, MOLD[, SIZE])
Arguments:

SOURCE Shall be a scalar or an array of any type.
MOLD Shall be a scalar or an array of any type.
SIZE (Optional) shall be a scalar of type INTEGER.

Return value:
The result has the same type as MOLD, with the bit level representation of SOURCE. If SIZE is present, the result is a one-dimensional array of length SIZE. If SIZE is absent but MOLD is an array (of any size or shape), the result is a one- dimensional array of the minimum length needed to contain the entirety of the bitwise representation of SOURCE. If SIZE is absent and MOLD is a scalar, the result is a scalar.

If the bitwise representation of the result is longer than that of SOURCE, then the leading bits of the result correspond to those of SOURCE and any trailing bits are filled arbitrarily.

When the resulting bit representation does not correspond to a valid representation of a variable of the same type as MOLD, the results are undefined, and subsequent operations on the result cannot be guaranteed to produce sensible behavior. For example, it is possible to create LOGICAL variables for which VAR and .NOT.VAR both appear to be true.

Example:
          PROGRAM test_transfer
            integer :: x = 2143289344
            print *, transfer(x, 1.0)    ! prints "NaN" on i686
          END PROGRAM