The utilities for manipulating obstacks are declared in the header file obstack.h.
An obstack is represented by a data structure of type
obstack. This structure has a small fixed size; it records the status
of the obstack and how to find the space in which objects are allocated.
It does not contain any of the objects themselves. You should not try
to access the contents of the structure directly; use only the macros
described in this chapter.
You can declare variables of type
struct obstack and use them as
obstacks, or you can allocate obstacks dynamically like any other kind
of object. Dynamic allocation of obstacks allows your program to have a
variable number of different stacks. (You can even allocate an
obstack structure in another obstack, but this is rarely useful.)
All the macros that work with obstacks require you to specify which
obstack to use. You do this with a pointer of type
*. In the following, we often say “an obstack” when strictly
speaking the object at hand is such a pointer.
The objects in the obstack are packed into large blocks called
struct obstack structure points to a chain of
the chunks currently in use.
The obstack library obtains a new chunk whenever you allocate an object
that won’t fit in the previous chunk. Since the obstack library manages
chunks automatically, you don’t need to pay much attention to them, but
you do need to supply a function which the obstack library should use to
get a chunk. Usually you supply a function which uses
directly or indirectly. You must also supply a function to free a chunk.
These matters are described in the following section.