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9.11 Pragma Pack for Records

Pragma Pack applied to a record will pack the components to reduce wasted space from alignment gaps and by reducing the amount of space taken by components. We distinguish between ‘packable’ components and ‘non-packable’ components. Components of the following types are considered packable:

For all these cases, if the 'Size value is in the range 1 through 64 on 32-bit targets, and 1 through 128 on 64-bit targets, the components occupy the exact number of bits corresponding to this value and are packed with no padding bits, i.e. they can start on an arbitrary bit boundary.

All other types are non-packable, they occupy an integral number of storage units and the only effect of pragma Pack is to remove alignment gaps.

For example, consider the record

type Rb1 is array (1 .. 13) of Boolean;
pragma Pack (Rb1);

type Rb2 is array (1 .. 65) of Boolean;
pragma Pack (Rb2);

type AF is new Float with Atomic;

type X2 is record
   L1 : Boolean;
   L2 : Duration;
   L3 : AF;
   L4 : Boolean;
   L5 : Rb1;
   L6 : Rb2;
end record;
pragma Pack (X2);

The representation for the record X2 is as follows on 32-bit targets:

for X2'Size use 224;
for X2 use record
   L1 at  0 range  0 .. 0;
   L2 at  0 range  1 .. 64;
   L3 at 12 range  0 .. 31;
   L4 at 16 range  0 .. 0;
   L5 at 16 range  1 .. 13;
   L6 at 18 range  0 .. 71;
end record;

Studying this example, we see that the packable fields L1 and L2 are of length equal to their sizes, and placed at specific bit boundaries (and not byte boundaries) to eliminate padding. But L3 is of a non-packable float type (because it is aliased), so it is on the next appropriate alignment boundary.

The next two fields are fully packable, so L4 and L5 are minimally packed with no gaps. However, type Rb2 is a packed array that is longer than 64 bits, so it is itself non-packable on 32-bit targets. Thus the L6 field is aligned to the next byte boundary, and takes an integral number of bytes, i.e., 72 bits.


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