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Object-like Macros

   An "object-like macro" is a simple identifier which will be replaced
by a code fragment.  It is called object-like because it looks like a
data object in code that uses it.  They are most commonly used to give
symbolic names to numeric constants.
   You create macros with the `#define' directive.  `#define' is
followed by the name of the macro and then the token sequence it should
be an abbreviation for, which is variously referred to as the macro's
"body", "expansion" or "replacement list".  For example,
     #define BUFFER_SIZE 1024
defines a macro named `BUFFER_SIZE' as an abbreviation for the token
`1024'.  If somewhere after this `#define' directive there comes a C
statement of the form
     foo = (char *) malloc (BUFFER_SIZE);
then the C preprocessor will recognize and "expand" the macro
`BUFFER_SIZE'.  The C compiler will see the same tokens as it would if
you had written
     foo = (char *) malloc (1024);
   By convention, macro names are written in upper case.  Programs are
easier to read when it is possible to tell at a glance which names are
   The macro's body ends at the end of the `#define' line.  You may
continue the definition onto multiple lines, if necessary, using
backslash-newline.  When the macro is expanded, however, it will all
come out on one line.  For example,

#define NUMBERS 1, \
2, \
int x[] = { NUMBERS };
==> int x[] = { 1, 2, 3 };

The most common visible consequence of this is surprising line numbers
in error messages.
   There is no restriction on what can go in a macro body provided it
decomposes into valid preprocessing tokens.  Parentheses need not
balance, and the body need not resemble valid C code.  (If it does not,
you may get error messages from the C compiler when you use the macro.)
   The C preprocessor scans your program sequentially.  Macro
definitions take effect at the place you write them.  Therefore, the
following input to the C preprocessor

foo = X; #define X 4 bar = X;


foo = X; bar = 4;

   When the preprocessor expands a macro name, the macro's expansion
replaces the macro invocation, then the expansion is examined for more
macros to expand.  For example,
     #define BUFSIZE 1024
          ==> BUFSIZE
          ==> 1024
`TABLESIZE' is expanded first to produce `BUFSIZE', then that macro is
expanded to produce the final result, `1024'.
   Notice that `BUFSIZE' was not defined when `TABLESIZE' was defined.
The `#define' for `TABLESIZE' uses exactly the expansion you
specify--in this case, `BUFSIZE'--and does not check to see whether it
too contains macro names.  Only when you _use_ `TABLESIZE' is the
result of its expansion scanned for more macro names.
   This makes a difference if you change the definition of `BUFSIZE' at
some point in the source file.  `TABLESIZE', defined as shown, will
always expand using the definition of `BUFSIZE' that is currently in
     #define BUFSIZE 1020
     #undef BUFSIZE
     #define BUFSIZE 37
Now `TABLESIZE' expands (in two stages) to `37'.
   If the expansion of a macro contains its own name, either directly or
via intermediate macros, it is not expanded again when the expansion is
examined for more macros.  This prevents infinite recursion.  *Note
Self-Referential Macros::, for the precise details.