nmuntz nmuntz - 19 days ago 4x
C++ Question

Reading binary file defined by a struct

Could somebody point me in the right direction of how I could read a binary file that is defined by a C struct?
It has a few #define inside of the struct, which makes me thing that it will complicate things.

The structure looks something like this: (although its larger and more complicated than this)

struct Format {
unsigned long str_totalstrings;
unsigned long str_name;
#define STR_ORDERED 0x2
#define STR_ROT13 0x4
unsigned char stuff[4];
#define str_delimiter stuff[0]

I would really appreciate it if somebody could point me in the right direction on how to do this. Or if theres any tutorial out there that covers this topic?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.


Reading a binary defined by a struct is easy.

Format myFormat;
fread(&myFormat, sizeof(Format), 1, fp);

the #defines don't affect the structure at all. (Inside is an odd place to put them, though).

However, this is not cross-platform safe. It is the simplest thing that will possibly work, in situations where you are assured the reader and writer are using the same platform.

The better way would be to re-define your structure as such:

struct Format {
    Uint32 str_totalstrings;  //assuming unsigned long was 32 bits on the writer.
    Uint32 str_name;
    unsigned char stuff[4];

and then have a 'platform_types.h" which typedefs Uint32 correctly for your compiler. Now you can read directly into the structure, but for endianness issues you still need to do something like this:

myFormat.str_totalstrings = FileToNative32(myFormat.str_totalstrings);
myFormat.str_name =   FileToNative32(str_name);

where FileToNative is either a no-op or a byte reverser depending on platform.