Returning Data Structures from Functions

Returning Data Structures from Functions

I’m working with a CCS compiler for the PIC16F877, so the rules may be different, but I’ve created my own data structure (named MERIT_long) to support >16bit values (CCS’s largest data-type is a 16bit long); it has an 8bit char(MSB) and a 16bit long(LSB), as well as a 1bit short (rollover flag). I need to return this struct from a function, but the compiler complains.

Do I need to use pointers/references for this? If so, how? I assume this is part of regular C/C++ functionality, and possibly a limitation of the CCS compiler.

It’s a compiler-specific limitation. Both ANSI C and C++ allow you to return a struct by value from a function. However, it seems that your compiler uses only a subset of C/C++. This is common practice in embedded systems and controllers. As a workaround, you can return non-primitive data types by reference or by address:

MERIT_long * func() // return pointer{ MERIT_long * p = new MERIT_long; //... assign values  return p;}MERIT_long & func() // return reference{ static MERIT_long ml; //... assign values  return ml;}

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

About Our Journalist