SRFI 74: Octet-Addressed Binary Blocks

Title

Octet-Addressed Binary Blocks

Authors

Michael Sperber

This SRFI is currently in ``final'' status. To see an explanation of each status that a SRFI can hold, see here. To provide input on this SRFI, please mailto:srfi minus 74 at srfi dot schemers dot org. See instructions here to subscribe to the list. You can access previous messages via the archive of the mailing list.

Abstract

This SRFI defines a set of procedures for creating, accessing, and manipulating octet-addressed blocks of binary data, in short, blobs. The SRFI provides access primitives for fixed-length integers of arbitrary size, with specified endianness, and a choice of unsigned and two's complement representations.

Rationale

Many applications must deal with blocks of binary data by accessing them in various ways---extracting signed or unsigned numbers of various sizes. Such an application can use octet vectors as in SRFI 66 or any of the other types of homogeneous vectors in SRFI 4, but these both only allow retrieving the binary data of one type.

This is awkward in many situations, because an application might access different kinds of entities from a single binary block. Even for uniform blocks, the disjointness of the various vector data types in SRFI 4 means that, say, an I/O API needs to provide an army of procedures for each of them in order to provide efficient access to binary data.

Therefore, this SRFI provides a single type for blocks of binary data with multiple ways to access that data. It deals only with integers in various sizes with specified endianness, because these are the most frequent applications. Dealing with other kinds of binary data, such as floating-point numbers or variable-size integers would be natural extensions, but are left for a future SRFI.

Specification

General remarks

Blobs are objects of a new type. Conceptually, a blob represents a sequence of octets.

Scheme systems implementing both SRFI 4 and/or SRFI 66 and this SRFI may or may not use the same type for u8vector and blobs. They are encouraged to do so, however.

As with u8vectors, the length of a blob is the number of octets it contains. This number is fixed. A valid index into a blob is an exact, non-negative integer. The first octet of a blob has index 0, the last octet has an index one less than the length of the blob.

Generally, the access procedures come in different flavors according to the size of the represented integer, and the endianness of the representation. The procedures also distinguish signed and unsigned representations. The signed representations all use two's complement.

For procedures that have no "natural" return value, this SRFI often uses the sentence

The return values are unspecified.

This means that number of return values and the return values are unspecified. However, the number of return values is such that it is accepted by a continuation created by begin. Specifically, on Scheme implementations where continuations created by begin accept an arbitrary number of arguments (this includes most implementations), it is suggested that the procedure return zero return values.

Interface

(endianness big) (syntax)
(endianness little) (syntax)
(endianness native) (syntax)

(endianness big) and (endianness little) evaluate to two distinct and unique objects representing an endianness. The native endianness evaluates to the endianness of the underlying machine architecture, and must be eq? to either (endianness big) or (endianness little).

(blob? obj)

Returns #t if obj is a blob, otherwise returns #f.

(make-blob k)

Returns a newly allocated blob of k octets, all of them 0.

(blob-length blob)

Returns the number of octets in blob as an exact integer.

(blob-u8-ref blob k)
(blob-s8-ref blob k)

K must be a valid index of blob.

Blob-u8-ref returns the octet at index k of blob.

Blob-s8-ref returns the exact integer corresponding to the two's complement representation at index k of blob.

(blob-u8-set! blob k octet)
(blob-s8-set! blob k byte)

K must be a valid index of blob.

Blob-u8-set! stores octet in element k of blob.

Byte, must be an exact integer in the interval {-128, ..., 127}. Blob-u8-set! stores the two's complement representation of byte in element k of blob.

The return values are unspecified.

(blob-uint-ref size endianness blob k)
(blob-sint-ref size endianness blob k)
(blob-uint-set! size endianness blob k n)
(blob-sint-set! size endianness blob k n)

Size must be a positive exact integer. K must be a valid index of blob; so must the indices {k, ..., k + size - 1}. Endianness must be an endianness object.

Blob-uint-ref retrieves the exact integer corresponding to the unsigned representation of size size and specified by endianness at indices {k, ..., k + size - 1}.

Blob-sint-ref retrieves the exact integer corresponding to the two's complement representation of size size and specified by endianness at indices {k, ..., k + size - 1}.

For blob-uint-set!, n must be an exact integer in the interval [0, (256^size)-1]. Blob-uint-set! stores the unsigned representation of size size and specified by endianness into the blob at indices {k, ..., k + size - 1}.

For blob-uint-set!, n must be an exact integer in the interval [-256^(size-1), (256^(size-1))-1]. Blob-sint-set! stores the two's complement representation of size size and specified by endianness into the blob at indices {k, ..., k + size - 1}.

(blob-u16-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-s16-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-u16-native-ref blob k)
(blob-s16-native-ref blob k)
(blob-u16-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-s16-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-u16-native-set! blob k n)
(blob-s16-native-set! blob k n)

K must be a valid index of blob; so must the index k+ 1. Endianness must be an endianness object.

These retrieve and set two-octet representations of numbers at indices k and k+1, according to the endianness specified by endianness. The procedures with u16 in their names deal with the unsigned representation, those with s16 with the two's complement representation.

The procedures with native in their names employ the native endianness, and only work at aligned indices: k must be a multiple of 2. It is an error to use them at non-aligned indices.

(blob-u32-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-s32-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-u32-native-ref blob k)
(blob-s32-native-ref blob k)
(blob-u32-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-s32-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-u32-native-set! blob k n)
(blob-s32-native-set! blob k n)

K must be a valid index of blob; so must the indices {k, ..., k+ 3}. Endianness must be an endianness object.

These retrieve and set four-octet representations of numbers at indices {k, ..., k+ 3}, according to the endianness specified by endianness. The procedures with u32 in their names deal with the unsigned representation, those with s32 with the two's complement representation.

The procedures with native in their names employ the native endianness, and only work at aligned indices: k must be a multiple of 4. It is an error to use them at non-aligned indices.

(blob-u64-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-s64-ref endianness blob k)
(blob-u64-native-ref blob k)
(blob-s64-native-ref blob k)
(blob-u64-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-s64-set! endianness blob k n)
(blob-u64-native-set! blob k n)
(blob-s64-native-set! blob k n)

K must be a valid index of blob; so must the indices {k, ..., k+ 7}. Endianness must be an endianness object.

These retrieve and set eight-octet representations of numbers at indices {k, ..., k+ 7}, according to the endianness specified by endianness. The procedures with u64 in their names deal with the unsigned representation, those with s64 with the two's complement representation.

The procedures with native in their names employ the native endianness, and only work at aligned indices: k must be a multiple of 8. It is an error to use them at non-aligned indices.

(blob=? blob-1 blob-2)

Returns #t if blob-1 and blob-2 are equal---that is, if they have the same length and equal octets at all valid indices.

(blob-copy! source source-start target target-start n)

Copies data from blob source to blob target. Source-start, target-start, and n must be non-negative exact integers that satisfy

0 <= source-start <= source-start + n <= (blob-length source)

0 <= target-start <= target-start + n <= (blob-length target)

This copies the octets from source at indices [source-start, source-start + n) to consecutive indices in target starting at target-index.

This must work even if the memory regions for the source and the target overlap, i.e., the octets at the target location after the copy must be equal to the octets at the source location before the copy.

The return values are unspecified.

(blob-copy blob)

Returns a newly allocated copy of blob blob.

(blob->u8-list blob)
(u8-list->blob blob)

blob->u8-listreturns a newly allocated list of the octets of blob in the same order.

U8-list->blob returns a newly allocated blob whose elements are the elements of list octets, which must all be octets, in the same order. Analogous to list->vector.

(blob->uint-list size endianness blob)
(blob->sint-list size endianness blob)
(uint-list->blob size endianness list)
(sint-list->blob size endianness list)

Size must be a positive exact integer. Endianness must be an endianness object.

These convert between lists of integers and their consecutive representations according to size and endianness in blobs in the same way as blob->u8-list, blob->s8-list, u8-list->blob, and s8-list->blob do for one-octet representations.

Reference Implementation

This reference implementation makes use of SRFI 23 (Error reporting mechanism), SRFI 26 (Notation for Specializing Parameters without Currying), SRFI 60 (Integers as Bits), and SRFI 66 (Octet Vectors) .

Examples

The test suite doubles as a source of examples.

References

Copyright

Copyright (C) Michael Sperber (2005). All Rights Reserved.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


Editor: David Van Horn