PHP RFC: Better type names for int64 RFC

  • Version: 0.9
  • Date: 2014-08-22
  • Author: Nikita Popov nikic@php.net
  • Status: Under Discussion


The int64 RFC introduced a number renames for common types, macros and zpp specifiers, which are both unnecessary and confusing. This RFC proposes to revert the bulk of these renames and use a naming scheme that is consistent with our original types and the terminology used by the C community at large.

The most significant naming changes introduced by the int64 RFC are:

  • zend_int_t and zend_uint_t are the new 64bit-on-64bit-platforms types.
  • IS_LONG is changed to IS_INT, Z_LVAL to Z_IVAL, etc.
  • Z_STRLEN is changed to Z_STRSIZE
  • zend_parse_parameters uses i and I instead of l and L.

These changes are disapproved of for the following reasons:

  • These naming changes serve no purpose and will only create additional headaches when porting code to phpng or merging between branches.
  • There now exists a zend_int_t type (which is a 64bit-on-64bit type) and zend_int (which is a 32bit type). Apart from the _t suffix the name is the same, but the meaning is totally different.
  • PHP and the Zend Engine do not use _t suffixes for types. This introduces a new type naming convention that is not used anywhere else. (Probably this is done to avoid clashing with the previous point.)
  • Furthermore all types ending in _t are reserved by the POSIX standard.
  • Using the term int for an 64bit type goes against the normal expectations of a C programmer (ILP64 systems are rare). The meaning of the zend_int_t type is much closer to the long type.

Instead the following alternative naming is proposed:

  • Retain zend_int and zend_uint as 32bit types (same as 64bit RFC)
  • Use zend_long and zend_ulong as the 64bit-on-64bit-platforms type. As such this type stays the same as previously, with the tweak that it will be 64bit on LLP64 platforms as well.
  • Revert all type/macro/zpp renames, like IS_INT, Z_IVAL, Z_STRSIZE, i, I, etc. The original names will be used instead.


As this is just search&replace renaming a patch will be provided once we have reached a descision on naming.

rfc/better_type_names_for_int64.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/22 13:28 (external edit)