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Support for different numeric types

Many functions in the library are defined for different numeric types. This feature is implemented by varying the name of the function with a type-related modifier -- a primitive form of C++ templates. The modifier is inserted into the function name after the initial module prefix. The following table shows the function names defined for all the numeric types of an imaginary module gsl_foo with function fn,

gsl_foo_fn               double        
gsl_foo_long_double_fn   long double   
gsl_foo_float_fn         float         
gsl_foo_long_fn          long          
gsl_foo_ulong_fn         unsigned long 
gsl_foo_int_fn           int           
gsl_foo_uint_fn          unsigned int  
gsl_foo_short_fn         short         
gsl_foo_ushort_fn        unsigned short
gsl_foo_char_fn          char          
gsl_foo_uchar_fn         unsigned char 

The normal numeric precision double is considered the default and does not require a suffix. For example, the function gsl_stats_mean computes the mean of double precision numbers, while the function gsl_stats_int_mean computes the mean of integers.

A corresponding scheme is used for library defined types, such as gsl_vector and gsl_matrix. In this case the modifier is appended to the type name. For example, if a module defines a new type-dependent struct or typedef gsl_foo it is modified for other types in the following way,

gsl_foo                  double        
gsl_foo_long_double      long double   
gsl_foo_float            float         
gsl_foo_long             long          
gsl_foo_ulong            unsigned long 
gsl_foo_int              int           
gsl_foo_uint             unsigned int  
gsl_foo_short            short         
gsl_foo_ushort           unsigned short
gsl_foo_char             char          
gsl_foo_uchar            unsigned char 

When a module contains type-dependent definitions the library provides individual header files for each type. The filenames are modified as shown in the below. For convenience the default header includes the definitions for all the types. To include only the double precision header, or any other specific type, file use its individual filename.

#include <gsl/gsl_foo.h>               All types
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_double.h>        double        
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_long_double.h>   long double   
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_float.h>         float         
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_long.h>          long          
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_ulong.h>         unsigned long 
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_int.h>           int           
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_uint.h>          unsigned int  
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_short.h>         short         
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_ushort.h>        unsigned short
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_char.h>          char          
#include <gsl/gsl_foo_uchar.h>         unsigned char 

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