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Endian relates to the order bytes are stored internally on given hardware.
The Endian class was originally intended to be an efficient and straight-forward run-time method of checking the endianness of the target machine. As a compile-time alternative, Andrew Ford provided a variant that utilizes boost headers to determine what machine is being used and create a compile time version of the endian class. He also added a couple additional features, so please check it out. Andrew's version is provided here:
Andrew - Endian.h (compile-time)
Andrew - EndianTest.cpp (A test/sample program)
Since I first created this class in 2006, I have had a chance to revist it and make some changes. I left the core mostly the same, but added some specializations to give further options for higher performance. The code that follows is provided in a tar ball format followed by a brief description of the project and it's contents.
This code works with big and little endian only at this point. It provides fast determination of endiannes and helper functions to reverse the bytes for any type. In order to provide additional speed, some specialized reversal methods are given. Because these specialized versions are not necessary, they are provided in addition include files with additional dependencies. Use what you need.
The project is broken up into two main sections: the endian functionality and a number of tests to determine the working state of the main component.
The endian component is comprised of the Endian.h file that is the core functionality of the component. It provides functions for determining the endianness of a machine and generic reversal functions that work for any type. It's destructor is protected in order to provide a mechanism for extension if anyone chooses to do so. The next level of functionality is the specializations given in Endian_Specializations.h. These provide four core variants of the reversal code for signed and unsigned 32 and 64 bit integers. These provide a specific conversion that is faster than that of the generic version. The final layer allows for the use of SIMD extensions for reversing bytes in specialized hardware. These take advantage of the SSSE3 instruction, pshufb. This variant provides a class to wrap a stream of four byte units that are then simultaneously processed four at a time.
There are four test programs: basic, specializations, SSSE3 with assembly, and SSSE3 with intrinsics. Information about each test is given in comment form within the source file. Each one tests only their specific aspect of this component. Read carefully as not all tests and functionality are available on a given machine.
The component is also broken into a number of directories: Interface - The header files that provide the explicit functionality of the component. Include - The header files that provide support and would typically come from other components as a part of a hierarchy. Tests - The Tests folder holds the source code for the four test cases. Bin - This is an empty folder provided for the Binaries to placed for each test when using gcc. Objs - When using gcc, the intermediate files will be placed here. VS2005 - This folder holds the folders for all the Visual Studio projects. They include the four test cases and the component. There is also a Solution folder which holds the solution file for the entire component. Makefile_gcc - This folder contains the make files for each of the four test cases when building with gcc. license.txt - This contains the license this software falls under. Note: This component is runtime based, not compile-time based.