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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 20:12:15 +0000
From: Al Viro <>
To: Linus Torvalds <>
Cc: Florian Weimer <>, Kees Cook <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	Josh Poimboeuf <>,
	Rasmus Villemoes <>,
	Randy Dunlap <>,
	Miguel Ojeda <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>,
	David Laight <>,
	Ian Abbott <>,
	linux-input <>,
	linux-btrfs <>,
	Network Development <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
	Kernel Hardening <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v5 0/2] Remove false-positive VLAs when using max()

On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 12:27:23PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> But it sure isn't "variable" either as far as the standard is
> concerned, because the standard doesn't even have that concept (it
> uses "variable" for argument numbers and for variables).


If the size is not present, the array type is an incomplete type.
If the size is * instead of being an expression, the array type is
a variable length array type of unspecified size, which can only be
used in declarations with function prototype scope [footnote]; such
arrays are nonetheless complete types.  If the size is an integer
constant expression and the element type has a known constant size,
the array type is not a variable length array type; otherwise, the
array type is a variable length array type.

footnote: Thus, * can be used only in function declarations that are
not definitions (see

That's C99, straight from N1256.pdf (C99-TC3)...

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