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Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:22:16 -0500
From: Strake <>
Subject: Re: malloc(0) behaviour

On 14/01/2013, Rich Felker <> wrote:
> Yes, there are many good reasons. The most obvious (but stupid) one is
> that a huge number of programs will "replace" malloc with one where
> malloc(0) returns something other than a null pointer if the system's
> malloc(0) returns null, and this adds both bloat and risk of
> bugs/breakage from the replacement. But there are other much more
> fundamental reasons too. Basically they all come down to interactions
> between the requirements of malloc and realloc, and the fact that
> returning a null pointer from realloc means failure (and thus that the
> original object was not freed).

Another: Null means allocation failure. As malloc ought to never fail
to find zero bytes free, it thus makes sense to return a non-null


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