

The following sections describe data types defined in the XDR standard, how they are declared in the language, and include graphic illustrations of the encoding.
We show a general paradigm declaration for each data type in the language. Note that angle brackets (``<'' and ``>'') denote variable length sequences of data and square brackets (``['' and ``]'') denote fixedlength sequences of data. ``n'', ``m'' and ``r'' denote integers. For the full language specification and more formal definitions of terms such as ``identifier'' and ``declaration'', refer to ``The XDR language specification''.
For some data types, more specific examples are included. A more extensive example of a data description is in ``An example of an XDR data description''.
An XDR signed integer is a 32bit datum that encodes an integer in
the range
[2147483648,2147483647].
The integer is represented in
two's complement notation;
the most and least significant bytes are
0 and 3, respectively.
Integers are declared as follows:
int identifier;
(MSB) (LSB) +++++ byte 0 byte 1 byte 2 byte 3  +++++ <32 bits>
An XDR unsigned integer is a 32bit datum that encodes a nonnegative integer in the range [0,4294967295]. The integer is represented by an unsigned binary number whose most and least significant bytes are 0 and 3, respectively.
An unsigned integer is declared as follows:
unsigned int identifier;
(MSB) (LSB) +++++ byte 0 byte 1 byte 2 byte 3  +++++ <32 bits>Enumerations have the same representation as signed integers and are handy for describing subsets of the integers.
Enumerated data is declared as follows:
enum { nameidentifier = constant, . . . } identifier;For example, an enumerated type could represent the three colors red, yellow, and blue as follows:
enum { RED = 2, YELLOW = 3, BLUE = 5 } colors;It is an error to assign to an
enum
an integer that
has not been assigned in the
enum
declaration.
For a description of encoding, see ``Integer''.
Booleans are important enough and occur frequently enough to warrant their own explicit type in the standard. Booleans are integers of value 0 or 1. Booleans are declared as follows:
bool identifier;This is equivalent to:
enum { FALSE = 0, TRUE = 1 } identifier;For a description of encoding, see ``Integer''.
The standard also defines 64bit (8byte) numbers called ``hyper int'' and ``unsigned hyper int'' whose representations are the obvious extensions of ``integer'' and ``unsigned integer'', defined above. They are represented in two's complement notation; the most and least significant bytes are 0 and 7, respectively.
Hyper integers are declared as follows:
hyper int identifier;unsigned hyper int identifier;
(MSB) (LSB) +++++++++ byte 0 byte 1 byte 2 byte 3 byte 4 byte 5 byte 6 byte 7  +++++++++ <64 bits>
The standard defines the floatingpoint data type ``float'' (32 bits or 4 bytes). The encoding used is the IEEE standard for normalized singleprecision floatingpoint numbers (see reference 1 in ``References''). The following three fields describe the singleprecision floatingpoint number:
float identifier;
+++++ byte 0 byte 1 byte 2 byte 3  S E  F  +++++ 1< 8 ><23 bits> <32 bits>Just as the most and least significant bytes of an integer are 0 and 3, the most and least significant bits of a singleprecision floatingpoint number are 0 and 31. The beginning bit (and most significant bit) offsets of S, E, and F are 0, 1, and 9, respectively.
The IEEE specifications should be consulted about the encoding for signed zero, signed infinity (overflow), and denormalized numbers (underflow) (see reference 1 in ``References''). According to IEEE specifications, the NaN (not a number) is system dependent and should not be used externally.
The standard defines the encoding for the doubleprecision floatingpoint data type ``double'' (64 bits or 8 bytes). The encoding used is the IEEE standard for normalized doubleprecision floatingpoint numbers (see reference 1 in ``References''). The standard encodes the following three fields, which describe the doubleprecision floatingpoint number:
double identifier;
+++++++++ byte 0byte 1byte 2byte 3byte 4byte 5byte 6byte 7 S E  F  +++++++++ 1<11><52 bits> <64 bits>Just as the most and least significant bytes of an integer are 0 and 3, the most and least significant bits of a doubleprecision floating point number are 0 and 63. The beginning bit (and most significant bit) offsets of S, E , and F are 0, 1, and 12, respectively.
The IEEE specifications should be consulted about the encoding for signed zero, signed infinity (overflow), and denormalized numbers (underflow) (see reference 1 in ``References''). According to IEEE specifications, the NaN (not a number) is system dependent and should not be used externally.
At times, fixedlength uninterpreted data needs to be passed among machines. This data is called ``opaque''.
Opaque data is declared as follows:
opaque identifier[n];where the constant n is the (static) number of bytes necessary to contain the opaque data.
The n bytes are followed by enough (0 to 3) residual zero bytes, r, to make the total byte count of the opaque object a multiple of four.
0 1 ... +++...+++...++  byte 0  byte 1 ...byte n1 0 ... 0  +++...+++...++ <n bytes><r bytes> <n+r (where (n+r) mod 4 = 0)>
The standard also provides for variablelength (counted) opaque data, defined as a sequence of n (numbered 0 through n1) arbitrary bytes to be the number n encoded as an unsigned integer (as described below), and followed by the n bytes of the sequence.
Byte b of the sequence always precedes byte b+1 of the sequence, and byte 0 of the sequence always follows the sequence's length (count). The n bytes are followed by enough (0 to 3) residual zero bytes, r, to make the total byte count a multiple of four.
Variablelength opaque data is declared in the following way:
opaque identifier<m>;or
opaque identifier<>;The constant m denotes an upper bound of the number of bytes that the sequence may contain. If m is not specified, as in the second declaration, it is assumed to be (2**32)1, the maximum length. For example, a filing protocol may state that the maximum data transfer size is 8192 bytes, as follows:
opaque filedata<8192>;
0 1 2 3 4 5 ... +++++++...+++...++  length n byte0byte1... n1  0 ... 0  +++++++...+++...++ <4 bytes><n bytes><r bytes> <n+r (where (n+r) mod 4 = 0)>It is an error to encode a length greater than the maximum described in the specification.
The standard defines a string of n (numbered 0 through n1) ASCII bytes to be the number n encoded as an unsigned integer (as described above), and followed by the n bytes of the string. Byte b of the string always precedes byte b+1 of the string, and byte 0 of the string always follows the string's length. The n bytes are followed by enough (0 to 3) residual zero bytes, r, to make the total byte count a multiple of four.
Counted byte strings are declared as follows:
string object<m>;or
string object<>;The constant m denotes an upper bound of the number of bytes that a string may contain. If m is not specified, as in the second declaration, it is assumed to be (2**32)1, the maximum length. The constant m would normally be found in a protocol specification. For example, a filing protocol may state that a file name can be no longer than 255 bytes, as follows:
string filename<255>;
0 1 2 3 4 5 ... +++++++...+++...++  length n byte0byte1... n1  0 ... 0  +++++++...+++...++ <4 bytes><n bytes><r bytes> <n+r (where (n+r) mod 4 = 0)>It is an error to encode a length greater than the maximum described in the specification.
Fixedlength arrays of elements numbered 0 through n1 are encoded by individually encoding the elements of the array in their natural order, 0 through n1. Each element's size is a multiple of four bytes. Though all elements are of the same type, the elements may have different sizes. For example, in a fixedlength array of strings, all elements are of type ``string'', yet each element will vary in its length.
Declarations for fixedlength arrays of homogeneous elements are in the following form:
typename identifier[n];
+++++++++...+++++  element 0  element 1 ... element n1  +++++++++...+++++ <n elements>
Counted arrays provide the ability to encode variablelength arrays of homogeneous elements. The array is encoded as the element count n (an unsigned integer) followed by the encoding of each of the array's elements, starting with element 0 and progressing through element n1.
The declaration for variablelength arrays follows this form:
typename identifier<m>;or
typename identifier<>;The constant m specifies the maximum acceptable element count of an array. Note that if m is not specified, as is the case in the second declaration format above, it is assumed to be (2**32)1.
0 1 2 3 +++++++++++++...+++++  n  element 0  element 1 ...element n1 +++++++++++++...+++++ <4 bytes><n elements>It is an error to encode a value of n that is greater than the maximum described in the specification.
The components of the structure are encoded in the order of their declaration in the structure. Each component's size is a multiple of four bytes, though the components may be different sizes.
Structures are declared as follows:
struct { componentdeclarationA; componentdeclarationB; . . . } identifier;
+++...  component A  component B ... +++...
A discriminated union is a type composed of a discriminant followed by a type selected from a set of prearranged types according to the value of the discriminant. The type of discriminant is either ``int'', ``unsigned int'', or an enumerated type, such as ``bool''. The component types are called ``arms'' of the union, and are preceded by the value of the discriminant which implies their encoding.
Discriminated unions are declared as follows:
union switch (discriminantdeclaration) { case <discriminantvalueA>: <armdeclarationA>; case <discriminantvalueB>: <armdeclarationB>; . . . default: <defaultdeclaration>; } <identifier>;Each ``case'' keyword is followed by a valid value of the discriminant. The default arm is optional. If it is not specified, then a valid encoding of the union cannot take on unspecified discriminant values. The size of the implied arm is always a multiple of four bytes.
The discriminated union is encoded as its discriminant followed by the encoding of the implied arm.
0 1 2 3 +++++++++  discriminant  implied arm  +++++++++ <4 bytes>
An XDR ``void'' is a 0byte quantity. Voids are useful for describing operations that take no data as input or no data as output. They are also useful in unions, where some arms may contain data and others do not.
The declaration is simply:
void;Voids are illustrated as follows:
++  ++ >< 0 bytes