User defined types

Just like C, C2 allows the programmer to define new types.

The syntax to define new types is very standard and uniform: type <name> <definition>. Like all global declarations, they may also be specified as public. Note that the public specifier is required when the type is used as a parameter, return type or a member of a public symbol.

The type can define:

  • an enum
  • a struct
  • a union
  • an alias for another type
  • a fn

Enum types

Enum (enumerated) types use the following syntax:

type State enum i8 {
    Begin = 0,

Note that all enum constants are in only available through the enum type's namespace (eg. State.Begin, not Begin). This allows the names to be much shorter (not COLOR_GREEN, but just Green).

Incremental Enums

Just like incremental arrays C2 allows enums to be incremental. This can be used when the software has a lot of compile-time configurations. The additional enum constants can even be added from separate files (from the same module).

The syntax looks like:

type Colors enum u8 { + }

Colors += Red;
Colors += Green;
Colors += Blue;

Enums must always have at least one constant.

Struct types

Structs are defined like so:

type Person struct {
    u8 age;
    char* name;

A struct's members may be accessed using dot notation:

Person p;
p.age = 21; - "John Doe";

io.printf("%s is %d years old.", p.age,;

Structs may also contain bit-fields. These are the same as C.

type MyStruct struct {
    u32 first : 1;
    u32 : 8;
    u32 more : 4;

Unnamed bit-fields are allowed.

Union types

Union types are defined just like structs:

type Integral union {
    u8 as_u8;
    u16 as_u16;
    u32 as_u32;
    u64 as_u64;

Unions, unlike structs, may only have one active member at a given time. See below:

Integral i;
i.as_u8 = 40; // Setting the active member to as_u8

i.as_u32 = 500; // Changing the active member to as_u16

io.printf("%d", i.as_u8); // Undefined behaviour: as_u8 is not the active member, so this will probably print garbage.

Note that unions only take up as much space as their largest member, so sizeof(Integral) is equivalent to sizeof(u64).

C2 also features (anonymous) sub-structs/unions:

type Person struct {
    u8 age;
    char* name;
    union {
        i32 employee_nr;
        u32 other_nr;
    union subname {
        bool b;
        Callback cb;

Alias types

Alias types are used to give an alias to a different type, like:

type CharPtr char*;
type Numbers i32[10];

Instead of the obscure C syntax used to alias a function pointer type, C2 uses the following:

public type Callback fn void(i32 a, bool b);

This defines an alias to function pointer type of a function that returns nothing and requires two arguments: an i32 and a bool.

Function types

Function types are used to pass a function as an argument to another function or to store it in a variable:

type Callback fn i32(i32, void*);

A usage example is given below:

// in some function body
Callback cb = my_callback
cb(10, nil);