Although programming languages generally have common aspects, they are
rarely expressed in the same manner. For instance, in ANSI C,
dereferencing a pointer
p is accomplished by
*p, but in
Modula-2, it is accomplished by
p^. Values can also be
represented (and displayed) differently. Hex numbers in C appear as
‘0x1ae’, while in Modula-2 they appear as ‘1AEH’.
Language-specific information is built into gdb for some languages, allowing you to express operations like the above in your program's native language, and allowing gdb to output values in a manner consistent with the syntax of your program's native language. The language you use to build expressions is called the working language.