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15 Using GDB with Different Languages

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.