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Technical Reference: Base Operating System and Extensions, Volume 1

mbrlen Subroutine


Get number of bytes in a character (restartable).


Standard Library (libc.a)


#include <wchar.h>

size_t mbrlen (const char *s, size_t n, mbstate_t *ps ) 


If s is not a null pointer, mbrlen determines the number of bytes constituting the character pointed to by s. It is equivalent to:

 mbstate_t internal;
 mbrtowc(NULL, s, n, ps != NULL ? ps : &internal);

If ps is a null pointer, the mbrlen function uses its own internal mbstate_t object, which is initialized at program startup to the initial conversion state. Otherwise, the mbstate_t object pointed to by ps is used to completely describe the current conversion state of the associated character sequence. The implementation will behave as if no function defined in this specification calls mbrlen.

The behavior of this function is affected by the LC_CTYPE category of the current locale.

Return Values

The mbrlen function returns the first of the following that applies:

0 If the next n or fewer bytes complete the character that corresponds to the null wide-character
positive If the next n or fewer bytes complete a valid character; the value returned is the number of bytes that complete the character.
(size_t)-2 If the next n bytes contribute to an incomplete but potentially valid character, and all n bytes have been processed. When n has at least the value of the MB_CUR_MAX macro, this case can only occur if s points at a sequence of redundant shift sequences (for implementations with state-dependent encodings).
(size_t)-1 If an encoding error occurs, in which case the next n or fewer bytes do not contribute to a complete and valid character. In this case, EILSEQ is stored in errno and the conversion state is undefined.

Error Codes

The mbrlen function may fail if:

EINVAL ps points to an object that contains an invalid conversion state.
EILSEQ Invalid character sequence is detected.

Related Information

The mbsinit (mbsinit Subroutine) subroutine, mbrtowc (mbrtowc Subroutine) subroutine.

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