[Oberon] Why is RSC string data word-aligned?

Colby Russell oberon at x.colbyrussell.com
Sat Jan 30 21:12:05 CET 2021

I'm returning to some of the code that deals with Oberon's RSC binary
file format.  The first time I went through this exercise, I noticed
that ORG pads string data, so individual strings begin on word
boundaries, and I didn't think much about it.  Presumably it was done
for efficiency.  Now, though, I'm wondering.

Does anyone have a breakdown comparing the two approaches--where strings
don't get padded with NUL bytes and may begin anywhere, versus what
happens if with word alignment?  If there are some string handling
routines where this makes a material difference, can someone point to

I've already looked around, but I realize that string representation is
a cross-cutting concern, and there's just too much material to
exhaustively scour it all again.  If there was a call out on this topic
in the explanation of the the simple compiler that's documented in
Compiler Construction, then I wasn't able to find it.  I looked at a few
sections in the Oberon book as well, hoping to see if it was explained
(e.g. the module loader chapter), but didn't spot anything there,

Colby Russell

More information about the Oberon mailing list