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what is inline function?

Answer Posted / anoop raj

The point of making a function inline is to hint to the
compiler that it is worth making some form of extra effort
to call the function faster than it would otherwise -
generally by substituting the code of the function into its
caller. As well as eliminating the need for a call and
return sequence, it might allow the compiler to perform
certain optimizations between the bodies of both functions.

Sometimes it is necessary for the compiler to emit a
stand-alone copy of the object code for a function even
though it is an inline function - for instance if it is
necessary to take the address of the function, or if it
can't be inlined in some particular context, or (perhaps) if
optimization has been turned off. (And of course, if you use
a compiler that doesn't understand inline, you'll need a
stand-alone copy of the object code so that all the calls
actually work at all.)

There are various ways to define inline functions; any given
kind of definition might definitely emit stand-alone object
code, definitely not emit stand-alone object code, or only
emit stand-alone object code if it is known to be needed.
Sometimes this can lead to duplication of object code, which
is a potential problem for following reasons:

1. It wastes space.
2. It can cause pointers to what is apparently the same
function to compare not equal to one another.
3. It might reduce the effectiveness of the instruction
cache. (Although in lining might do that in other ways too.)

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