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BOOL vs bool

Posted on 1997-10-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
what is the difference between BOOL (TRUE, FALSE)
and bool (true, false). which to use ? when ? can it be mixed ?
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Question by:has
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Tommy Hui earned 20 total points
ID: 1307871
The major difference between BOOL and bool is that one is a typedef of int (BOOL) and the other is a C++ type (bool).

You should be very careful if you mix them because the inherent sizes are different: sizeof(BOOL) == sizeof(int) == 4 and sizeof(bool) == 1. That means that if you save a BOOL into a binary stream, you may corrupt the stream if you try to read it back as a bool.

The BOOL is available as long as you include Windows.h. However, bool is available only on compilers that support the new C++ type. If you want to be as portable as possible, you should use BOOL (because there are still C++ compilers that do not support bool).

There are lots of minor problems with mixing BOOL and bool. But if you are consistent, there's no problem.
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by:has
ID: 1307872
thanks
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by:RONSLOW
ID: 1307873
Also note - many MFC functions (and Win32 API functions) expect and return BOOL rather than bool.  If you are writing message handlers that return BOOL, say, don't be tempted to change them to return bool instead.  If you do then your code will break.

However, in your own code, using bool has the advantage that the compiler knows about the type, and will stop you (without a cast) assigning arbitary int values to a bool variable (like you can do with BOOL).  It also ensures the a bool only ever contains 'true' or 'false' (0 or 1).  A BOOL with any non-zero value will test as true, but if you do a comparison with TRUE, you get a fail.

So for compiler error detection, and memory size, go for bool, but always convert to/from BOOL when dealing with MFC and Win32 API.

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