what-every-c-programmer-should-know
http://blog.llvm.org/2011/05/what-every-c-programmer-should-know.html
http://blog.llvm.org/2011/05/what-every-c-programmer-should-know_14.html
http://blog.llvm.org/2011/05/what-every-c-programmer-should-know_21.html

strict aliasing by mike acton:

The best explanation I have found is by Mike Acton, Understanding Strict Aliasing. It’s focused a little on PS3 development, but that’s basically just GCC.

From the article:

“Strict aliasing is an assumption, made by the C (or C++) compiler, that dereferencing pointers to objects of different types will never refer to the same memory location (i.e. alias each other.)”

So basically if you have an int* pointing to some memory containing an int and then you point a float* to that memory and use it as a float you break the rule. If your code does not respect this, then the compiler’s optimizer will most likely break your code.

The exception to the rule is a char*, which is allowed to point to any type.

uint32_t
1swap_words( uint32_t arg )
2{
3 U32 in = { .u32=arg };
4 U32 out = { .u16[0]=in.u16[1],
5 .u16[1]=in.u16[0] };
6
7 return (out.u32);
8}