The member functions of this class facilitate writing values of
primitive types to raw memory (which may have been allocated with the
above mentioned routines) and reading values from blocks of raw
memory. The class, furthermore, includes support for computing the
storage requirements and alignment restrictions of storable types.
Memory addresses are represented as values of type Ptr a, for some
a which is an instance of class Storable. The type argument to
Ptr helps provide some valuable type safety in FFI code (you can't
mix pointers of different types without an explicit cast), while
helping the Haskell type system figure out which marshalling method is
needed for a given pointer.
All marshalling between Haskell and a foreign language ultimately
boils down to translating Haskell data structures into the binary
representation of a corresponding data structure of the foreign
language and vice versa. To code this marshalling in Haskell, it is
necessary to manipulate primitive data types stored in unstructured
memory blocks. The class Storable facilitates this manipulation on
all types for which it is instantiated, which are the standard basic
types of Haskell, the fixed size Int types (Int8, Int16,
Int32, Int64), the fixed size Word types (Word8, Word16,
Word32, Word64), StablePtr, all types from Foreign.C.Types,
as well as Ptr.
Minimal complete definition: sizeOf, alignment, one of peek,
peekElemOff and peekByteOff, and one of poke, pokeElemOff and