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Convert 4 bytes to an unsigned 32-bit integer and storing it in a long

I’m trying to read a binary file in Java. I need methods to read unsigned 8-bit values, unsigned 16-bit value and unsigned 32-bit values. What would be the best (fastest, nicest looking code) to do this? I’ve done this in c++ and did something like this:

uint8_t *buffer;
uint32_t value = buffer[0] | buffer[1] << 8 | buffer[2] << 16 | buffer[3] << 24;

But in Java this causes a problem if for example buffer[1] contains a value which has it sign bit set as the result of a left-shift is an int (?). Instead of OR:ing in only 0xA5 at the specific place it OR:s in 0xFFFFA500 or something like that, which “damages” the two top bytes.

I have a code right now which looks like this:

public long getUInt32() throws EOFException, IOException {
    byte[] bytes = getBytes(4);
    long value = bytes[0] | (bytes[1] << 8) | (bytes[2] << 16) | (bytes[3] << 24);
    return value & 0x00000000FFFFFFFFL;
}

If I want to convert the four bytes 0x67 0xA5 0x72 0x50 the result is 0xFFFFA567 instead of 0x5072A567.

Edit: This works great:

public long getUInt32() throws EOFException, IOException {
    byte[] bytes = getBytes(4);
    long value = bytes[0] & 0xFF;
    value |= (bytes[1] << 8) & 0xFFFF;
    value |= (bytes[2] << 16) & 0xFFFFFF;
    value |= (bytes[3] << 24) & 0xFFFFFFFF;
    return value;
}

But isn’t there a better way to do this? 10 bit-operations seems a “bit” much for a simple thing like this.. (See what I did there?) =)

Answer

You’ve got the right idea, I don’t think there’s any obvious improvement. If you look at the java.io.DataInput.readInt spec, they have code for the same thing. They switch the order of << and &, but otherwise standard.

There is no way to read an int in one go from a byte array, unless you use a memory-mapped region, which is way overkill for this.

Of course, you could use a DataInputStream directly instead of reading into a byte[] first:

DataInputStream d = new DataInputStream(new FileInputStream("myfile"));
d.readInt();

DataInputStream works on the opposite endianness than you are using, so you’ll need some Integer.reverseBytes calls also. It won’t be any faster, but it’s cleaner.