Understanding Pointers and Strings

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  JonathaThurston 10 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #2183

    Hey Guys,

    I have a question regarding pointer arithmetic as I find it very hard to grasp it. Well to be totally honest I do not understand the concept at all so I wrote this program which sends a char array to a function and prints out a string of characters from a certain offset to a certain length.

    I am having trouble with the loop in the function can you please help me understand it.


  • #3536

    To understand the problem completely, remember that arrays are configured as contiguous blocks of memory ( the first index in memory precedes the next and so on ) and realize the fact that pointers are simply variables that hold the address of other variables ( the size depends on your hardware and operating system ). Also keep in mind that in C the semantic value of an array’s name is the address of the first item in the array ( array [ 0 ] ). So that in your program you have a situation like :

    since the array looks like this in memory ( let 0x0065fd94 be the first address of the array ):

    memory address item
    0x0065fd94 ‘T’
    0x0065fd95 ‘h’
    0x0065fd96 ‘i’
    0x0065fd97 ‘s’

    and so on your loop:

    starts at index == words [ 11 ] which is ‘h’ and continues until ( *index == *(index + len); ) . But since * ( index + len ) is words [ 32 ] == ‘h’ your loop never executes. I think what you wanted to do is this:

  • #3537

    Hey dman thanks for explaining it makes more sense now. Is it possible to avoid making *index a pointer to the array and do the manipulations on *w instead?

  • #3538

    Heres how I might do this ( this uses pointer arthimatic instead of indexes ) :

  • #3539

    Yea that makes more sense actually, and its more readable than a for loop.

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