Did you know..? C Programming Language Tips 1

In this episode of “Did you know..?” we look at some C language tips.

  • scanf() wrong format for an operand
  • Array size and starting index
  • Wrong use: = instead of ==
  • scanf() forgetting the ampersand (&)

scanf() wrong format for an operand

C compilers do not check for format errors of arguments from a scanf() statement.
The most common errors are: mixing up %c and %s for characters and
strings and %f format for doubles (should be %lf).

Array size and starting index

The first index of an array, in the C language, starts at index zero. (Not one!).
So an array of ten integers, defined as int a[10], has valid indices from zero to nine.
(Not from one to ten!). This can lead to unpredictable results if you make a mistake.

Wrong use: = instead of ==

The C language = operator is only used for assignments. ( int x = 1; )
The == (is equal) operator is used for comparison. ( if ( x == 1) ).
(The “if statement” returns a 0 for false and a not 0 for true).
If = is used instead of == the result of the “if statement” is almost always not true.

scanf() forgetting the ampersand (&)

The scanf() function needs to have the address of the variable to store the input.
This means that almost always the ampersand (&) address operator is required.
(Except for pointers that point to an variable. (char * ptr_one = malloc(100)).

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