Home Accessibility Courses Twitter The Mouth Facebook Resources Site Map About Us Contact
 
Python and Tcl - public course schedule [here]
Private courses on your site - see [here]
Please ask about maintenance training for Perl, PHP, Lua, etc
 
Pointers in C

I know when I'm giving a C Programming course that I'll come to the section on pointers and I'll have to slow right down - those extra * and & characters take a little explaining and getting used to.

Here are the key points.

A variable declared with a * in front of it holds a reference to (i.e. the address of) another variable. The type of the OTHER variable is stated inthe declaration. Thus: float *boat; declares a variable called boat that holds an ADDRESS, and at that address you'll find a float variable.

A reference to a variable preceeded with an & calls up the ADDRESS of a variable rather than its contents - so it's suitable for assigning to a variable of the type described in the previous paragraph.

And a reference to a variable preceeded with an * calls up the CONTENTS of the address pointed to by the variable - in effect it's the opposite of &.

Example:

int main(int argc, char ** argv) {
 
  int bill = 25; /* hold int */
  int ben = 43;
 
  int *fpotmen; /* holds POINTER TO an int */
 
  fpotmen = &bill; /* ADDRESS OF bill */
 
  *fpotmen = 65 - *fpotmen;
  printf("Retires in %d years\n",*fpotmen); /* CONTENTS OF fpotmen */
 
  fpotmen = &ben; /* ADDRESS OF ben */
 
  *fpotmen = 65 - *fpotmen;
  printf("Retires in %d years\n",*fpotmen); /* CONTENTS OF fpotmen */
 
}


WHY?

Because you can assign lots of different variable addresses in turn to a single pointer variable, teh use common code to process a whole lot (array) of data. You'll note that I've illustrated this in the example above by exactly duplicating two of the lines of code, though in a real life application I would prefer not to duplicate but rather to write them into a separate function.

Let's run that code and see when Bill and Ben retire ...

[trainee@daffodil cxx]$ gcc -o panda panda.c
[trainee@daffodil cxx]$ ./panda
Retires in 40 years
Retires in 22 years
[trainee@daffodil cxx]$

(written 2007-04-19)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
C207 - C and C based languages - Pointers and references
  [4560] Variables, Pointers and References - C and C++ - (2015-10-29)
  [4128] Allocating memory dynamically in a static language like C - (2013-06-30)
  [3399] From fish, loaves and apples to money, plastic cards and BACS (Perl references explained) - (2011-08-20)
  [3386] Adding the pieces together to make a complete language - C - (2011-08-11)
  [3242] How to return 2 values from a function (C++ and C) - more uses of pointers - (2011-04-10)
  [3238] Bradshaw, Ben and Bill. And some C and C++ pointers and references too. - (2011-04-09)
  [3121] New year, new C Course - (2011-01-05)
  [3004] Increment operators for counting - Perl, PHP, C and others - (2010-10-18)
  [2670] Pointers to Pointers to Pointers - what is the point? - (2010-03-10)
  [2572] The what and why of C pointers - (2010-01-13)
  [2005] Variables and pointers and references - C and C++ - (2009-01-23)
  [1497] Training Season Starts again! - (2008-01-07)
  [1478] Some new C programming examples - files, structs, unions etc - (2007-12-19)


Back to
As I came back from Tesco
Previous and next
or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Two by One by Wiltshire
Some other Articles
It can take more that one plus one to get two.
Private Java Course - A customer's pictures
Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it
Two by One by Wiltshire
Pointers in C
As I came back from Tesco
Object Oriented Model - a summary of changes from PHP4 to PHP5
Course, right place, right time
Gordon Dodge, R.I.P.
Helsinki - what comes naturally
4759 posts, page by page
Link to page ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 at 50 posts per page


This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

Link to Ezine home page (for reading).
Link to Blogging home page (to add comments).

You can Add a comment or ranking to this page

© WELL HOUSE CONSULTANTS LTD., 2019: 404 The Spa • Melksham, Wiltshire • United Kingdom • SN12 6QL
PH: 01225 708225 • EMAIL: info@wellho.net • WEB: http://www.wellho.net • SKYPE: wellho

PAGE: http://www.wellho.net/mouth/1155_Poi ... -in-C.html • PAGE BUILT: Sat May 27 16:49:10 2017 • BUILD SYSTEM: WomanWithCat