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C course - final course example puts it all together

Delegate on a C course"Yes - but how do we put all of those things together?" ... delegate question on many programming courses. As a trainer, I have to take our students through each of the main features of a language - to ensure they understand the fundamentals and perhaps more. But the it's just as important to take time before the course ends to pull all the threads together and show a complete, practical, maintainable and robust piece of code.

So here I am, on a Friday evening. Delegates have headed off to places as wide ranging as Norwich and Exeter, and I'm writing up the example that I completed just before they left. [source code link].

The example program reads one of our recent log file - they're currently around 40 Mbytes per day - and uses regular expressions to filter out all of those accesses which were arrivals from a well know search engine.

We have no way of knowing how long search strings will be, nor how many arrivals we'll have, so the memory management needs to be dynamic and use the heap ... so our example's got to include things like malloc calloc and realloc. And we have various string manipulation functions in use to find, extract and save on the heap the elements we need from each line.

C Course delegateWhy would people use C for an application such as this? Perhaps because they knew the language already, or perhaps because they needed to run it so often and on so much material that it had to be FAST. And so you'll notice that in order to get the speed, we've compiled our regular expressions outside our main data reading loop, and we've also extended our heap memory block in chunks of 10 records at a time. The simplest coding would have been to extend the capacity one at a time, but this would have been very slow. 100 at a time would probably be better!

If you want to learn C next time I teach the course, have a look [here] if you've never programmed before and [here] if you'll be converting from another language. I'm not promising you'll be able to quickly write code like my example by the end of the course - that requires a bit more practice - but I can promise you that you'll understand what's going on, you'll be able to fathom out some previously unfathomable code, and you'll be well on the way to becoming a C programmer.

(written 2010-07-02, updated 2011-01-05)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
C050 - C and C based languages - C - General
  [4434] Public training courses - upcoming dates - (2015-02-21)
  [4341] Segmentation Fault, Segmentation Violation, Bus Error, Stack Smashing - (2014-12-04)
  [4335] Flexible public courses - residential or commuting, programming newcomer or experienced, C or C++ - (2014-11-30)
  [3129] Extra courses - C and C++ - (2011-01-12)
  [3053] Make - automating the commands for building and installing - (2010-11-16)
  [2763] Our C and C++ training course are on Open Source platforms - (2010-05-13)
  [2669] Efficient use of dynamic memory - C and realloc - (2010-03-10)
  [2536] All the Cs ... and Java too - (2009-12-13)
  [2504] Learning to program in ... - (2009-11-15)
  [2091] C, C++ and C# ... Java and JavaScript - (2009-03-20)
  [2086] C Programming v Learning to Program in C. Which course? - (2009-03-17)
  [2002] New C Examples - pointers, realloc, structs and more - (2009-01-20)

C212 - C and C based languages - Memory Management
  [4635] Encapsulating logic in functions and structs - the C approach to Object Oriented techniques - (2016-01-30)
  [4634] Regression testing - via a very short C testing framework - (2016-01-29)
  [4340] Simple C structs - building up to full, dynamic example - (2014-12-03)
  [4128] Allocating memory dynamically in a static language like C - (2013-06-30)
  [3416] Storing Tcl source code encoded, and running via your own C program - (2011-09-02)
  [3386] Adding the pieces together to make a complete language - C - (2011-08-11)
  [3144] Setting up arrays in C - fixed size at compile time, or dynamic - (2011-01-24)
  [3118] Arrays of arrays - or 2D arrays. How to program tables. - (2011-01-02)
  [1845] Passing a table from Lua into C - (2008-10-18)
  [1670] Dynamic Memory Allocation in C - (2008-06-09)
  [1589] Dynamic Memory Allocation in C - calloc, realloc - (2008-03-22)
  [1581] What is an lvalue? (Perl, C) - (2008-03-18)
  [1497] Training Season Starts again! - (2008-01-07)

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String functions in C
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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.

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