Book Image

Learn C Programming

By : Jeff Szuhay
Book Image

Learn C Programming

By: Jeff Szuhay

Overview of this book

C is a powerful general-purpose programming language that is excellent for beginners to learn. This book will introduce you to computer programming and software development using C. If you're an experienced developer, this book will help you to become familiar with the C programming language. This C programming book takes you through basic programming concepts and shows you how to implement them in C. Throughout the book, you'll create and run programs that make use of one or more C concepts, such as program structure with functions, data types, and conditional statements. You'll also see how to use looping and iteration, arrays, pointers, and strings. As you make progress, you'll cover code documentation, testing and validation methods, basic input/output, and how to write complete programs in C. By the end of the book, you'll have developed basic programming skills in C, that you can apply to other programming languages and will develop a solid foundation for you to advance as a programmer.
Table of Contents (33 chapters)
Section 1: C Fundamentals
Section 2: Complex Data Types
Section 3: Memory Manipulation
Section 4: Input and Output
Section 5: Building Blocks for Larger Programs

Why use pointers at all?

If pointers are so problematic, why use them at all? First and foremost, pointers are not the problem; misuse of pointers is the problem.

Nonetheless, there are four main uses for pointers:

  • To overcome thecall-by-valuerestriction in function parameters: Pointers expand the flexibility of function calls by allowing variable function parameters.
  • As an alternative to array subscripting: Pointers allow access to array elements without subscripting.
  • To manage C strings: Pointers allow easy (ahem, easier) allocation and manipulation of C strings.
  • For dynamic data structures: Pointers allow memory to be allocated at runtime for useful dynamic structures, such as linked lists, trees, and dynamically sized arrays.

We will deal with the first point, the mechanics of pointers and variable function parameters, in this chapter. The second point will be explored in Chapter 14, Understanding Arrays...