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How can I direct output to the printer?
How can I direct output to the printer? Under Unix, either use popen to write to the lp or lpr program, or perhaps open a special file like /dev/lp. Under MS-DOS, write to the (nonstandard) predefined stdio stream stdprn, or open the special files PRN or LPT1. Under some circumstances, another (and ...
2015-04-22, 870👍, 0💬

But I cant use all these nonstandard, system-dependent functions, because my program has to be ANSI compatible!
But I cant use all these nonstandard, system-dependent functions, because my program has to be ANSI compatible! You're out of luck. Either you misunderstood your requirement, or it's an impossible one to meet. ANSI/ISO Standard C simply does not define ways of doing these things; it is a language st...
2015-02-27, 869👍, 0💬

How can my program discover the complete pathname to the executable from which it was invoked?
How can my program discover the complete pathname to the executable from which it was invoked? argv[0] may contain all or part of the pathname, or it may contain nothing. You may be able to duplicate the command language interpreter's search path logic to locate the executable if the name in argv[0]...
2015-03-13, 868👍, 0💬

Does C have an equivalent to Pascals with statement?
Does C have an equivalent to Pascals with statement? No. The way in C to get quick and easy access to the fields of a structure is to declare a little local structure pointer variable (which, it must be admitted, is not quite as notationally convenient as a with statement and doesn't save quite as m...
2015-01-14, 868👍, 0💬

How can I recover the file name given an open stream or file descriptor?
How can I recover the file name given an open stream or file descriptor? This problem is, in general, insoluble. Under Unix, for instance, a scan of the entire disk (perhaps involving special permissions) would theoretically be required, and would fail if the descriptor were connected to a pipe or r...
2015-04-10, 866👍, 0💬

You cant use dynamically-allocated memory after you free it?
You cant use dynamically-allocated memory after you free it? No. Some early documentation for malloc stated that the contents of freed memory were ``left undisturbed,'' but this ill-advised guarantee was never universal and is not required by the C Standard. Few programmers would use the contents of...
2016-04-04, 865👍, 0💬

Does C have circular shift operators?
Does C have circular shift operators? No. (Part of the reason why is that the sizes of C's types aren't precisely defined----but a circular shift makes most sense when applied to a word of a particular known size.) You can implement a circular shift using two regular shifts and a bitwise OR: (x &...
2015-01-28, 865👍, 0💬

How can I invoke another program or command and trap its output?
How can I invoke another program or command and trap its output? Unix and some other systems provide a popen function, which sets up a stdio stream on a pipe connected to the process running a command, so that the calling program can read the output (or alternatively supply the input). Using popen, ...
2015-03-16, 864👍, 0💬

How can I automatically locate a programs configuration files in the same directory as the executable?
How can I automatically locate a programs configuration files in the same directory as the executable? It's hard, in general; Even if you can figure out a workable way to do it, you might want to consider making the program's auxiliary (library) directory configurable, perhaps with an environment va...
2015-03-13, 864👍, 0💬

How can I convert integers to binary or hexadecimal?
How can I convert integers to binary or hexadecimal? Make sure you really know what you're asking. Integers are stored internally in binary, although for most purposes it is not incorrect to think of them as being in octal, decimal, or hexadecimal, whichever is convenient. The base in which a number...
2015-02-13, 864👍, 0💬

How can I increase the allowable number of simultaneously open files?
I'm getting an error, ``Too many open files''. How can I increase the allowable number of simultaneously open files? A: There are typically at least two resource limitations on the number of simultaneously open files: the number of low-level ``file descriptors'' or ``file handles'' available in the ...
2015-04-03, 863👍, 0💬

Which is more efficient, a switch statement or an if else chain?
Which is more efficient, a switch statement or an if else chain? The differences, if any, are likely to be slight. The switch statement was designed to be efficiently implementable, though the compiler may choose to use the equivalent of an if/else chain (as opposed to a compact jump table) if the c...
2015-02-04, 863👍, 0💬

Why isnt there a numbered, multi-level break statement to break out
Why isn't there a numbered, multi-level break statement to break out of several loops at once? What am I supposed to use instead, a goto? A:First, remember why it is that break and continue exist at all--they are, in effect, ``structured gotos'' used in preference to goto (and accepted as alternativ...
2015-01-30, 861👍, 0💬

Why dont C comments nest?
Why don't C comments nest? How am I supposed to comment out code containing comments? Are comments legal inside quoted strings? A: C comments don't nest mostly because PL/I's comments, which C's are borrowed from, don't either. Therefore, it is usually better to ``comment out'' large sections of cod...
2015-01-30, 859👍, 0💬

How can I call system when parameters (filenames, etc.) of the executed command arent known until run time?
How can I call system when parameters (filenames, etc.) of the executed command arent known until run time? Just use sprintf (or perhaps strcpy and strcat) to build the command string in a buffer, then call system with that buffer. (Make sure the buffer is allocated with enough space; Here is a cont...
2015-03-18, 855👍, 0💬

How can I handle floating-point exceptions gracefully?
How can I handle floating-point exceptions gracefully? On many systems, you can define a function matherr which will be called when there are certain floating-point errors, such as errors in the math routines in &lt;math.h>. You may also be able to use signal to catch SIGFPE
2015-03-04, 855👍, 0💬

I am still getting errors due to library functions being undefined
I'm still getting errors due to library functions being undefined, even though I'm explicitly requesting the right libraries while linking. Many linkers make one pass over the list of object files and libraries you specify, and extract from libraries only those modules which satisfy references which...
2015-07-14, 852👍, 0💬

How can I discover how many arguments a function was actually called with?
How can I discover how many arguments a function was actually called with? This information is not available to a portable program. Some old systems provided a nonstandard nargs function, but its use was always questionable, since it typically returned the number of words passed, not the number of a...
2015-06-10, 852👍, 0💬

What is the right way to use errno?
What is the right way to use errno? In general, you should detect errors by checking return values, and use errno only to distinguish among the various causes of an error, such as ``File not found'' or ``Permission denied''. (Typically, you use perror or strerror to print these discriminating error ...
2015-02-23, 852👍, 0💬

What is the difference between memcpy and memmove?
What is the difference between memcpy and memmove? memmove offers guaranteed behavior if the memory regions pointed to by the source and destination arguments overlap. memcpy makes no such guarantee, and may therefore be more efficiently implementable. When in doubt, it's safer to use memmove. It se...
2015-07-16, 851👍, 0💬

How can I swap two values without using a temporary?
How can I swap two values without using a temporary? The standard hoary old assembly language programmer's trick is: a ^= b; b ^= a; a ^= b; But this sort of code has little place in modern, HLL programming. Temporary variables are essentially free, and the idiomatic code using three assignments, na...
2015-02-06, 851👍, 0💬

What is assert and when would I use it?
What is assert and when would I use it? It is a macro, defined in &lt;assert.h>, for testing ``assertions''. An assertion essentially documents an assumption being made by the programmer, an assumption which, if violated, would indicate a serious programming error. For example, a function which ...
2015-01-12, 851👍, 0💬

I have a program which mallocs and later frees a lot of memory ...
I have a program which mallocs and later frees a lot of memory, but I can see from the operating system that memory usage doesn't actually go back down. Most implementations of malloc/free do not return freed memory to the operating system, but merely make it available for future malloc calls within...
2016-03-28, 850👍, 0💬

Where can I get an ANSI-compatible lint?
Where can I get an ANSI-compatible lint? Products called PC-Lint and FlexeLint are available from Gimpel Software. The Unix System V release 4 lint is ANSI-compatible, and is available separately (bundled with other C tools) from UNIX Support Labs or from System V resellers. Another ANSI-compatible ...
2015-05-05, 850👍, 0💬

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