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My compiler is complaining that printf is undefined ...
My compiler is complaining that printf is undefined! How can this be? It's the world's most popular C function... Allegedly, there are C compilers for Microsoft Windows which do n ot support printf, on the argument that printf is for printing to old-fashioned terminals, while under Windows the right...
2015-07-03, 778👍, 0💬

When I set a float variable to, say, 3.1, why is printf printing it as 3.0999999?
When I set a float variable to, say, 3.1, why is printf printing it as 3.0999999? Most computers use base 2 for floating-point numbers as well as for integers, and just as for base 10, not all fractions are representable exactly in base 2. It's well-known that in base 10, a fraction like 1/3 = 0.333...
2015-07-03, 780👍, 0💬

I am trying to take some square roots
I'm trying to take some square roots, and I've simplified the code down to main() { printf("%f\n", sqrt(144.)); } but I'm still getting crazy numbers. Make sure that you have #included &lt;math.h>, and correctly declared other functions returning double. (Another library function to be careful w...
2015-07-01, 763👍, 0💬

I am trying to do some simple trig...
I'm trying to do some simple trig, and I am #including &lt;math.h>, but the linker keeps complaining that functions like sin and cos are undefined. Make sure you're actually linking with the math library. For instance, due to a longstanding bug in Unix and Linux systems, you usually need to use ...
2015-07-01, 771👍, 0💬

My floating-point calculations are acting strangely and giving me different answers on different machines.
My floating-point calculations are acting strangely and giving me different answers on different machines. If the problem isn't that simple, recall that digital computers usually use floating-point formats which provide a close but by no means exact simulation of real number arithmetic. Among other ...
2015-06-29, 757👍, 0💬

I am sure I've got the trig functions declared correctly, but they are still giving me wrong answers.
I am sure I've got the trig functions declared correctly, but they are still giving me wrong answers. You weren't handing them angles in degrees, were you? C's trig functions (like FORTRAN's and most other languages) accept angles in radians. The conversion from degrees to radians is simple enough: ...
2015-06-29, 787👍, 0💬

What is a good way to check for ``close enough'' floating-point equality?
What is a good way to check for ``close enough'' floating-point equality? Since the absolute accuracy of floating point values varies, by definition, with their magnitude, the best way of comparing two floating point values is to use an accuracy threshold which is relative to the magnitude of the nu...
2015-06-26, 842👍, 0💬

How do I round numbers?
How do I round numbers? The simplest and most straightforward way is with code like (int)(x + 0.5) C's floating to integer conversion truncates (discards) the fractional part, so adding 0.5 before truncating arranges that fractions &gt;= 0.5 will be rounded up. (This technique won't work properl...
2015-06-26, 809👍, 0💬

Why doesn't C have an exponentiation operator?
Why doesn't C have an exponentiation operator? One reason is probably that few processors have a built-in exponentiation instruction. C has a pow function (declared in &lt;math.h>) for performing exponentiation, although explicit multiplication is usually better for small positive integral expon...
2015-06-24, 776👍, 0💬

The predefined constant M_PI seems to be missing from my machines copy of math.h.
The predefined constant M_PI seems to be missing from my machines copy of math.h. That constant (which is apparently supposed to be the value of pi, accurate to the machine's precision), is not standard; in fact a standard-conforming copy of should not #define a symbol M_PI. If you need pi, you'll h...
2015-06-24, 830👍, 0💬

How do I set variables to, or test for IEEE NaN?
How do I set variables to, or test for IEEE NaN (``Not a Number'') and other special values? Many systems with high-quality IEEE floating-point implementations provide facilities (e.g. predefined constants, and functions like isnan(), either as nonstandard extensions in &lt;math.h> or perhaps in...
2015-06-21, 807👍, 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 . You may also be able to use signal to catch SIGFPE.
2015-06-21, 775👍, 0💬

What is a good way to implement complex numbers in C?
What is a good way to implement complex numbers in C? It is straightforward to define a simple structure and some arithmetic functions to manipulate them. C99 supports complex as a standard type. Here is a tiny example, to give you a feel for it: typedef struct { double real; double imag; } complex;...
2015-06-19, 960👍, 0💬

I am having trouble with a Turbo C program which crashes
I'm having trouble with a Turbo C program which crashes and says something like ``floating point formats not linked.'' Some compilers for small machines, including Turbo C (and Ritchie's original PDP-11 compiler), leave out certain floating point support if it looks like it will not be needed. In pa...
2015-06-19, 802👍, 0💬

I heard that you have to include stdio.h before calling printf. Why?
I heard that you have to include stdio.h before calling printf. Why? So that a proper prototype for printf will be in scope. A compiler may use a different calling sequence for functions which accept variable-length argument lists. (It might do so if calls using variable-length argument lists were l...
2015-06-17, 776👍, 0💬

How can f be used for both float and double arguments in printf? Aren't they different types?
How can f be used for both float and double arguments in printf? Aren't they different types? In the variable-length part of a variable-length argument list, the ``default argument promotions'' apply: types char and short int are promoted to int, and float is promoted to double. (These are the same ...
2015-06-17, 788👍, 0💬

I had a frustrating problem which turned out to be caused by the line
I had a frustrating problem which turned out to be caused by the line printf("%d", n); where n was actually a long int. I thought that ANSI function prototypes were supposed to guard against argument type mismatches like this. When a function accepts a variable number of arguments, its prototype doe...
2015-06-15, 796👍, 0💬

How can I write a function that takes a variable number of arguments?
How can I write a function that takes a variable number of arguments? Use the facilities of the &lt;stdarg.h> header. Here is a function which concatenates an arbitrary number of strings into malloc'ed memory: #include &lt;stdlib.h> /* for malloc, NULL, size_t */ #include &lt;stdarg.h> /...
2015-06-15, 742👍, 0💬

How can I write a function that takes a format string and a variable number of arguments
How can I write a function that takes a format string and a variable number of arguments, like printf, and passes them to printf to do most of the work? Use vprintf, vfprintf, or vsprintf. These routines are like their counterparts printf, fprintf, and sprintf, except that instead of a variable-leng...
2015-06-12, 818👍, 0💬

How can I write a function analogous to scanf
How can I write a function analogous to scanf, i.e. that accepts similar arguments, and calls scanf to do most of the work? C99 (but not any earlier C Standard) supports vscanf, vfscanf, and vsscanf.
2015-06-12, 740👍, 0💬

I have a pre-ANSI compiler, without stdarg.h What can I do?
I have a pre-ANSI compiler, without stdarg.h What can I do? There's an older header, &lt;varargs.h>, which offers about the same functionality. Here is the vstrcat function, rewritten to use &lt;varargs.h>: #include &lt;stdio.h> #include &lt;varargs.h> #include &lt;string.h> exte...
2015-06-10, 793👍, 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, 876👍, 0💬

My compiler isnt letting me declare a function
My compiler isnt letting me declare a function A; My compiler isn't letting me declare a function int f(...) { } i.e. accepting a variable number of arguments, but with no fixed arguments at all. A: Standard C requires at least one fixed argument, in part so that you can hand it to va_start. (In any...
2015-06-08, 757👍, 0💬

I have a varargs function which accepts a float parameter
I have a varargs function which accepts a float parameter. Why isn't va_arg(argp, float) working? In the variable-length part of variable-length argument lists, the old ``default argument promotions'' apply: arguments of type float are always promoted (widened) to type double, and types char and sho...
2015-06-08, 832👍, 0💬

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