Software QA (13)
SQL Server (1)
How can I read one character at a time, without waiting for the RETURN key
How can I read one character at a time, without waiting for the RETURN key Alas, there is no standard or portable way to do these things in C. Concepts such as screens and keyboards are not even mentioned in the Standard, which deals only with simple I/O ``streams'' of characters. Input to a compute... 2015-11-11, 1262👍, 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, 1255👍, 0💬
I am allocating structures which contain pointers to other dynamically ....
I'm allocating structures which contain pointers to other dynamically-allocated objects. When I free a structure, do I also have to free each subsidiary pointer? Yes. malloc knows nothing about structure declarations or about the contents of allocated memory; it especially does not know whether allo... 2016-03-31, 1255👍, 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, 1235👍, 0💬
How do I send escape sequences to control a terminal or other device?
How do I send escape sequences to control a terminal or other device? If you can figure out how to send characters to the device at all , it's easy enough to send escape sequences. In ASCII, the ESC code is 033 (27 decimal), so code like fprintf(ofd, "\033[J"); sends the sequence ESC [ J . Some prog... 2015-04-20, 1233👍, 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 >= 0.5 will be rounded up. (This technique won't work properl... 2015-06-26, 1232👍, 0💬
When I call malloc to allocate memory for a pointer which is local to a function ....
When I call malloc to allocate memory for a pointer which is local to a function, do I have to explicitly free it? Yes. Remember that a pointer is different from what it points to. Local variablesare deallocated when the function returns, but in the case of a pointer variable, this means that the po... 2016-03-31, 1227👍, 0💬
Why wont the Frobozz Magic C Compiler ...
Why won't the Frobozz Magic C Compiler, which claims to be ANSI compliant, accept this code? I know that the code is ANSI, because gcc accepts it. Many compilers support a few non-Standard extensions, gcc more so than most. Are you sure that the code being rejected doesn't rely on such an extension?... 2015-11-25, 1223👍, 0💬
What is C language?
What is C language? The C programming language is a standardized programming language developed in the early 1970s by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie for use on the UNIX operating system. It has since spread to many other operating systems, and is one of the most widely used programming languages. C... 2014-12-31, 1219👍, 0💬
How can I split up a string into whitespace-separated fields?
How can I split up a string into whitespace-separated fields? How can I duplicate the process by which main() is handed argc and argv? The only Standard function available for this kind of ``tokenizing'' is strtok, although it can be tricky to use and it may not do everything you want it to. (For in... 2015-08-17, 1215👍, 0💬
y program is crashing, apparently somewhere down inside malloc ....
My program is crashing, apparently somewhere down inside malloc, but I can't see anything wrong with it. Is there a bug in malloc? It is unfortunately very easy to corrupt malloc's internal data structures, and the resulting problems can be stubborn. The most common source of problems is writing mor... 2016-04-06, 1206👍, 0💬
Software testing vs. debugging
The difference between testing and debugging is... 2020-10-17, 1203👍, 1💬
💬 2020-10-17 FYIcenter: Good question! Software testing is a task for a software QA engineer, who runs a large set of use cases on the software to ensur...
Does anyone have a tool for converting old-style C programs to ANSI C?
Does anyone have a tool for converting old-style C programs to ANSI C, or vice versa, or for automatically generating prototypes? Two programs, protoize and unprotoize, convert back and forth between prototyped and ``old style'' function definitions and declarations. (These programs do not handle fu... 2015-11-25, 1201👍, 0💬
If I have a char * variable pointing to the name of a function ...
If I have a char * variable pointing to the name of a function, how can I call that function? Code like extern int func(int, int); char *funcname = "func"; int r = (*funcname)(1, 2); or r = (*(int (*)(int, int))funcname)(1, 2); doesn't seem to work. By the time a program is running, information abou... 2015-02-20, 1201👍, 0💬
Here is a good puzzle: how do you write a program which produces its own source code as output?
Here is a good puzzle: how do you write a program which produces its own source code as output? It is actually quite difficult to write a self-reproducing program that is truly portable, due particularly to quoting and character set difficulties. Here is a classic example (which ought to be presente... 2015-01-02, 1200👍, 0💬
How does free know how many bytes to free?
How does free know how many bytes to free? The malloc/free implementation remembers the size of each block as it is allocated, so it is not necessary to remind it of the size when freeing. (Typically, the size is stored adjacent to the allocated block, which is why things usually break badly if the ... 2016-03-24, 1199👍, 0💬
Is there a way to have non-constant case labels (i.e. ranges or arbitrary expressions)?
Is there a way to have non-constant case labels (i.e. ranges or arbitrary expressions)? No. The switch statement was originally designed to be quite simple for the compiler to translate, therefore case labels are limited to single, constant, integral expressions. You can attach several case labels t... 2015-02-02, 1193👍, 0💬
How can I manipulate individual bits??
How can I manipulate individual bits?? Bit manipulation is straightforward in C, and commonly done. To extract (test) a bit, use the bitwise AND (&) operator, along with a bit mask representing the bit(s) you're interested in: value & 0x04 To set a bit, use the bitwise OR (| or |=) o... 2015-02-20, 1190👍, 0💬
Suggesting that there can be 62 seconds in a minute?
Suggesting that there can be 62 seconds in a minute? Q: Why can tm_sec in the tm structure range from 0 to 61, suggesting that there can be 62 seconds in a minute? A: That's actually a buglet in the Standard. There can be 61 seconds in a minute during a leap second. It's possible for there to be two... 2015-01-05, 1188👍, 0💬
Why isn't a pointer null after calling free? ...
Why isn't a pointer null after calling free? How unsafe is it to use (assign, compare) a pointer value after it's been freed? When you call free, the memory pointed to by the passed pointer is freed, but the value of the pointer in the caller probably remains unchanged, because C's pass-by-value sem... 2016-04-04, 1184👍, 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, 1183👍, 0💬
What is the right type to use for Boolean values in C? ....
What is the right type to use for Boolean values in C? Is there a standard type? Should I use #defines or enums for the true and false values? Traditionally, C did not provide a standard Boolean type, partly and partly to allow the programmer to make the appropriate space/time tradeoff. (Using an in... 2016-03-02, 1180👍, 0💬
How can I open files mentioned on the command line, and parse option flags?
How can I open files mentioned on the command line, and parse option flags? Here is a skeleton which implements a traditional Unix-style argv parse, handling option flags beginning with -, and optional filenames. (The two flags accepted by this example are -a and -b; -b takes an argument.) #include ... 2015-03-11, 1179👍, 0💬
How can I display a percentage-done indication that updates itself in place, or show one of those twirling baton progress indica
How can I display a percentage-done indication that updates itself in place, or show one of those twirling baton progress indicators? These simple things, at least, you can do fairly portably. Printing the character '\r' will usually give you a carriage return without a line feed, so that you can ov... 2015-04-27, 1176👍, 0💬
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