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Looking at pointer declarations

By , 12 Jan 2010
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When we look at pointer declarations, reading from right-to-left gives a better idea about what the pointer actually points to.
Consider const int * p; if we read right to left: p -> * -> int -> const. i.e. 'p is a pointer to an integer constant' rather than 'constant integer pointer' (if we read left to right) which doesn't give an idea if the pointer is constant or the value it is pointing to.
So reading it right to left gives clear idea that in the above declaration, p can be modified (like p++) but the value p is pointing to (*p) cannot be modified as it is pointing to a constant.
Let us consider another example int * const p;. Again let us use the same right-to-left trick, p -> const ->* -> int. i.e. p is a constant pointer to an integer. In this case, p cannot be modified (like p++) but the value it is pointing to can be modified (like *p = 2).
Finally in const int * const p; 'p is a const pointer to an integer constant' by using the same RTL trick.


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralReason for my vote of 5 So Simple But Good PinmemberHeaven202020-Jun-11 4:31 
Generalquiet different thinking.. :) PinmemberCool_Dev3-Aug-10 4:54 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 quiet different way of thinking.. PinmemberCool_Dev3-Aug-10 4:52 
Generalnice! PinmemberSir Gizzle10-Feb-10 22:43 
Wow, this a nice and short explanation helping understand the pointer concept! Thanks a lot, good job!
Generalfor details look at PinmemberManish K. Agarwal10-Feb-10 19:53 

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