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The article you read was written by someone that either referred to a different programming language, or doesn't understand the C/C++ language definitions; char* is not a type in C/C++.
Far as I can recall it was a columnist in the C++ Programmers Journal. I suspect that they did in fact have a passing familiarity with the language. And since at least two columnists in that magazine participated in the C++ ANSI committee I suspect that their opinion on that subject of C++ would have carried more weight than any other random developer. They provided a rational for why that form was more appropriate which, far as I can recall, was not grounded solely in the semantics in the language but more in common usage of type specifiers. But I could certainly be mistaken about what they actually said.
Not to mention of course "The Annotated C++ Reference Manual" written by Ellis and Stroustrup which in section 4.7 has the following code examples.
the variable is the type, and the type stays the type. The * goes with the variable because you're modifying defining how the variable will be using the type. You're not, as it were, modifying the type.
the variable is the type, and the type stays the type. The * goes with the variable because you're modifying defining how the variable will be using accessing the type value. You're not, as it were, modifying the type.
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Great answer. When I define a pointer I'm using char *p; because this is pointer. It stores an address and points a char value in this address. So, '*' is serving as a pointing device for p address register, (I think) it must be declared with address register.
Meh. They are technically a data type but they need to lean on someone else to have meaning in their lives. They're like the really needy data type the other data types only play with because he has cool toys.
I've always liked option 3: char * c. It avoids the problems char* c, d; can cause but still keeps it separate from the name. * is just like const or any other modifier. You wouldn't write constchar* c so why mash them together just because it's a single character (and allowed)?
Because that's how the compiler parses it. The * binds to the variable not the type.
char* a, b;
This suggests that b is also a char *, but actually it is only a char. Much clearer when you write
char *a, b;
(Not that I would advocate doing either - even better to have two separate declarations - but it illustrates the point).
"Legacy systems are systems that are not protected with a suite of tests. ... You are building legacy code every time you build software without associated tests." - Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Implementing Lean Software Development.
Why 68? Well, it was a fun language, especially for its time. But the language did't define a concrete syntax at all (there was an Algol68 with keywords in German - fully conformant to the Algol68 standard), so you couldn't use it to settle any concrete syntax arguments.
Switching to C# is really a far better solution: Make everything pointers, so that you never say that it is a pointer. If it is an object, then a name of that object is a pointer to it. No way to avoid. That makes it so much simpler, never having to worry about this being a struct, that being a pointer to a struct and something else being a pointer to a pointer to an array of pointers to a struct...
As an aside, in the last century the leading PC C++ compiler vendor was not Microsoft but Borland. One day they got too big for their boots and issued a proclamation which dictated that all users of their IDE must code in their prescribed style - which included suffixing the "*" to the type instead of K&R's prefixing "*" to the variable name. It was at this point that I stopped using Borland.
For the sake of consistency, I can't resist also applying the K&R style to references too; although I'm clearly flying in the face of convention from the majority of code examples that I see in books and on-line.
I still prefer Borland C/C++ when I write C; I don't recall being forced one way or the other, but I'll try it later.
None of the following compilers complained about char* a , b:
HP C V7.3-009 on OpenVMS Alpha V8.3
Borland C++ 5.5 for Win32 Copyright (c) 1993, 2000 Borland
gcc version 3.2 (mingw special 20020817-1)
Microsoft (R) 32-bit C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 16.00.40219.01 for 80x86
I expected HP C to complain because I compiled with CHECK messages enabled:
CHECK Messages reporting code or practices that,
although correct and perhaps portable, are
sometimes considered ill-advised because
they can be confusing or fragile to
maintain. For example, assignment as the
test expression in an "if" statement.
modified 31-May-18 12:40pm.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 19:00 Last Update: 27-Jan-21 14:23