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Continuing on with Strings with C

The C programming language is a programming languages first created between 1969 and 1973 by Dennis Ritchie and has been the basis of many other programming languages since.

Here we will be carrying on from our initial post “Beginning with C” with a short lesson on strings in C

Strings with C

Strings in C are actually arrays of characters with a special null byte character indicating where each string ends.

What are strings?

Strings are arrays of characters and string literals are words surrounded by double quotation marks, for example:

“Hello World”

We mentioned that each string is terminated with a special null byte character ‘�’ which has the value 0, which means that if we have a string of 30 letters, it actually holds 31 places in an array.

Using strings

Strings are of course very useful for holding long inputs such as names, email addresses, passwords etc. You can use scanf() to input a string but this will terminate the string after the first space. In addition as scanf() doesn’t know how big an array will be you can end up with “buffer overflow” errors when a user inputs a string that is longer than the size of the string.

The simplest way around this problem is to use the fgets() function which can be used as follows:

fgets( string, 6, stdin );

This will open up our array called string, give the length and then use the input from the user to allocate each character to our string array.

We can then print this using our new %s identifier in printf as follows:

char string[6];
fgets( string, 6, stdin );
printf( “Your name is %s”, string );

This is enough for today. If you would like any help with your web or development applications or projects then why not get in contact with us here at Network Intellect.

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