Book Image

Practical C Programming

By : B. M. Harwani
Book Image

Practical C Programming

By: B. M. Harwani

Overview of this book

Used in everything from microcontrollers to operating systems, C is a popular programming language among developers because of its flexibility and versatility. This book helps you get hands-on with various tasks, covering the fundamental as well as complex C programming concepts that are essential for making real-life applications. You’ll start with recipes for arrays, strings, user-defined functions, and pre-processing directives. Once you’re familiar with the basic features, you’ll gradually move on to learning pointers, file handling, concurrency, networking, and inter-process communication (IPC). The book then illustrates how to carry out searching and arrange data using different sorting techniques, before demonstrating the implementation of data structures such as stacks and queues. Later, you’ll learn interesting programming features such as using graphics for drawing and animation, and the application of general-purpose utilities. Finally, the book will take you through advanced concepts such as low-level programming, embedded software, IoT, and security in coding, as well as techniques for improving code performance. By the end of this book, you'll have a clear understanding of C programming, and have the skills you need to develop robust apps.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)

What is a pointer?

A pointer is a variable that contains the memory address of another variable, array, or string. When a pointer contains the address of something, it is said to be pointing at that thing. When a pointer points at something, it receives the right to access the content of that memory address. The question now is—why do we need pointers at all?

We need them because they do the following:

  • Facilitate the dynamic allocation of memory
  • Provide an alternative way to access a data type (apart from variable names, you can access the content of a variable through pointers)
  • Make it possible to return more than one value from a function

For example, consider an i integer variable:

int i;

When you define an integer variable, two bytes will be allocated to it in memory. This set of two bytes can be accessed by a memory address. The value assigned to the...