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A (Not So) Common 'c' Question About Pointers.

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Hello All,

Came across the code below. Could not figure out exactly what it does. Can somebody please tell me what exactly the code does. especially, the "for" is used in a different way it seems. Just confused about it :(.


char * Somevalue(char * X, const char * Y)
 char * d ;
 d = X;
 for(;*X++ = *Y++ 
 return d;


Thanks & Regards


Edited by Shree

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This looks like string copy to me.


The for loop says copy the character pointed to by Y to the location pointed to by X. Advance the source pointer (Y) after the character is read and advance the destination pointer (X) after the character is written. Keep doing this while the character transfered is not zero. Once a zero is copied (the string terminator), break out of the loop. When the loop is finished return a pointer to the begining of the string copied (original value of X);


Note that for has spaces for statements. The first space is optional and says what to do before the loop is started, the 2nd space is not optional and requires a statement which when evaluated to 0 will break out of the loop. The 3rd space is for an optional statement to be performed at the end of the loop.


So the for could have been replaced with while(*X++ = *Y++);







is the same as



while( b ){




the for loop is just a little more compact but was not really needed for the language.


I hope this helps.



P.S. if you changed the *Y++ to *++Y the first character will be skipped since the pointer is advanced before the character is read.

Edited by trossin

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I think its the other way around.

The "for" construct is the most complete and versatile of all.

The "while", "do-while" and "repeat-until" contructs are the particular cases, and all can be replaced by the "for".


In complex expressions like "*X++ = *Y++", if in doubt, add parentheses by the rules of the 'C' operators precedence and things become more readable.

You can easily find a precedence chart online. This is one of them http://www.swansontec.com/sopc.html



Best regards


Edited by JorgeF

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