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Linux 2.6 - man page for bsearch (linux section 3posix)

BSEARCH(P)			    POSIX Programmer's Manual			       BSEARCH(P)

NAME
       bsearch - binary search a sorted table

SYNOPSIS
       #include <stdlib.h>

       void *bsearch(const void *key, const void *base, size_t nel,
	      size_t width, int (*compar)(const void *, const void *));

DESCRIPTION
       The  bsearch() function shall search an array of nel objects, the initial element of which
       is pointed to by base, for an element that matches the object pointed to by key.  The size
       of  each  element  in  the  array is specified by width. If the nel argument has the value
       zero, the comparison function pointed to by compar shall not be called and no match  shall
       be found.

       The comparison function pointed to by compar shall be called with two arguments that point
       to the key object and to an array element, in that order.

       The application shall ensure that the comparison function pointed to by	compar	does  not
       alter  the  contents  of  the array.  The implementation may reorder elements of the array
       between calls to the comparison function, but shall not alter the contents of any individ-
       ual element.

       The implementation shall ensure that the first argument is always a pointer to the key.

       When  the same objects (consisting of width bytes, irrespective of their current positions
       in the array) are passed more than once to the comparison function, the results	shall  be
       consistent  with  one  another. That is, the same object shall always compare the same way
       with the key.

       The application shall ensure that the function returns an integer less than, equal to,  or
       greater	than  0 if the key object is considered, respectively, to be less than, to match,
       or to be greater than the array element. The application shall ensure that the array  con-
       sists  of all the elements that compare less than, all the elements that compare equal to,
       and all the elements that compare greater than the key object, in that order.

RETURN VALUE
       The bsearch() function shall return a pointer to a matching member of the array, or a null
       pointer	if  no	match  is  found.   If two or more members compare equal, which member is
       returned is unspecified.

ERRORS
       No errors are defined.

       The following sections are informative.

EXAMPLES
       The example below searches a table containing pointers to nodes consisting of a string and
       its  length.  The  table is ordered alphabetically on the string in the node pointed to by
       each entry.

       The code fragment below reads in strings and  either  finds  the  corresponding	node  and
       prints out the string and its length, or prints an error message.

	      #include <stdio.h>
	      #include <stdlib.h>
	      #include <string.h>

	      #define TABSIZE	 1000

	      struct node {		     /* These are stored in the table. */
		  char *string;
		  int length;
	      };
	      struct node table[TABSIZE];    /* Table to be searched. */
		  .
		  .
		  .
	      {
		  struct node *node_ptr, node;
		  /* Routine to compare 2 nodes. */
		  int node_compare(const void *, const void *);
		  char str_space[20];	/* Space to read string into. */
		  .
		  .
		  .
		  node.string = str_space;
		  while (scanf("%s", node.string) != EOF) {
		      node_ptr = (struct node *)bsearch((void *)(&node),
			     (void *)table, TABSIZE,
			     sizeof(struct node), node_compare);
		      if (node_ptr != NULL) {
			  (void)printf("string = %20s, length = %d\n",
			      node_ptr->string, node_ptr->length);
		      } else {
			  (void)printf("not found: %s\n", node.string);
		      }
		  }
	      }
	      /*
		  This routine compares two nodes based on an
		  alphabetical ordering of the string field.
	      */
	      int
	      node_compare(const void *node1, const void *node2)
	      {
		  return strcoll(((const struct node *)node1)->string,
		      ((const struct node *)node2)->string);
	      }

APPLICATION USAGE
       The  pointers  to  the  key  and  the  element  at the base of the table should be of type
       pointer-to-element.

       The comparison function need not compare every byte, so arbitrary data may be contained in
       the elements in addition to the values being compared.

       In practice, the array is usually sorted according to the comparison function.

RATIONALE
       The  requirement  that  the second argument (hereafter referred to as p) to the comparison
       function is a pointer to an element of the array implies that for every call  all  of  the
       following expressions are non-zero:

	      ((char *)p - (char *(base) % width == 0
	      (char *)p >= (char *)base
	      (char *)p < (char *)base + nel * width

FUTURE DIRECTIONS
       None.

SEE ALSO
       hcreate()   ,   lsearch()  ,  qsort()  ,  tsearch()  ,  the  Base  Definitions  volume  of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <stdlib.h>

COPYRIGHT
       Portions of this text are reprinted and	reproduced  in	electronic  form  from	IEEE  Std
       1003.1,	2003  Edition,	Standard  for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System
       Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003  by
       the  Institute  of  Electrical  and  Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the
       event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE  and  The  Open  Group
       Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The orig-
       inal Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .

IEEE/The Open Group			       2003				       BSEARCH(P)


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