Integer array length

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# 15  
Old 09-09-2013
Two things still unclear to me:
1) Why the two exact formulas in main() and in showarray_1() get two different number 10 vs 2? That's the part bugs me very much.
2) In your showarray_2(int array[], int len), the local variable len is not calculated. In the main() call, len was called from the main(), that's I want to avoid in the cases when the array length is unknown. I can't provide an example yet.....maybe I am wrong!
It seems I really need read more to get thru this point.
Thank you so much Scott!
# 16  
Old 09-09-2013
Try this:

int arr[32];
int *parr=arr;

printf("sizeof(arr)=%d\n", sizeof(arr));
printf("sizeof(parr)=%d\n", sizeof(parr));

The only time the compiler knows the exact size of the array is when you use it directly. If you pass it around, it becomes a pointer to something of unknown size.

It only knows when you use it directly, because sizeof() is hardcoded. Its value is fixed in stone before the program even runs. You cannot use it in a dynamic way.
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# 17  
Old 09-09-2013
the compiler knows the exact size of the array is when you use it directly. Now I got it! Thanks a lot, and thank you, too, Scott!
# 18  
Old 09-09-2013
I'll try.

When a function is called the argument( parameters) for the function are pushed onto the stack. When C was first developed, memory space, and therefore also available stack space, were limited.

When a function is called it is more efficient to pass as a parameter the address of an object than the whole object. It is also faster. They decided that since arrays could be arbitrarily large, it was better to pass the address of the array.

In a 32 bit environment addresses are 32 bits long. int datatypes are usually 32 bit as well. You are confusing:

1. the address of your array with the physical memory object of the array itself:
The address is 32 bits, each element of the array is 32 bits because they are the
the int datatype.
2. There is nothing in the address of an array or the pointer to the array to tell the
program how big the array object is.
3. Because pointers are 32 bits you can print them just like an integer, using "%d".
Which is wrong. To print a pointer use "%p".
4. sizeof() gives you the number of bytes of a datatype, all 32 bit pointers are 4 bytes.

void foo(int *arr)
    printf("%d ", arr); //WRONG
    printf("%p\n", arr); // correct
    printf("%u %u %u\n", sizeof(arr), sizeof(int *), sizeof(int)); // ALL are the same size

int main()
    int arr[]={1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10};
    printf("size of arr = %u\n", sizeof(arr));
    return 0;

This User Gave Thanks to jim mcnamara For This Post:
# 19  
Old 09-09-2013
As I haven't done any C programming for about 15 years, I'm glad you guys showed up to add better explanations to the matter.

Thanks Smilie

Last edited by Scott; 09-09-2013 at 03:00 PM.. Reason: Actually it's only 15 years!
# 20  
Old 09-09-2013
No worry! I should have dove into C 15 years ago, and now I realize C is so important for programming!
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