C Programming/Strings

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A string in C is merely an array of characters. The length of a string is determined by a terminating null character: '\0'. So, a string with the contents, say, "abc" has four characters: 'a', 'b', 'c', and the terminating null character.

The terminating null character has the value zero.

Syntax[edit]

In C, string constants (literals) are surrounded by double quotes ("), e.g. "Hello world!" and are compiled to an array of the specified char values with an additional null terminating character (0-valued) code to mark the end of the string. The type of a string constant is char [].

String literals may not directly in the source code contain embedded newlines or other control characters, or some other characters of special meaning in string.

To include such characters in a string, the backslash escapes may be used, like this:

Escape Meaning
\\ Literal backslash
\" Double quote
\' Single quote
\n Newline (line feed)
\r Carriage return
\b Backspace
\t Horizontal tab
\f Form feed
\a Alert (bell)
\v Vertical tab
\? Question mark (used to escape trigraphs)
\nnn Character with octal value nnn
\xhh Character with hexadecimal value hh

Wide character strings[edit]

C supports wide character strings, defined as arrays of the type wchar_t, 16-bit (at least) values. They are written with an L before the string like this

wchar_t *p = L"Hello world!";

This feature allows strings where more than 256 different possible characters are needed (although also variable length char strings can be used). They end with a zero-valued wchar_t. These strings are not supported by the <string.h> functions. Instead they have their own functions, declared in <wchar.h>.

Character encodings[edit]

What character encoding the char and wchar_t represent is not specified by the C standard, except that the value 0x00 and 0x0000 specify the end of the string and not a character. It the input and output code which are directly affected by the character encoding. Other code should not be too affected. The editor should also be able to handle the encoding if strings shall be able to written in the source code.

There are three major types of encodings:

  • One byte per character. Normally based on ASCII. There is a limit of 255 different characters plus the zero termination character.
  • Variable length char strings, which allows many more than 255 different characters. Such strings are written as normal char-based arrays. These encodings are normally ASCII-based and examples are UTF-8 or Shift JIS.
  • Wide character strings. They are arrays of wchar_t values. UTF-16 is the most common such encoding, and it is also variable-length, meaning that a character can be two wchar_t.

The <string.h> Standard Header[edit]

Because programmers find raw strings cumbersome to deal with, they wrote the code in the <string.h> library. It represents not a concerted design effort but rather the accretion of contributions made by various authors over a span of years.

First, three types of functions exist in the string library:

  • the mem functions manipulate sequences of arbitrary characters without regard to the null character;
  • the str functions manipulate null-terminated sequences of characters;
  • the strn functions manipulate sequences of non-null characters.

The more commonly-used string functions[edit]

The nine most commonly used functions in the string library are:

  • strcat - concatenate two strings
  • strchr - string scanning operation
  • strcmp - compare two strings
  • strcpy - copy a string
  • strlen - get string length
  • strncat - concatenate one string with part of another
  • strncmp - compare parts of two strings
  • strncpy - copy part of a string
  • strrchr - string scanning operation

The strcat function[edit]

char *strcat(char * restrict s1, const char * restrict s2);

Some people recommend using strncat() or strlcat() instead of strcat, in order to avoid buffer overflow.

The strcat() function shall append a copy of the string pointed to by s2 (including the terminating null byte) to the end of the string pointed to by s1. The initial byte of s2 overwrites the null byte at the end of s1. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. The function returns s1.

This function is used to attach one string to the end of another string. It is imperative that the first string (s1) have the space needed to store both strings.

Example:

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <string.h>
    ...
    static const char *colors[] = {"Red","Orange","Yellow","Green","Blue","Purple" };
    static const char *widths[] = {"Thin","Medium","Thick","Bold" };
    ...
    char penText[20];
    ...
    int penColor = 3, penThickness = 2;
    strcpy(penText, colors[penColor]);
    strcat(penText, widths[penThickness]);
    printf("My pen is %s\n", penText); // prints 'My pen is GreenThick'

Before calling strcat(), the destination must currently contain a null terminated string or the first character must have been initialized with the null character (e.g. penText[0] = '\0';).


The following is a public-domain implementation of strcat:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strcat */
 char *(strcat)(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2)
 {
     char *s = s1;
     /* Move s so that it points to the end of s1.  */
     while (*s != '\0')
         s++;
     /* Copy the contents of s2 into the space at the end of s1.  */
     strcpy(s, s2);
     return s1;
 }

The strchr function[edit]

char *strchr(const char *s, int c);

The strchr() function shall locate the first occurrence of c (converted to a char) in the string pointed to by s. The terminating null byte is considered to be part of the string. The function returns the location of the found character, or a null pointer if the character was not found.

This function is used to find certain characters in strings.

At one point in history, this function was named index. The strchr name, however cryptic, fits the general pattern for naming.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strchr:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strchr */
 char *(strchr)(const char *s, int c)
 {
     /* Scan s for the character.  When this loop is finished,
        s will either point to the end of the string or the
        character we were looking for.  */
     while (*s != '\0' && *s != (char)c)
         s++;
     return ( (*s == c) ? (char *) s : NULL );
 }

The strcmp function[edit]

int strcmp(const char *s1, const char *s2);

A rudimentary form of string comparison is done with the strcmp() function. It takes two strings as arguments and returns a value less than zero if the first is lexographically less than the second, a value greater than zero if the first is lexographically greater than the second, or zero if the two strings are equal. The comparison is done by comparing the coded (ascii) value of the chararacters, character by character.

This simple type of string comparison is nowadays generally considered unacceptable when sorting lists of strings. More advanced algorithms exist that are capable of producing lists in dictionary sorted order. They can also fix problems such as strcmp() considering the string "Alpha2" greater than "Alpha12". (In the previous example, "Alpha2" compares greater than "Alpha12" because '2' comes after '1' in the character set.) What we're saying is, don't use this strcmp() alone for general string sorting in any commercial or professional code.

The strcmp() function shall compare the string pointed to by s1 to the string pointed to by s2. The sign of a non-zero return value shall be determined by the sign of the difference between the values of the first pair of bytes (both interpreted as type unsigned char) that differ in the strings being compared. Upon completion, strcmp() shall return an integer greater than, equal to, or less than 0, if the string pointed to by s1 is greater than, equal to, or less than the string pointed to by s2, respectively.

Since comparing pointers by themselves is not practically useful unless one is comparing pointers within the same array, this function lexically compares the strings that two pointers point to.

This function is useful in comparisons, e.g.

if (strcmp(s, "whatever") == 0) /* do something */
    ;

The collating sequence used by strcmp() is equivalent to the machine's native character set. The only guarantee about the order is that the digits from '0' to '9' are in consecutive order.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strcmp:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strcmp */
 int (strcmp)(const char *s1, const char *s2)
 {
     unsigned char uc1, uc2;
     /* Move s1 and s2 to the first differing characters 
        in each string, or the ends of the strings if they
        are identical.  */
     while (*s1 != '\0' && *s1 == *s2) {
         s1++;
         s2++;
     }
     /* Compare the characters as unsigned char and
        return the difference.  */
     uc1 = (*(unsigned char *) s1);
     uc2 = (*(unsigned char *) s2);
     return ((uc1 < uc2) ? -1 : (uc1 > uc2));
 }

The strcpy function[edit]

char *strcpy(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2);

Some people recommend always using strncpy() instead of strcpy, to avoid buffer overflow.

The strcpy() function shall copy the C string pointed to by s2 (including the terminating null byte) into the array pointed to by s1. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. The function returns s1. There is no value used to indicate an error: if the arguments to strcpy() are correct, and the destination buffer is large enough, the function will never fail.

Example:

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <string.h>
    /* ... */
    static const char *penType="round";
    /* ... */
    char penText[20];
    /* ... */
    strcpy(penText, penType);

Important: You must ensure that the destination buffer (s1) is able to contain all the characters in the source array, including the terminating null byte. Otherwise, strcpy() will overwrite memory past the end of the buffer, causing a buffer overflow, which can cause the program to crash, or can be exploited by hackers to compromise the security of the computer.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strcpy:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strcpy */
 char *(strcpy)(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2)
 {
     char *dst = s1;
     const char *src = s2;
     /* Do the copying in a loop.  */
     while ((*dst++ = *src++) != '\0')
         ;               /* The body of this loop is left empty. */
     /* Return the destination string.  */
     return s1;
 }

The strlen function[edit]

size_t strlen(const char *s);

The strlen() function shall compute the number of bytes in the string to which s points, not including the terminating null byte. It returns the number of bytes in the string. No value is used to indicate an error.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strlen:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strlen */
 size_t (strlen)(const char *s)
 {
     const char *p = s;
     /* Loop over the data in s.  */
     while (*p != '\0')
         p++;
     return (size_t)(p - s);
 }

The strncat function[edit]

char *strncat(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2, size_t n);

The strncat() function shall append not more than n bytes (a null byte and bytes that follow it are not appended) from the array pointed to by s2 to the end of the string pointed to by s1. The initial byte of s2 overwrites the null byte at the end of s1. A terminating null byte is always appended to the result. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. The function returns s1.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strncat:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strncat */
 char *(strncat)(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2, size_t n)
 {
     char *s = s1;
     /* Loop over the data in s1.  */
     while (*s != '\0')
         s++;
     /* s now points to s1's trailing null character, now copy
        up to n bytes from s1 into s stopping if a null character
        is encountered in s2.
        It is not safe to use strncpy here since it copies EXACTLY n
        characters, NULL padding if necessary.  */
     while (n != 0 && (*s = *s2++) != '\0') {
         n--;
         s++;
     }
     if (*s != '\0')
         *s = '\0';
     return s1;
 }

The strncmp function[edit]

int strncmp(const char *s1, const char *s2, size_t n);

The strncmp() function shall compare not more than n bytes (bytes that follow a null byte are not compared) from the array pointed to by s1 to the array pointed to by s2. The sign of a non-zero return value is determined by the sign of the difference between the values of the first pair of bytes (both interpreted as type unsigned char) that differ in the strings being compared. See strcmp for an explanation of the return value.

This function is useful in comparisons, as the strcmp function is.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strncmp:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strncmp */
 int (strncmp)(const char *s1, const char *s2, size_t n)
 {
     unsigned char uc1, uc2;
     /* Nothing to compare?  Return zero.  */
     if (n == 0)
         return 0;
     /* Loop, comparing bytes.  */
     while (n-- > 0 && *s1 == *s2) {
         /* If we've run out of bytes or hit a null, return zero
            since we already know *s1 == *s2.  */
         if (n == 0 || *s1 == '\0')
             return 0;
         s1++;
         s2++;
     }
     uc1 = (*(unsigned char *) s1);
     uc2 = (*(unsigned char *) s2);
     return ((uc1 < uc2) ? -1 : (uc1 > uc2));
 }

The strncpy function[edit]

char *strncpy(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2, size_t n);

The strncpy() function shall copy not more than n bytes (bytes that follow a null byte are not copied) from the array pointed to by s2 to the array pointed to by s1. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. If the array pointed to by s2 is a string that is shorter than n bytes, null bytes shall be appended to the copy in the array pointed to by s1, until n bytes in all are written. The function shall return s1; no return value is reserved to indicate an error.

It is possible that the function will not return a null-terminated string, which happens if the s2 string is longer than n bytes.

The following is a public-domain version of strncpy:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strncpy */
 char *(strncpy)(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict s2, size_t n)
 {
     char *dst = s1;
     const char *src = s2;
     /* Copy bytes, one at a time.  */
     while (n > 0) {
         n--;
         if ((*dst++ = *src++) == '\0') {
             /* If we get here, we found a null character at the end
                of s2, so use memset to put null bytes at the end of
                s1.  */
             memset(dst, '\0', n);
             break;
         }
     }
     return s1;
 }

The strrchr function[edit]

char *strrchr(const char *s, int c);

strrchr is similar to strchr, except the string is searched right to left.

The strrchr() function shall locate the last occurrence of c (converted to a char) in the string pointed to by s. The terminating null byte is considered to be part of the string. Its return value is similar to strchr's return value.

At one point in history, this function was named rindex. The strrchr name, however cryptic, fits the general pattern for naming.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strrchr:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strrchr */
 char *(strrchr)(const char *s, int c)
 {
     const char *last = NULL;
     /* If the character we're looking for is the terminating null,
        we just need to look for that character as there's only one
        of them in the string.  */
     if (c == '\0')
         return strchr(s, c);
     /* Loop through, finding the last match before hitting NULL.  */
     while ((s = strchr(s, c)) != NULL) {
         last = s;
         s++;
     }
     return (char *) last;
 }

The less commonly-used string functions[edit]

The less-used functions are:

  • memchr - Find a byte in memory
  • memcmp - Compare bytes in memory
  • memcpy - Copy bytes in memory
  • memmove - Copy bytes in memory with overlapping areas
  • memset - Set bytes in memory
  • strcoll - Compare bytes according to a locale-specific collating sequence
  • strcspn - Get the length of a complementary substring
  • strerror - Get error message
  • strpbrk - Scan a string for a byte
  • strspn - Get the length of a substring
  • strstr - Find a substring
  • strtok - Split a string into tokens
  • strxfrm - Transform string

Copying functions[edit]

The memcpy function[edit]

void *memcpy(void * restrict s1, const void * restrict s2, size_t n);

The memcpy() function shall copy n bytes from the object pointed to by s2 into the object pointed to by s1. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. The function returns s1.

Because the function does not have to worry about overlap, it can do the simplest copy it can.

The following is a public-domain implementation of memcpy:

 #include <string.h>
 /* memcpy */
 void *(memcpy)(void * restrict s1, const void * restrict s2, size_t n)
 {
     char *dst = s1;
     const char *src = s2;
     /* Loop and copy.  */
     while (n-- != 0)
         *dst++ = *src++;
     return s1;
 }
The memmove function[edit]

void *memmove(void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n);

The memmove() function shall copy n bytes from the object pointed to by s2 into the object pointed to by s1. Copying takes place as if the n bytes from the object pointed to by s2 are first copied into a temporary array of n bytes that does not overlap the objects pointed to by s1 and s2, and then the n bytes from the temporary array are copied into the object pointed to by s1. The function returns the value of s1.

The easy way to implement this without using a temporary array is to check for a condition that would prevent an ascending copy, and if found, do a descending copy.

The following is a public-domain, though not completely portable, implementation of memmove:

 #include <string.h>
 /* memmove */
 void *(memmove)(void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n) 
 {
    /* note: these don't have to point to unsigned chars */
    char *p1 = s1;
    const char *p2 = s2;
    /* test for overlap that prevents an ascending copy */
    if (p2 < p1 && p1 < p2 + n) {
        /* do a descending copy */
        p2 += n;
        p1 += n;
        while (n-- != 0) 
            *--p1 = *--p2;
    } else 
        while (n-- != 0) 
            *p1++ = *p2++;
    return s1; 
 }

Comparison functions[edit]

The memcmp function[edit]

int memcmp(const void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n);

The memcmp() function shall compare the first n bytes (each interpreted as unsigned char) of the object pointed to by s1 to the first n bytes of the object pointed to by s2. The sign of a non-zero return value shall be determined by the sign of the difference between the values of the first pair of bytes (both interpreted as type unsigned char) that differ in the objects being compared.

The following is a public-domain implementation of memcmp:

 #include <string.h>
 /* memcmp */
 int (memcmp)(const void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n)
 {
     const unsigned char *us1 = (const unsigned char *) s1;
     const unsigned char *us2 = (const unsigned char *) s2;
     while (n-- != 0) {
         if (*us1 != *us2)
             return (*us1 < *us2) ? -1 : +1;
         us1++;
         us2++;
     }
     return 0;
 }
The strcoll and strxfrm functions[edit]

int strcoll(const char *s1, const char *s2);

size_t strxfrm(char *s1, const char *s2, size_t n);

The ANSI C Standard specifies two locale-specific comparison functions.

The strcoll function compares the string pointed to by s1 to the string pointed to by s2, both interpreted as appropriate to the LC_COLLATE category of the current locale. The return value is similar to strcmp.

The strxfrm function transforms the string pointed to by s2 and places the resulting string into the array pointed to by s1. The transformation is such that if the strcmp function is applied to the two transformed strings, it returns a value greater than, equal to, or less than zero, corresponding to the result of the strcoll function applied to the same two original strings. No more than n characters are placed into the resulting array pointed to by s1, including the terminating null character. If n is zero, s1 is permitted to be a null pointer. If copying takes place between objects that overlap, the behavior is undefined. The function returns the length of the transformed string.

These functions are rarely used and nontrivial to code, so there is no code for this section.

Search functions[edit]

The memchr function[edit]

void *memchr(const void *s, int c, size_t n);

The memchr() function shall locate the first occurrence of c (converted to an unsigned char) in the initial n bytes (each interpreted as unsigned char) of the object pointed to by s. If c is not found, memchr returns a null pointer.

The following is a public-domain implementation of memchr:

 #include <string.h>
 /* memchr */
 void *(memchr)(const void *s, int c, size_t n)
 {
     const unsigned char *src = s;
     unsigned char uc = c;
     while (n-- != 0) {
         if (*src == uc)
             return (void *) src;
         src++;
     }
     return NULL;
 }
The strcspn, strpbrk, and strspn functions[edit]

size_t strcspn(const char *s1, const char *s2);

char *strpbrk(const char *s1, const char *s2);

size_t strspn(const char *s1, const char *s2);

The strcspn function computes the length of the maximum initial segment of the string pointed to by s1 which consists entirely of characters not from the string pointed to by s2.

The strpbrk function locates the first occurrence in the string pointed to by s1 of any character from the string pointed to by s2, returning a pointer to that character or a null pointer if not found.

The strspn function computes the length of the maximum initial segment of the string pointed to by s1 which consists entirely of characters from the string pointed to by s2.

All of these functions are similar except in the test and the return value.

The following are public-domain implementations of strcspn, strpbrk, and strspn:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strcspn */
 size_t (strcspn)(const char *s1, const char *s2)
 {
     const char *sc1;
     for (sc1 = s1; *sc1 != '\0'; sc1++)
         if (strchr(s2, *sc1) != NULL)
             return (sc1 - s1);
     return sc1 - s1;            /* terminating nulls match */
 }
 #include <string.h>
 /* strpbrk */
 char *(strpbrk)(const char *s1, const char *s2)
 {
     const char *sc1;
     for (sc1 = s1; *sc1 != '\0'; sc1++)
         if (strchr(s2, *sc1) != NULL)
             return (char *)sc1;
     return NULL;                /* terminating nulls match */
 }
 #include <string.h>
 /* strspn */
 size_t (strspn)(const char *s1, const char *s2)
 {
     const char *sc1;
     for (sc1 = s1; *sc1 != '\0'; sc1++)
         if (strchr(s2, *sc1) == NULL)
             return (sc1 - s1);
     return sc1 - s1;            /* terminating nulls don't match */
 }
The strstr function[edit]

char *strstr(const char *haystack, const char *needle);

The strstr() function shall locate the first occurrence in the string pointed to by haystack of the sequence of bytes (excluding the terminating null byte) in the string pointed to by needle. The function returns the pointer to the matching string in haystack or a null pointer if a match is not found. If needle is an empty string, the function returns haystack.

The following is a public-domain implementation of strstr:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strstr */
 char *(strstr)(const char *haystack, const char *needle)
 {
     size_t needlelen;
     /* Check for the null needle case.  */
     if (*needle == '\0')
         return (char *) haystack;
     needlelen = strlen(needle);
     for (; (haystack = strchr(haystack, *needle)) != NULL; haystack++)
         if (strncmp(haystack, needle, needlelen) == 0)
             return (char *) haystack;
     return NULL;
 }
The strtok function[edit]

char *strtok(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict delimiters);

A sequence of calls to strtok() breaks the string pointed to by s1 into a sequence of tokens, each of which is delimited by a byte from the string pointed to by delimiters. The first call in the sequence has s1 as its first argument, and is followed by calls with a null pointer as their first argument. The separator string pointed to by delimiters may be different from call to call.

The first call in the sequence searches the string pointed to by s1 for the first byte that is not contained in the current separator string pointed to by delimiters. If no such byte is found, then there are no tokens in the string pointed to by s1 and strtok() shall return a null pointer. If such a byte is found, it is the start of the first token.

The strtok() function then searches from there for a byte (or multiple, consecutive bytes) that is contained in the current separator string. If no such byte is found, the current token extends to the end of the string pointed to by s1, and subsequent searches for a token shall return a null pointer. If such a byte is found, it is overwritten by a null byte, which terminates the current token. The strtok() function saves a pointer to the following byte, from which the next search for a token shall start.

Each subsequent call, with a null pointer as the value of the first argument, starts searching from the saved pointer and behaves as described above.

The strtok() function need not be reentrant. A function that is not required to be reentrant is not required to be thread-safe.

Because the strtok() function must save state between calls, and you could not have two tokenizers going at the same time, the Single Unix Standard defined a similar function, strtok_r(), that does not need to save state. Its prototype is this:

char *strtok_r(char *s, const char *delimiters, char **lasts);

The strtok_r() function considers the null-terminated string s as a sequence of zero or more text tokens separated by spans of one or more characters from the separator string delimiters. The argument lasts points to a user-provided pointer which points to stored information necessary for strtok_r() to continue scanning the same string.

In the first call to strtok_r(), s points to a null-terminated string, delimiters to a null-terminated string of separator characters, and the value pointed to by lasts is ignored. The strtok_r() function shall return a pointer to the first character of the first token, write a null character into s immediately following the returned token, and update the pointer to which lasts points.

In subsequent calls, s is a null pointer and lasts shall be unchanged from the previous call so that subsequent calls shall move through the string s, returning successive tokens until no tokens remain. The separator string delimiters may be different from call to call. When no token remains in s, a NULL pointer shall be returned.

The following public-domain code for strtok and strtok_r codes the former as a special case of the latter:

 #include <string.h>
 /* strtok_r */
 char *(strtok_r)(char *s, const char *delimiters, char **lasts)
 {
     char *sbegin, *send;
     sbegin = s ? s : *lasts;
     sbegin += strspn(sbegin, delimiters);
     if (*sbegin == '\0') {
         *lasts = "";
         return NULL;
     }
     send = sbegin + strcspn(sbegin, delimiters);
     if (*send != '\0')
         *send++ = '\0';
     *lasts = send;
     return sbegin;
 }
 /* strtok */
 char *(strtok)(char *restrict s1, const char *restrict delimiters)
 {
     static char *ssave = "";
     return strtok_r(s1, delimiters, &ssave);
 }

Miscellaneous functions[edit]

These functions do not fit into one of the above categories.

The memset function[edit]

void *memset(void *s, int c, size_t n);

The memset() function converts c into unsigned char, then stores the character into the first n bytes of memory pointed to by s.

The following is a public-domain implementation of memset:

 #include <string.h>
 /* memset */
 void *(memset)(void *s, int c, size_t n)
 {
     unsigned char *us = s;
     unsigned char uc = c;
     while (n-- != 0)
         *us++ = uc;
     return s;
 }
The strerror function[edit]

char *strerror(int errorcode);

This function returns a locale-specific error message corresponding to the parameter. Depending on the circumstances, this function could be trivial to implement, but this author will not do that as it varies.

The Single Unix System Version 3 has a variant, strerror_r, with this prototype:

int strerror_r(int errcode, char *buf, size_t buflen);

This function stores the message in buf, which has a length of size buflen.

Examples[edit]

To determine the number of characters in a string, the strlen() function is used:

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <string.h>
    ...
    int length, length2;
    char *turkey;
    static char *flower= "begonia";
    static char *gemstone="ruby ";
 
    length = strlen(flower);
    printf("Length = %d\n", length); // prints 'Length = 7'
    length2 = strlen(gemstone);
 
    turkey = malloc( length + length2 + 1);
    if (turkey) {
      strcpy( turkey, gemstone);
      strcat( turkey, flower);
      printf( "%s\n", turkey); // prints 'ruby begonia'
      free( turkey );
    }

Note that the amount of memory allocated for 'turkey' is one plus the sum of the lengths of the strings to be concatenated. This is for the terminating null character, which is not counted in the lengths of the strings.

Exercises[edit]

  1. The string functions use a lot of looping constructs. Is there some way to portably unravel the loops?
  2. What functions are possibly missing from the library as it stands now?

Further reading[edit]

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