October 12, 2018

Sreekanth B

Convergys Most Frequently Asked C Language Interview Questions Answers

Why Should I Prototype A Function?

A function prototype tells the compiler what kind of arguments a function is looking to receive and what kind of return value a function is going to give back. This approach helps the compiler ensure that calls to a function are made correctly and that no erroneous type conversions are taking place.

How Do You Print An Address?

The safest way is to use printf () (or fprintf() or sprintf()) with the %P specification. That prints a void pointer (void*). Different compilers might print a pointer with different formats. Your compiler will pick a format that’s right for your environment.

If you have some other kind of pointer (not a void*) and you want to be very safe, cast the pointer to a void*

printf (“%Pn”, (void*) buffer);

Can Math Operations Be Performed On A Void Pointer?

No. Pointer addition and subtraction are based on advancing the pointer by a number of elements. By definition, if you have a void pointer, you don’t know what it’s pointing to, so you don’t know the size of what it’s pointing to. If you want pointer arithmetic to work on raw addresses, use character pointers.
Convergys Most Frequently Asked C Language Interview Questions Answers
Convergys Most Frequently Asked C Language Interview Questions Answers

How Can You Determine The Size Of An Allocated Portion Of Memory?

You can’t, really free() can , but there’s no way for your program to know the trick free() uses. Even if you disassemble the library and discover the trick, there’s no guarantee the trick won’t change with the next release of the compiler.

What Is A "null Pointer Assignment" Error? What Are Bus Errors, Memory Faults, And Core Dumps?

These are all serious errors, symptoms of a wild pointer or subscript. Null pointer assignment is a message you might get when an MS-DOS program finishes executing. Some such programs can arrange for a small amount of memory to be available “where the NULL pointer points to” (so to speak). If the program tries to write to that area, it will overwrite the data put there by the compiler. When the program is done, code generated by the compiler examines that area. If that data has been changed, the compiler-generated code complains with null pointer assignment.

This message carries only enough information to get you worried. There’s no way to tell, just from a null pointer assignment message, what part of your program is responsible for the error. Some debuggers, and some compilers, can give you more help in finding the problem. Bus error: core dumped and Memory fault: core dumped are messages you might see from a program running under UNIX. They’re more programmers friendly. Both mean that a pointer or an array subscript was wildly out of bounds. You can get these messages on a read or on a write. They aren’t restricted to null pointer problems.

The core dumped part of the message is telling you about a file, called core that has just been written in your current directory. This is a dump of everything on the stack and in the heap at the time the program was running. With the help of a debugger, you can use the core dump to find where the bad pointer was used. That might not tell you why the pointer was bad, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you don’t have write permission in the current directory, you won’t get a core file, or the core dumped message.

What Is The Heap?

The heap is where malloc(), calloc(), and realloc() get memory.

Getting memory from the heap is much slower than getting it from the stack. On the other hand, the heap is much more flexible than the stack. Memory can be allocated at any time and deallocated in any order. Such memory isn’t deallocated automatically; you have to call free ().

Recursive data structures are almost always implemented with memory from the heap. Strings often come from there too, especially strings that could be very long at runtime. If you can keep data in a local variable (and allocate it from the stack), your code will run faster than if you put the data on the heap. Sometimes you can use a better algorithm if you use the heap—faster, or more robust, or more flexible. It’s a tradeoff.

If memory is allocated from the heap, it’s available until the program ends. That’s great if you remember to deallocate it when you’re done. If you forget, it’s a problem. A “memory leak” is some allocated memory that’s no longer needed but isn’t deallocated. If you have a memory leak inside a loop, you can use up all the memory on the heap and not be able to get any more. (When that happens, the allocation functions return a null pointer.) In some environments, if a program doesn’t deallocate everything it allocated, memory stays unavailable even after the program ends.

Difference Between Null And Nul?

NULL is a macro defined in for the null pointer. NUL is the name of the first character in the ASCII character set. It corresponds to a zero value. There’s no standard macro NUL in C, but some people like to define it.

The digit 0 corresponds to a value of 80, decimal. Don’t confuse the digit 0 with the value of ‘’ (NUL)!

NULL can be defined as ((void*)0), NUL as ‘  ’.

What Is The Stack?

The stack is where all the functions’ local (auto) variables are created. The stack also contains some information used to call and return from functions.

A “stack trace” is a list of which functions have been called, based on this information. When you start using a debugger, one of the first things you should learn is how to get a stack trace. The stack is very inflexible about allocating memory; everything must be deallocated in exactly the reverse order it was allocated in. For implementing function calls, that is all that’s needed. Allocating memory off the stack is extremely efficient. One of the reasons C compilers generate such good code is their heavy use of a simple stack.

There used to be a C function that any programmer could use for allocating memory off the stack. The memory was automatically deallocated when the calling function returned. This was a dangerous function to call; it’s not available anymore.

When Should A Far Pointer Be Used?

Sometimes you can get away with using a small memory model in most of a given program. There might be just a few things that don’t fit in your small data and code segments. When that happens, you can use explicit far pointers and function declarations to get at the rest of memory. A far function can be outside the 64KB segment most functions are shoehorned into for a small-code model. (Often, libraries are declared explicitly far, so they’ll work no matter what code model the program uses.)

A far pointer can refer to information outside the 64KB data segment. Typically, such pointers are used with farmalloc () and such, to manage a heap separate from where all the rest of the data lives. If you use a small-data, large-code model, you should explicitly make your function pointers far.

Differentiate Between Far And Near?

Some compilers for PC compatibles use two types of pointers. Near pointers are 16 bits long and can address a 64KB range. far pointers are 32 bits long and can address a 1MB range.

Near pointers operate within a 64KB segment. There’s one segment for function addresses and one segment for data. far pointers have a 16-bit base (the segment address) and a 16-bit offset. The base is multiplied by 16, so a far pointer is effectively 20 bits long. Before you compile your code, you must tell the compiler which memory model to use. If you use a small code memory model, near pointers are used by default for function addresses.

That means that all the functions need to fit in one 64KB segment. With a large-code model, the default is to use far function addresses. You’ll get near pointers with a small data model, and far pointers with a large data model. These are just the defaults; you can declare variables and functions as explicitly near or far.

Far pointers are a little slower. Whenever one is used, the code or data segment register needs to be swapped out. Far pointers also have odd semantics for arithmetic and comparison. For example, the two far pointers in the preceding example point to the same address, but they would compare as different! If your program fits in a small-data, small-code memory model, your life will be easier.

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