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scanf scan fields

Posted on 1998-08-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-15
1. What is the correct syntax of the scan field for scanning all characters that are NOT an open-bracket character ('[')? Is there any documentation about how to use the '[' character within the delimiter brackets of scanf?

2. I'd like to scan a line and read into a string, from the first bracket-open char to the first bracket-close (including the brackets). How can this be done with a single sscanf call?
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Question by:gil_mo
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by:Norbert
ID: 1252107
As I know there is no chance to use scanf for that but here is a little bit code that does the work

char* Extract(char* CompleteString)
{
     char *Start,*Stop,*Result;
     int length;
     Start=strchr(CompleteString.'[');
     if(!Start)
     {
           printf("no \"[ \" within the string %s",CompleteString);
           return NULL;
      }  
      else
      {
            Stop=strchr(CompleteString.']');
           if(!Stop)
           {
                  printf("no \"] \" within the string %s",CompleteString);
                 return NULL;
            }  
      }
      length=Stop-Start;
      result=(char*)malloc(length);
      strncpy
      for(i=0;i<length;i++)
      {
          result[i]=Start[i];
      }
      return result;
}
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Author Comment

by:gil_mo
ID: 1252108
Norbert, thanks so much for your effort in supplying the code.
However, I am looking for EXACT answers to both (1) and (2), not ANYTHING else.
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by:bernfarr
ID: 1252109
I think this is reasonably well documented in the book:
  C: A Reference Manual
  Samuel Harbison and Guy Steele
(this is the C Bible as far as I'm concerned)

Given that you can read a single [ character with "%[[]", have you tried "%[^[]" as a way of reading any character that is not a [ ?

I think your second part can be solved by reading three strings and combining them following the scanf call.  Something like:
  char sz1[8], sz2[300], sz3[8];
  char szAll[316];

  scanf( "%[[]%[^]]%[]]", sz1, sz2, sz3 );
  sprintf( szAll, "%s%s%s", sz1, sz2, sz3 );

The sprintf() is expensive, you could strcpy and strcat the strings instead.
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Expert Comment

by:bernfarr
ID: 1252110
gil_mo did what I suggest cover it or not?
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Expert Comment

by:newexpert
ID: 1252111
How about
#define MAX_CHARS_PER_LINE (number here)

fgets(line, MAX_CHARS_PER_LINE, stdin);
sscanf(line, " %*[[]%[^]]%*[]] ", your_string);

/* in the sscanf string.  the first space tells scanf to ignore any white space (\n, space, tab).  %*[[] read and discard [.
%[^]] read until ] is reached (not read though).  %*[]] read and discard ], and now you have your_string. */
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Author Comment

by:gil_mo
ID: 1252112
bernfar, newexpert:
Your suggested format string would not work for lines like:
" abc [[WSA ] " .  The expected output of such a line is:
"[[WSA ]"  (Please read my question carefully!)

I guess that reading once into a string would not be possible.
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Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 1252113
sscanf(" abc [[WSA ] ","%*[^[]%[^]]%[]]",sz1,sz2);
printf("%s%s\n",sz1,sz2);
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Author Comment

by:gil_mo
ID: 1252114
ozo, that would scan all closing brackets. I would replace the last format specifier with "%*c" to skip the first closing bracket and then concatenate the sz1 with "]".

bernfarr, since you had answered the question about the syntax, I'd accept this answer again (drop the second part).
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by:ozo
ID: 1252115
sscanf(" abc [[WSA ]] ","%*[^[]%[^]]%1[]]",sz1,sz2)
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Accepted Solution

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bernfarr earned 20 total points
ID: 1252116
gil_mo

Here's that first part again, as an answer. Sorry I didn't have time to experiment with the scanf to give a better answer to the second part.

I think this is reasonably well documented in the book:
  C: A Reference Manual
  Samuel Harbison and Guy Steele
(this is the C Bible as far as I'm concerned)

Given that you can read a single [ character with "%[[]", have you tried "%[^[]" as a way of reading any character that is not a [ ?

Bernard
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