some algorithm

Hi experts,

int getdata(char *filename, ITEMS *items)
{
int i = 0;
char line [MAX_STR_LEN];
FILE *file_in;

if ( ( file_in = fopen (filename,"r")) == NULL) exit(EXIT_FAILURE);

 while ( fgets (line, MAX_LEN, file_in != NULL){

      sscanf (line,"%d %s", &item[i].number,item[i].string);
      i++;
 }
 return i;
}

Is this the best way to get data from a file ? How do I use malloc to replace MAX_STR_LEN so that I do not need to waste the space?
I would also like to do a timing algorithm to count the efficieny of my funtions, (eg sorting), how do I do that?
leeletirAsked:
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oldbConnect With a Mentor Commented:
/* nel is the number of elements */
ITEMS *getdata(char *filename){

int num,nel;
char word[MAX_STR_LEN];
FILE *file_in;
ITEMS *items;

if ( (file_in = fopen(filename,'r')) == NULL)
               error;

while ( !feof(file_in)){

         fscanf(file_in ,"%d %s" , &num,word);
         (items+nel)->string = malloc(sizeof(char)*strlen(word) );
          items = realloc( items, sizeof(ITEMS)*(nel+1) );

          (items+nel)->number = num;
          strcpy((items+nel)->string, word);
          nel++;
           }

fclose(file_in);
return items;
}
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_TAD_Commented:


I think that your best bet is to ask this question in the C++ or C forum.  C# would only use pointers in "unsafe" code, and that would be inefficient to do a simple task like opening a file.
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ptmcompCommented:
Yes, your code looks like C++
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almurrayCommented:
Hi leeletir,
Before using malloc - be sure you know why you want it. It is trickier to work with than static allocation. Static memory allocation, as you have it, is fine. But if you need dynamic allocation you can use malloc to allocate memory as you require it and then free the memory at the appropriate place. I have given examples of both C (malloc and free) and C++ (new and delete) memory allocation.

use 'malloc' and 'free' if you are working in a C environement
========================================

char *line;
line= (char*)malloc(MAX_STR_LEN);

***** IMPORTANT NOTE ******
Be sure to free your memory as follows when you are finished using it otherwise you will get a memory leak, which can cause your program to crash.

free(line);
------------------------------------------------------------------------

use 'new'and 'delete' if you are working in a C++ environement
========================================

char *line;
line= new char[MAX_STR_LEN];      

now use 'line' here until you are finsihed and only thne  can you free your memory
***** IMPORTANT NOTE ******
Be sure to delete your memory as follows when you are finished using it otherwise you will get a memory leak, which can cause your program to crash.

delete [] line;
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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waysideCommented:
If your choice is between

char line[MAX_STR_LEN];

and

char *line = new char[MAX_STR_LEN];

it doesn't really matter, both use the same amount of memory. The difference is that one is on the stack and the other isn't.

If MAX_STR_LEN is small ( < 100,000, say) I wouldn't worry about wasting memory unless you have really restrictive requirements.

Could the string portion have spaces in it? If so, instead of

     sscanf (line,"%d %s", &item[i].number,item[i].string);
 
you might want to use something like

     sscanf (line,"%d %[^\r\n]", &item[i].number,item[i].string);
 
which will scan to the end of the line, rather than until the first space

> otherwise you will get a memory leak, which can cause your program to crash.

I don't see how a leak could cause a crash, unless you leak so much you run out of memory.
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almurrayCommented:
The above example could cause a crash if the memory allocation is placed inside the while loop and never freed.

As memory allocation is a tricky area for newcommers to it, it is worthwhile pointing out the potential pitfalls. A worthwhile excercise for newcomers to dynamic memory allocation is to experiment a bit in a small program to get a feel for how it should and shouldn't be used. It may be even worthwhile to cause the program to crash to see it's effect, and then to try to rectify the problem.
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MafaldaCommented:
It looks like a C environment to me.
In C++ you better use streams ifstream or fstream.
In C++ it would be wiser to pass objects (like ITEMS) as reference and use stl containers like string dor the filename and map for the ITEMS.
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