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  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
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pointer does not get assigned...


I do:

char str[10]="abcd";
char *sptr = str;


This works...


char *sptr = "abcd";
printf("%s\n", sptr[2]);   //This works

sptr[2] = 'p';

This does not work...

I don't get the difference between these 2... they both are pointers and are pointing to a string...

can someone throw some light on this....

3 Solutions
Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
printf("%s\n", sptr[2]);   //This works

This wouldn't work since printf() is expecting a string and you pass it a character

sptr[2] = 'p';
This may produce a violation because sptr is pointing to a constant string when you declared:
char *sptr = "abcd";
AFAIK, (or atleast how C++ handles char strings)

when u say
char str[10] = "abcd" ;

A char string of 10 locations is allocated, string abcd is copied into that location
Apart from this, since "abcd" is a string literal,  a separate constant memory is created
Thus, initially, this constant memory is created and then its contents are copied in your str of 10 locations

Thus, sting str itself is not a constant location.
Hence can be changed

Now, when  u say
char *str = "abcd" ;

str is just a pointer pointing to the constant string.
Hence when u try to modiy this location, u get a runtime error because u are modifying a conatnt location

srinivas_vemlaAuthor Commented:
Thanks jaime,

Yeah, that was a typo on the printf() line...

So, do you mean that since I assigned sptr to "abcd", I cannot change a single character in it again?... But how come I can change if I declare the string like:

char s[] = "abcd";
s[2] = 'p';  //This works
I don't get the difference clearly...

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As I said earlier
When u declare
char s[] = "abcd"

There r 2 steps

1. COnstat string allocation in memmory
2. COpying of this string char-by-char into s (a separarte memory location which is not const)

Thus, u can change s but not the other one

>>char s[] = "abcd";

In above code s is not pointing to a string literal.  The compiler will allocate memory the size of the string literal, and then copy the contents in the string literal into s

So 's' can be modified, since it's not pointing to a string literal.

char *x = "abcd";

In above line, x is pointing to a string literal.  Changing a string literal is considered undefined behavior according to both C and C++ standards.

Some compilers will let you change it, and some compilers will put the string literal in constant memory, and therefore you'll get a run time error.
When declaring a pointer that points to a string literal, you should always declare it constant, so you can avoid accidently modifying it.

const char* x = "abcd";
srinivas_vemlaAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys,

That makes it clear...

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