Understanding and Using C Pointers

Understanding and Using C PointersFree Download Understanding and Using C Pointers (Core Techniques for Memory Management) Book in PDF written by Richard Reese and Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc.

C is an important language and has had extensive treatment over the years. Central to the language are pointers that provide much of the flexibility and power found in the language. It provides the mechanism to dynamically manipulate memory, enhances support for data structures, and enables access to hardware. This power and flexibility comes with a price: pointers can be difficult to master. Numerous books have been written about C. They usually offer a broad coverage of the language while addressing pointers only to the extent necessary for the topic at hand. Rarely do they venture beyond a basic treatment of pointers and most give only cursory coverage of the important memory management technology involving the stack and the heap. Yet without this discussion, only an incomplete understanding of pointers can be obtained. The stack and heap are areas of memory used to support functions and dynamic memory allocation, respectively.

Pointers are complex enough to deserve more in-depth treatment. This book provides that treatment by focusing on pointers to convey a deeper understanding of C. Part of this understanding requires a working knowledge of the program stack and heap along with the use of pointers in this context. Any area of knowledge can be understood at varying degrees, ranging from a cursory overview to an in-depth, intuitive understanding. That higher level of understanding for C can only be achieved with a solid understanding of pointers and the management of memory.

The C language is a block structured language whose procedural aspects are shared with most modern languages such as C++ and Java. They all use a program stack and heap. They all use pointers, which are often disguised as references. We assume that you have a minimal understanding of C. If you are learning C, then this book will provide you with a more comprehensive treatment of pointers and memory than is found in other books. It will expand your knowledge base regarding C and highlight unfamiliar aspects
of C. If you are a more experienced C or C++ programmer, this book will help you fill in possible gaps regarding C and will enhance your understanding of how they work “under the hood,” thus making you a better programmer. If you are a C# or Java developer, this book will help you better understand C and provide you with insight into how object-oriented languages deal with the stack and the heap.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Dynamic Memory Management in C
  3. Pointers and Functions
  4. Pointers and Arrays
  5. Pointers and Strings
  6. Pointers and Structures
  7. Security Issues and the Improper Use of Pointers
  8. Odds and Ends

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You may also like to download Advanced Topics in C


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