mahesh mahesh - 2 months ago 8
C Question

how does array[100] = {0} set the entire array to 0?

How does the compiler fill values in

char array[100] = {0};
? What's the magic behind it?

I wanted to know how internally compiler initializes.

Answer

It's not magic.

The behavior of this code in C is described in section 6.7.8.21 of the C specification (online draft of C spec): for the elements that don't have a specified value, the compiler initializes pointers to NULL and arithmetic types to zero (and recursively applies this to aggregates).

The behavior of this code in C++ is described in section 8.5.1.7 of the C++ specification (online draft of C++ spec): the compiler aggregate-initializes the elements that don't have a specified value.

Also, note that in C++ (but not C), you can use an empty initializer list, causing the compiler to aggregate-initialize all of the elements of the array:

char array[100] = {};

As for what sort of code the compiler might generate when you do this, take a look at this question: Strange assembly from array 0-initialization

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