Mr Morgan Mr Morgan -4 years ago 91
C Question

What is happening in this C code when return is called?

This may seem a crass question but it is important. Can anyone tell me what is happening in this C code and what is the value of n when it returns?

MAX_BUFFER is set to 256. I am especially interested in variable n when it is returned.

int getinteger(void) {
char buff[MAX_BUFFER];
int i;
int n;
/* Strip leading comments and blank lines */
do {
fgets(buff, sizeof (buff), stdin);
i = strspn(buff, " ");
} while (buff[i] == '#' || buff[i] == '\n');
if (sscanf(buff + i, "%d", &n) != 1) {
fatal("Getinteger error (%s)", buff);
return n;

When called a value of -2 is returned. I do not understand why.

Answer Source

The value of n will depend on the input.

It basically reads lines, until it finds one that doesn't start with # or is blank. Leading spaces are ignored, that's what the call to strspn() does.

Once such a non-empty line is found, it is expected to contain a decimal integer, which is converted (using sscanf() and stored in the local variable n) and returned. If the conversion fails, an error is printed.

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