Wednesday, December 5, 2007

C Interview Questions And Answers- 12

What is modular programming?
If a program is large, it is subdivided into a number of smaller programs that are called modules or subprograms. If a complex problem is solved using more modules, this approach is known as modular programming.

How can you determine the maximum value that a numeric variable can hold?
For integral types, on a machine that uses two’s complement arithmetic (which is just about any machine you’re likely to use), a signed type can hold numbers from 2(number of bits 1) to +2(number of bits 1) 1. An unsigned type can hold values from 0 to +2(number of bits) 1. For instance, a 16-bit signed integer can hold numbers from 2^15 (32768) to +2^15 1 (32767).

How can you determine the maximum value that a numeric variable can hold?
How reliable are floating-point comparisons? Floating-point numbers are the black art of computer programming. One reason why this is so is that there is no optimal way to represent an arbitrary number. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has developed a standard for the representation of floating-point numbers, but you cannot guarantee that every machine you use will conform to the standard.
Even if your machine does conform to the standard, there are deeper issues. It can be shown mathematically that there are an infinite number of real numbers between any two numbers. For the computer to distinguish between two numbers, the bits that represent them must differ. To represent an infinite number of different bit patterns would take an infinite number of bits. Because the computer must represent a large range of numbers in a small number of bits (usually 32 to 64 bits), it has to make approximate representations of most numbers.
Because floating-point numbers are so tricky to deal with, it’s generally bad practice to compare a floating-point number for equality with anything. Inequalities are much safer.

How can you determine the maximum value that a numeric variable can hold?
Which expression always return true? Which always return false? expression if (a=0) always return false
expression if (a=1) always return true

How many levels deep can include files be nested?

Even though there is no limit to the number of levels of nested include files you can have, your compiler might run out of stack space while trying to include an inordinately high number of files. This number varies according to your hardware configuration and possibly your compiler.

What is the difference between declaring a variable and defining a variable?
Declaring a variable means describing its type to the compiler but not allocating any space for it. Defining a variable means declaring it and also allocating space to hold the variable. You can also initialize a variable at the time it is defined.

How can I make sure that my program is the only one accessing a file?
By using the sopen() function you can open a file in shared mode and explicitly deny reading and writing permissions to any other program but yours. This task is accomplished by using the SH_DENYWR shared flag to denote that your program is going to deny any writing or reading attempts by other programs.
For example, the following snippet of code shows a file being opened in shared mode, denying access to all other files:
/* Note that the sopen() function is not ANSI compliant... */ fileHandle = sopen(“C:DATASETUP.DAT”, O_RDWR, SH_DENYWR);
By issuing this statement, all other programs are denied access to the SETUP.DAT file. If another program were to try to open SETUP.DAT for reading or writing, it would receive an EACCES error code, denoting that access is denied to the file.

How can I sort a linked list?
Both the merge sort and the radix sort are good sorting algorithms to use for linked lists.

Is it better to use malloc() or calloc()?
Both the malloc() and the calloc() functions are used to allocate dynamic memory. Each operates slightly different from the other. malloc() takes a size and returns a pointer to a chunk of memory at least that big:
void *malloc( size_t size );
calloc() takes a number of elements, and the size of each, and returns a pointer to a chunk of memory at least big enough to hold them all:
void *calloc( size_t numElements, size_t sizeOfElement );
There’s one major difference and one minor difference between the two functions. The major difference is that malloc() doesn’t initialize the allocated memory. The first time malloc() gives you a particular chunk of memory, the memory might be full of zeros. If memory has been allocated, freed, and reallocated, it probably has whatever junk was left in it. That means, unfortunately, that a program might run in simple cases (when memory is never reallocated) but break when used harder (and when memory is reused). calloc() fills the allocated memory with all zero bits. That means that anything there you’re going to use as a char or an int of any length, signed or unsigned, is guaranteed to be zero. Anything you’re going to use as a pointer is set to all zero bits. That’s usually a null pointer, but it’s not guaranteed.Anything you’re going to use as a float or double is set to all zero bits; that’s a floating-point zero on some types of machines, but not on all.
The minor difference between the two is that calloc() returns an array of objects; malloc() returns one object. Some people use calloc() to make clear that they want an array.

What does it mean when a pointer is used in an if statement?
Any time a pointer is used as a condition, it means “Is this a non-null pointer?” A pointer can be used in an if, while, for, or do/while statement, or in a conditional expression.

Array is an lvalue or not?

An lvalue was defined as an expression to which a value can be assigned. Is an array an expression to which we can assign a value? The answer to this question is no, because an array is composed of several separate array elements that cannot be treated as a whole for assignment purposes.
The following statement is therefore illegal:
int x[5], y[5]; x = y;
Additionally, you might want to copy the whole array all at once. You can do so using a library function such as the memcpy() function, which is shown here:
memcpy(x, y, sizeof(y));
It should be noted here that unlike arrays, structures can be treated as lvalues. Thus, you can assign one structure variable to another structure variable of the same type, such as this:
typedef struct t_name
char last_name[25];
char first_name[15];
char middle_init[2];
NAME my_name, your_name;
your_name = my_name;

What is an lvalue?
An lvalue is an expression to which a value can be assigned. The lvalue expression is located on the left side of an assignment statement, whereas an rvalue is located on the right side of an assignment statement. Each assignment statement must have an lvalue and an rvalue. The lvalue expression must reference a storable variable in memory. It cannot be a constant.

Diffenentiate between an internal static and external static variable?
An internal static variable is declared inside a block with static storage class whereas an external static variable is declared outside all the blocks in a file.An internal static variable has persistent storage,block scope and no linkage.An external static variable has permanent storage,file scope and internal linkage.

What is the difference between a string and an array?
An array is an array of anything. A string is a specific kind of an array with a well-known convention to determine its length.
There are two kinds of programming languages: those in which a string is just an array of characters, and those in which it’s a special type. In C, a string is just an array of characters (type char), with one wrinkle: a C string always ends with a NUL character. The “value” of an array is the same as the address of (or a pointer to) the first element; so, frequently, a C string and a pointer to char are used to mean the same thing.
An array can be any length. If it’s passed to a function, there’s no way the function can tell how long the array is supposed to be, unless some convention is used. The convention for strings is NUL termination; the last character is an ASCII NUL (‘’) character.

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