Wednesday, December 5, 2007

C Interview Questions And Answers- 13

What is an argument ? differentiate between formal arguments and actual arguments?
An argument is an entity used to pass the data from calling function to the called function. Formal arguments are the arguments available in the function definition. They are preceded by their own data types. Actual arguments are available in the function call.

What are advantages and disadvantages of external storage class?
Advantages of external storage class
1)Persistent storage of a variable retains the latest value
2)The value is globally available
Disadvantages of external storage class
1)The storage for an external variable exists even when the variable is not needed
2)The side effect may produce surprising output
3)Modification of the program is difficult
4)Generality of a program is affected

What is a void pointer?
A void pointer is a C convention for a raw address. The compiler has no idea what type of object a void Pointer really points to. If you write
int *ip;
ip points to an int. If you write
void *p;
p doesn’t point to a void!
In C and C++, any time you need a void pointer, you can use another pointer type. For example, if you have a char*, you can pass it to a function that expects a void*. You don’t even need to cast it. In C (but not in C++), you can use a void* any time you need any kind of pointer, without casting. (In C++, you need to cast it).
A void pointer is used for working with raw memory or for passing a pointer to an unspecified type.
Some C code operates on raw memory. When C was first invented, character pointers (char *) were used for that. Then people started getting confused about when a character pointer was a string, when it was a character array, and when it was raw memory.

How can type-insensitive macros be created?

A type-insensitive macro is a macro that performs the same basic operation on different data types.
This task can be accomplished by using the concatenation operator to create a call to a type-sensitive function based on the parameter passed to the macro. The following program provides an example:
#define SORT(data_type) sort_ ## data_type
void sort_int(int** i);
void sort_long(long** l);
void sort_float(float** f);
void sort_string(char** s);
void main(void);

void main(void)
int** ip;
long** lp;
float** fp;
char** cp;

This program contains four functions to sort four different data types: int, long, float, and string (notice that only the function prototypes are included for brevity). A macro named SORT was created to take the data type passed to the macro and combine it with the sort_ string to form a valid function call that is appropriate for the data type being sorted. Thus, the string
translates into
after being run through the preprocessor.

When should a type cast not be used?

A type cast should not be used to override a const or volatile declaration. Overriding these type modifiers can cause the program to fail to run correctly.
A type cast should not be used to turn a pointer to one type of structure or data type into another. In the rare events in which this action is beneficial, using a union to hold the values makes the programmer’s intentions clearer.

When is a switch statement better than multiple if statements?
A switch statement is generally best to use when you have more than two conditional expressions based on a single variable of numeric type.

What is storage class and what are storage variable ?
A storage class is an attribute that changes the behavior of a variable. It controls the lifetime, scope and linkage.
There are five types of storage classes
1) auto
2) static
3) extern
4) register
5) typedef

What is a static function?
A static function is a function whose scope is limited to the current source file. Scope refers to the visibility of a function or variable. If the function or variable is visible outside of the current source file, it is said to have global, or external, scope. If the function or variable is not visible outside of the current source file, it is said to have local, or static, scope.

How can I sort things that are too large to bring into memory?
A sorting program that sorts items that are on secondary storage (disk or tape) rather than primary storage (memory) is called an external sort. Exactly how to sort large data depends on what is meant by too large to fit in memory. If the items to be sorted are themselves too large to fit in memory (such as images), but there aren’t many items, you can keep in memory only the sort key and a value indicating the data’s location on disk. After the key/value pairs are sorted, the data is rearranged on disk into the correct order. If too large to fit in memory means that there are too many items to fit into memory at one time, the data can be sorted in groups that will fit into memory, and then the resulting files can be merged. A sort such as a radix sort can also be used as an external sort, by making each bucket in the sort a file. Even the quick sort can be an external sort. The data can be partitioned by writing it to two smaller files. When the partitions are small enough to fit, they are sorted in memory and concatenated to form the sorted file.

What is a pointer variable?
A pointer variable is a variable that may contain the address of another variable or any valid address in the memory.

What is a pointer value and address?
A pointer value is a data object that refers to a memory location. Each memory location is numbered in the memory. The number attached to a memory location is called the address of the location.

What is a modulus operator? What are the restrictions of a modulus operator?
A Modulus operator gives the remainder value. The result of x%y is obtained by (x-(x/y)*y). This operator is applied only to integral operands and cannot be applied to float or double.

Differentiate between a linker and linkage?
A linker converts an object code into an executable code by linking together the necessary build in functions. The form and place of declaration where the variable is declared in a program determine the linkage of variable.

What is a function and built-in function?
A large program is subdivided into a number of smaller programs or subprograms. Each subprogram specifies one or more actions to be performed for a large program. such subprograms are functions.
The function supports only static and extern storage classes. By default, function assumes extern storage class. functions have global scope. Only register or auto storage class is allowed in the function parameters. Built-in functions that predefined and supplied along with the compiler are known as built-in functions. They are also known as library functions.

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