Passing string to a function in C – with or without pointers?

Passing string to a function in C – with or without pointers?

The accepted convention of passing C-strings to functions is to use a pointer:

void function(char* name)

When the function modifies the string you should also pass in the length:

void function(char* name, size_t name_length)

Your first example:

char *functionname(char *name[256])

passes an array of pointers to strings which is not what you need at all.

Your second example:

char functionname(char name[256])

passes an array of chars. The size of the array here doesnt matter and the parameter will decay to a pointer anyway, so this is equivalent to:

char functionname(char *name)

See also this question for more details on array arguments in C.

Assuming that you meant to write

char *functionname(char *string[256])

Here you are declaring a function that takes an array of 256 pointers to char as argument and returns a pointer to char. Here, on the other hand,

char functionname(char string[256])

You are declaring a function that takes an array of 256 chars as argument and returns a char.

In other words the first function takes an array of strings and returns a string, while the second takes a string and returns a character.

Passing string to a function in C – with or without pointers?

An array is a pointer. It points to the start of a sequence of objects.

If we do this: ├Čnt arr[10];, then arr is a pointer to a memory location, from which ten integers follow. They are uninitialised, but the memory is allocated. It is exactly the same as doing int *arr = new int[10];.

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