TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Pascal/C II
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:1
Column Tag:Pascal/C workshop

The Pascal Programmer’s Guide
To Understanding ‘C’

Teach yourself to read another language - Part II

By Ken Gladstone, MacTech Magazine Technical Editor

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

This article is the second half of my Pascal Programmer’s Guide to Understanding “C”. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read the first half, which appeared in our December 1993 issue - otherwise you will probably be thoroughly confused by this half! That first half covered the following “C” concepts: comments, identifiers, operators, constants, program structure, and variable declarations and scope. So, let’s continue

PARAMETER PASSING

One key difference between C and Pascal is that C always passes parameters by value, never by reference. Therefore, you may be wondering how a C function can ever modify a passed in parameter. It can’t - but you can accomplish the same thing by passing a pointer to the value you wish to modify, and having the function modify the pointed to value. Here is an example:

/* 1 */
/************************ C Version *************************/

void doubleIt( int * pointerToIntParam )
{
  (*pointerToIntParam) *= 2;
}

int main()
{
  int myInt = 3;

  doubleIt( & myInt );

  return myInt;
}

/******************** End of C Version **********************/

(********************* Pascal Version ***********************)
program myProgram;
  var
    myInt: INTEGER;

  procedure doubleIt( var IntParam: INTEGER );
  BEGIN
    IntParam := IntParam * 2
  END;

BEGIN
  myInt := 3;

  doubleIt( myInt )
END.

(****************** End of Pascal Version *******************)

OLD VERSUS NEW FUNCTION DECLARATIONS

So far, I’ve been showing functions as follows:

int MyFunc( int a, char b, float c )
{
  /* Code goes here */
}

This way of writing functions is an ANSI extension that allows C to perform parameter type checking when calling a function. Things weren’t always so nice. In the original K&R C, functions were written as follows:

int MyFunc( a, b, c )
int a;
char b;
float c;
{
  /* Code goes here */
}

In original C compilers, when calling a function, there was no checking of parameter types, or often even of the number of parameters! In old C, you could write a call to a function before it had ever been defined, declared or mentioned in any way! Now, C compilers have much stronger type-checking. For example, Think C has a compiler option to require you to write a function prototype for every function.

FLOW CONTROL

So far, all of the examples that I’ve shown execute code sequentially - in fact, I’ve only shown declarations, assignment statements, function calls, and function return statements. Like Pascal, C has various loops and other constructs to control the flow of code. We’ll start with the while loop. The while loop in C is nearly identical to the one in Pascal, except that it needs parens around the test expression and it doesn’t have a DO keyword. Examples:

/* 2 */

while ( i < j ) i *= 2;   // First C example

while i < j DO i := i * 2;  {Pascal Equiv.}

while ( i < j )  // C example w/compound statement
{
  sysBeep( 1 );
  i *= 2;
}

while i < j DO   {Pascal Equiv.}
BEGIN
  sysBeep( 1 );
  i := i * 2
END

Next we have the C do statement. This is a loop with the test at the end of each iteration, like the Pascal REPEAT statement, but the sense of the while test at the end is the opposite of the Pascal UNTIL test. Unlike the Pascal version, the C version needs braces if the loop contains a compound statement. And again, the while condition needs parens. Example:

/* 3 */

do // C version
{
  sysBeep( x );
  ++ x;
}
while ( x != 10 );

REPEAT  {Pascal equiv.}
  sysBeep( x );
  x := x + 1
UNTIL x = 10;

Next we have the for loop.  The for loop in C is far more general than the one in Pascal. 
 It looks like this:

for ( expr1; expr2; expr3 )
  statement;

What it does is this: expr1 is an initialization that is performed before executing the loop for the first time. expr2 is a test that is performed before each iteration. As long as expr2 evaluates to non-zero, the looping continues. expr3 is a statement that is performed at the end of every iteration. C does not limit loops to simple count up and count down types. Any or all of the three expressions may be omitted, but the semicolons must remain. Any C for loop can be rewritten as follows:

/* 4 */

expr1;
while( expr2 )
{
  statement;
  expr3;
}
Example:

for ( i = 10; i != 0; --i ) // C example
  DoIt( i );

for ( i = 10; i; --i )    // An equivalent variation
  DoIt( i );

i = 10; // Another equivalent variation
while ( i )
{
  DoIt( i );// Could use pre or post decrement
  -- i;
}

i = 10; // Yet another equivalent variation
while ( i )
  DoIt( i-- );   // Must use post decrement

FOR i := 10 DOWNTO 0 DO   {Pascal equivalent}
 DoIt( i );

The C if statement is very similar to the Pascal version: The else clause is optional, and the statements can be either simple or compound. The only difference is that C needs parens around the expression, it doesn’t use the THEN keyword, and as always, every statement needs a semicolon. Example:

/* 5 */

if ( condition ) // C
  DoOneThing();
else
{
  DoAnother();
  AndAnother();
}

IF condition THEN {Pascal version}

/* 6 */

  DoOneThing
ELSE
BEGIN
  DoAnother;
  AndAnother
END

C has a case statement that is very similar to the Pascal version. An example should suffice:

/* 7 */

switch ( x )// C version
{
  case 1:
  case 2:
    DoTheOneOrTwoThing();
    break;  // Must explicitly leave each case
  case 3:
    DoTheThreeThing();
    AndTheOtherThreeThing();// Purposely fall through
  case 7:
    DoTheThreeAndSevenThing();
    break;
  default:
    DoTheDefaultThing();
}

CASE x OF { Pascal Version }

/* 8 */

  1, 2:  DoTheOneOrTwoThing;
  3:
    BEGIN
      DoTheThreeThing;
      AndTheOtherThreeThing;
      DoTheThreeAndSevenThing; { In Pascal, we need this twice }
    END;
  7:
      DoTheThreeAndSevenThing; {In Pascal, we need this twice}
  OTHERWISE DoTheDefaultThing
END

The previous example used the C break keyword. This keyword is like the Pascal Leave statement, and can be used to break out of the innermost while, do, for, or switch. C also has a continue keyword that like the Pascal Cycle statement. It skips to the next iteration of the innermost while, do or for loop.

Finally, C also has the dreaded goto statement (nothing seems to split programmers into warring factions as well as a goto statement does). Unlike in Pascal, you don’t declare labels in C, you just stick ‘em in the code, and they follow the same syntax as other identifiers. Example:

/* 9 */

{// C
  MyLabel:
    x := Function();
    if ( x == 10 ) goto MyLabel;
}

LABEL 333; { Pascal }
BEGIN   
  333: x = Function;
  IF x=10 THEN GOTO 333
END

LIBRARY FUNCTIONS

Standard C has oodles of library functions, such as malloc() and fread(), that you would use if you were programming on any computer unless you are programming on a Macintosh which you are. So for the most part, you will use calls like NewPtr() and FSRead() instead. You’ll need to look at your C compiler manual if you are interested in the standard C libraries.

STRINGS

Amazingly enough, standard C doesn’t really provide much built-in language support for strings. There are several standard C library functions that process strings, but no real string type or operators. C handles strings as simple arrays of the char type. In general, you would create a string in one of the following ways:

{
  char myString[100]; // 100 bytes of storage
  char Another[] = "LetTheCompilerCountTheSize";
  char * ptrToString;

  ptrToString = NewPtr( 100 );
}

C also has a different way of representing strings than the Pascal way. Instead of having a length byte followed by a number of characters, C starts immediately with characters, and the string is considered to continue until the occurrence of a zero byte. So this declaration:

char myString[] = "Foo";

creates four bytes of storage. It fills the first three with the word "Foo" and puts a zero byte in the fourth. This convention allows strings of arbitrary length.

This string representation doesn’t fit well with Pascal nor with the Mac toolbox, but don’t despair. C only uses this convention in two places: In string constants (like the "Foo" shown above) and in its library functions. The Mac solves the second problem by shunning the C library that is used by the rest of the world, in favor of its own toolbox. And the compilers on the Mac solve the first problem by introducing an ingenious extension, the \p escape sequence. Here is an example:

char pascalString[] = "\pFoo";

This causes the compiler to insert a Pascal-style length byte at the beginning of the string. It still generates a zero-byte at the end, however. So the above declaration would use five bytes: The first byte contains a 3 (for the Pascal length), the next three bytes contain the string, and the final byte contains the C-style zero byte. So pascalString can be used as a Pascal string, and (pascalString+1) or &pascalString[1] can be used as a C string.

THE PREPROCESSOR

C compilers include a preprocessor step that reads in the source file, expands macros, and then writes back a temporary file that is fed into the actual compiler. Keep in mind that preprocessor commands are purely compile-time, not run-time operations. They are similar to Pascal {$ } compiler directives. Instead of being embedded within comments, C preprocessor instructions begin with a number sign ‘#’. Here is a (somewhat contrived) code fragment that includes many of the common preprocessor instructions:

/* 10 */

#include <stdio.h>
#include "myheader.h"

#define DEBUG    // Delete this line before shipping program.
#define PI3.14159
#define square(a)( ( a ) * ( a ) )
#define cube(a)  ( ( a ) * square( a ) )
#define max(a,b) ( ( ( a ) > ( b ) ) ? ( a ) : ( b ) )

#pragma segment mySegment

double MaxSurfaceOrVolume( double radius )
/*
 * This is a strange function which will return either the 
 * surface area or the volume of a sphere, whichever is 
 * larger, for a given radius.
 */
{
#ifdef DEBUG
  printf( "Hey, we're in the MaxSurfaceOrVolume function" );
#else
  printf( "Hey, we're running the non-debug version" );
#endif

#if 0

I could have a bunch of lines of code in here, and they

wouldn't ever be executed, or even compiled.

/* 11 */

#endif

  return max( 4 * PI * square( radius ), 
    4.0/3.0 * PI * cube( radius ) );
}

The following table describes the preceding preprocessor statements:


Preprocessor Statement Meaning

#include <stdio.h> Similar to the Pascal {$I filename} directive. Paste the contents of the included file into here as if they had actually been typed into this file. The angle brackets generally tell the compiler to look for the include file in its list of “system” file folders. Include files are generally named with a .h at the end. They generally consist of things like typedefs, global variable definitions, function prototypes, preprocessor macros, etc. The Mac compilers provide header files that prototype all the toolbox functions so you don’t have to.

#include "myHeader.h" Same as above, but look in the list of “user” file folders instead of system file folders.

#define DEBUG Similar to the Pascal {$SETC DEBUG = 1} directive. Define the existence of a preprocessor variable. The existence of the variable can be checked later.

#define PI 3.14159 A simple text substitution. Replace all future occurences of PI with 3.14159.

#define square(a) ((a)*(a)) A substitution that takes parameters. Keep in mind that while a macro like this may look like a function call, it is purely text substitution, and therefore incurs none of the overhead of a function call.

#pragma segment mySegment The #pragma feature allows compiler specific instructions that are not actually part of the C language. Each compiler has its own pragmas. They are used for such things as turning optimizations on and off, disabling compiler warnings, or in this case, telling the compiler in what code segment to put this code. They perform many of the same functions as the miscellaneous Pascal {* } directives.

#ifdef DEBUG Similar to {$IFC } in Pascal. The subsequent statements will only be compiled if the variable is defined.

#else Similar to {$ELSEC}. The subsequent statements will only be compiled in the “else” case of the preceding #if.

#endif Similar to {$ENDC}. Ends a preprocessor #if or #ifdef construction.

#if 0 This is a quick way to disable a chunk of code. Change it to #if 1 to re-enable.

SUMMARY

You should now know enough C to be able to read C code listings. If you would like to get some more practice at seeing the differences between C and Pascal, you may wish to check out Dave Mark’s first few “Getting Started” articles. Dave wrote both a C and Pascal version for all of his programs in the 1992 columns. And while we didn’t print all of the listings in the magazine, we did include them in the source code disks and in our CD-ROM. Beyond that, you’ll probably have to break down a buy a couple of C books.

Million dollar (no, we won’t pay you, even if you have a good answer!) bonus question: K&R say that the term define is used when actually creating storage for a variable, and that the term declare is used when describing the characteristics of a variable (and only possibly creating storage). So why is it that type declarations, which allocate no storage, are spelled typedef (short for type definition) instead of being spelled typedecl? Perhaps this has been discussed somewhere before, but not that I’ve seen. Personally, I like the C keyword, and think that K&R have the define and declare terms backwards throughout their book!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Tidy Up 5.3.7 - Find duplicate files and...
Tidy Up is a full-featured duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. Features: Supports Lightroom: it is now possible to search and collect duplicates directly in the Lightroom library. Multiple... Read more
Pinegrow 5.97 - Mockup and design web pa...
Pinegrow (was Pinegrow Web Designer) is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation,... Read more
BlueStacks 4.210.0 - Run Android applica...
BlueStacks App Player lets you run your Android apps fast and fullscreen on your Mac. Feature comparison chart How to install Bluestacks on your Mac Go to MacUpdate and click the green "Download"... Read more
WhatsApp 2.2027.10 - Desktop client for...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
Art Text 4.0.1 - $29.99
Art Text is graphic design software specifically tuned for lettering, typography, text mockups and various artistic text effects. Supplied with a great variety of ready to use styles and materials,... Read more
Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2020 20.2 - Build w...
Dreamweaver CC 2020 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $20.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Dreamweaver customer). Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2020 allows you to... Read more
Adobe Acrobat DC 20.009.20074 - Powerful...
Acrobat DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is... Read more
beaTunes 5.2.10 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 8.1.5 - Catalog your di...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Meteorologist 3.4.1 - Popular weather ap...
Meteorologist is a simple interface to weather provided by weather.com. It provides the ability to show the weather in the main menu bar, displaying more detail in a pop-up menu, whose contents are... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Steam Link Spotlight - Disco Elysium
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was Signs of the Sojourner Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here. | Read more »
Distract Yourself With These Great Mobil...
There’s a lot going on right now, and I don’t really feel like trying to write some kind of pithy intro for it. All I’ll say is lots of people have been coming together and helping each other in small ways, and I’m choosing to focus on that as I... | Read more »
Pokemon Go's July Community Day wil...
Pokemon Go developers have announced the details concerning the upcoming Gastly Community Day. This particular event was selected by the players of the game after the Gas Pokemon came in second place after a poll that decided which Pokemon would... | Read more »
Clash Royale: The Road to Legendary Aren...
Supercell recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and their best title, Clash Royale, is as good as it's ever been. Even for lapsed players, returning to the game is as easy as can be. If you want to join us in picking the game back up, we've put... | Read more »
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder...
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder mystery set in Tang Dynasty-era China. You'll take on the role of China's best-known investigator, Di Renjie, as he solves a series of grisly murders that will ultimately lead him on a collision course with... | Read more »
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is se...
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, one of Square Enix's many popular mobile RPGs, has announced a plethora of in-game events that are set to take place over the summer. This will include several rewards, Free Multi Draws and more. [Read more] | Read more »
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where y...
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where you'll work to guide robots through increasingly elaborate mazes. It's set in a visually distinct world that's equal parts fantasy and sci-fi, and it's finally launched today for iOS and Android devices. [... | Read more »
Apple Arcade is in trouble
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Apple is disappointed in the performance of Apple Arcade and will be shifting their approach to the service by focusing on games that can retain subscribers and canceling other upcoming releases that don't fit... | Read more »
Pixel Petz, an inventive platform for de...
Pixel Petz has built up a sizeable player base thanks to its layered, easy-to-understand creative tools and friendly social experience. It revolves around designing, trading, and playing with a unique collection of pixel art pets, and it's out now... | Read more »
The King of Fighters Allstar's late...
The King of Fighters ALLSTAR, Netmarble's popular action RPG, has once again been updated with a plethora of new content. This includes battle cards, events and 21 new fighters, which increases the already sizeable roster even more. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

$219 Apple AirPods Pro are back at Verizon, s...
Verizon has Apple AirPods Pro on sale again for a limited time for $219.99 on their online store. Their price is $30 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest price we’ve seen for AirPods Pro. Available... Read more
Apple’s $779 13″ MacBook Air deal returns to...
Apple has clearance, Certified Refurbished, 2019 13″ MacBook Airs available again starting at $779. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, and is... Read more
$200 13″ MacBook Pro discounts are back at Am...
Amazon has 2020 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale again today for $150-$200 off Apple’s MSRP. Shipping is free. Be sure to purchase the MacBook Pro from Amazon, rather than a third-party seller, and... Read more
Deal Alert! Apple AirPods with Wireless Charg...
Sams Club has Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on sale on their online store for only $149.98 from July 6, 2020 to July 9, 2020. Their price is $50 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
Xfinity Mobile promo: Apple iPhone XS models...
Take $300 off the purchase of any Apple iPhone XS model at Xfinity Mobile while supplies last. Service plan required: – 64GB iPhone XS: $599.99 save $300 – 256GB iPhone XS: $749.99 save $300 – 512GB... Read more
New July 2020 promo at US Cellular: Switch an...
US Cellular has introduced a new July 2020 deal offering free 64GB Apple iPhone 11 smartphones to customers opening a new line of service. No trade-in required, and discounts are applied via monthly... Read more
Apple offers up to $400 Education discount on...
Apple has launched their Back to School promotion for 2020. They will include one free pair Apple AirPods (with charging case) with the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or iMac Pro (Mac... Read more
July 4th Sale: Woot offers wide range of Macs...
Amazon-owned Woot is blowing out a wide range of Apple Macs and iPads for July 4th staring at $279 and ranging up to just over $1000. Models vary from older iPads and 11″ MacBook Airs to some newer... Read more
Apple Pro Display XDR with Nano-Texture Glass...
Abt Electronics has Apple’s new 32″ Pro Display XDR model with the nano-texture glass in stock and on sale today for up to $144 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – Pro Display XDR (nano-texture glass): $... Read more
New 2020 Mac mini on sale for up to $100 off...
Amazon has Apple’s new 2020 Mac minis on sale today for $40-$100 off MSRP with prices starting at $759. Shipping is free: – 2020 4-Core Mac mini: $759 $40 off MSRP – 2020 6-Core Mac mini: $998.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

Physical Therapist Assistant - *Apple* Hill...
Physical Therapist Assistant - Apple Hill Rehab - Full Time Tracking Code 62519 Job Description General Summary: Under the direct supervision of a licensed Physical Read more
Operating Room Assistant, *Apple* Hill Surg...
Operating Room Assistant, Apple Hill Surgical Center - Full Time, Day Shift, Monday - Saturday availability required Tracking Code 62363 Job Description Operating Read more
Perioperative RN - ( *Apple* Hill Surgical C...
Perioperative RN - ( Apple Hill Surgical Center) Tracking Code 60593 Job Description Monday - Friday - Full Time Days Possible Saturdays General Summary: Under the Read more
Product Manager, *Apple* Commercial Sales -...
Product Manager, Apple Commercial Sales Austin, TX, US Requisition Number:77652 As an Apple Product Manager for the Commercial Sales team at Insight, you Read more
*Apple* Mac Product Engineer - Barclays (Uni...
Apple Mac EngineerWhippany, NJ Support the development and delivery of solutions, products, and capabilities into the Barclays environment working across technical Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.