# Princeton University. Computer Science 217: Introduction to Programming Systems. Data Types in C

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1 Princeton University Computer Science 217: Introduction to Programming Systems Data Types in C 1

2 Goals of C Designers wanted C to: Support system programming Be low-level Be easy for people to handle But also: Support application programming Be portable Be easy for computers to handle Conflicting goals on multiple dimensions! Result: different design decisions than Java 2

3 Primitive Data Types integer data types floating-point data types no character data type (use small integer types instead) no character string data type (use arrays of small ints instead) no logical or boolean data types (use integers instead) 3

4 Integer Data Types Integer types of various sizes: signed char, short, int, long char is 1 byte Number of bits per byte is unspecified! (but in the 21 st century, pretty safe to assume it s 8) Sizes of other integer types not fully specified but constrained: int was intended to be natural word size 2 sizeof(short) sizeof(int) sizeof(long) On CourseLab Natural word size: 8 bytes ( 64-bit machine ) char: 1 byte short: 2 bytes int: 4 bytes (compatibility with widespread 32-bit code) long: 8 bytes What decisions did the designers of Java make? 4

5 Integer Literals Decimal: 123 Octal: 0173 = 123 Hexadecimal: 0x7B = 123 Use "L" suffix to indicate long literal No suffix to indicate short literal; instead must use cast Examples int: long: short: 123, 0173, 0x7B 123L, 0173L, 0x7BL (short)123, (short)0173, (short)0x7b 5

6 Unsigned Integer Data Types unsigned types: unsigned char, unsigned short, unsigned int, and unsigned long Conversion rules for mixed-type expressions (Generally, mixing signed and unsigned converts unsigned) See King book Section 7.4 for details 6

7 Unsigned Integer Literals Default is signed Use "U" suffix to indicate unsigned literal Examples unsigned int: 123U, 0173U, 0x7BU 123, 0173, 0x7B will work just fine in practice; technically there is an implicit cast from signed to unsigned, but in these cases it shouldn t make a difference. unsigned long: 123UL, 0173UL, 0x7BUL unsigned short: (unsigned short)123, (unsigned short)0173, (unsigned short)0x7b 7

8 Character Data Type The C char type char can hold an ASCII character And should be used when you re dealing with characters: character-manipulation functions we ve seen (such as toupper) take and return char char might be signed or unsigned, but since 0 ASCII 127 it doesn t really matter If you want a 1-byte type for calculation, you might (should?) specify signed char or unsigned char 8

9 Character Literals single quote syntax: 'a' Use backslash (the escape character) to express special characters Examples (with numeric equivalents in ASCII): 'a' the a character (97, B, 61 H ) '\141' the a character, octal form '\x61' the a character, hexadecimal form 'b' the b character (98, B, 62 H ) 'A' the A character (65, B, 41 H ) 'B' the B character (66, B, 42 H ) '\0' the null character (0, B, 0 H ) '0' the zero character (48, B, 30 H ) '1' the one character (49, B, 31 H ) '\n' the newline character (10, B, A H ) '\t' the horizontal tab character (9, B, 9 H ) '\\' the backslash character (92, B, 5C H ) '\'' the single quote character (96, B, 60 H ) 9

10 Strings and String Literals Issue: How should C represent strings and string literals? Rationale: Natural to represent a string as a sequence of contiguous chars How to know where char sequence ends? Store length together with char sequence? Store special sentinel char after char sequence? 10

11 Strings and String Literals Decisions Adopt a convention String is a sequence of contiguous chars String is terminated with null char ( \0 ) Use double-quote syntax (e.g. "hello") to represent a string literal Provide no other language features for handling strings Delegate string handling to standard library functions Examples 'a' is a char literal "abcd" is a string literal "a" is a string literal How many bytes? What decisions did the designers of Java make? 11

12 Arrays of characters s H e l l o \0???? p char s[10] = {'H','e','l','l','o',0}; (or, equivalently) char s[10] = "Hello"; char *p = s+2; printf("je%s!", p); prints Jello!

13 Unicode Back in 1970s, English was the only language in the world [citation needed], so we only needed this alphabet: In the 21 st century, it turns out that there are other people and languages out there, so we need: ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange

14 Modern Unicode When Java was designed, Unicode fit into 16 bits, so char in Java was 16 bits long. Then this happened: 14

15 Unicode and UTF-8 Lots of characters in today s Unicode 100,000+ defined, capacity for > 1 million Can t modify size of char in C Solution: variable-length encoding (UTF-8) Standard ASCII characters use 1 byte Most Latin-based alphabets use 2 bytes Chinese, Japanese, Korean characters use 3 bytes Historic scripts, mathematical symbols, and emoji use 4 bytes This won t be on the exam!

16 Logical Data Types No separate logical or Boolean data type Represent logical data using type char or int Or any integer type Or any primitive type!!! Conventions: Statements (if, while, etc.) use 0 FALSE, 0 TRUE Relational operators (<, >, etc.) and logical operators (!, &&, ) produce the result 0 or 1 16

17 Logical Data Type Shortcuts Using integers to represent logical data permits shortcuts int i; if (i) /* same as (i!= 0) */ statement1; else statement2; It also permits some really bad code i = (1!= 2) + (3 > 4); 17

18 iclicker Question Q: What is i set to in the following code? i = (1!= 2) + (3 > 4); A. 0 B. 1 C. 2 D. 3 E. 4

19 Logical Data Type Dangers The lack of a logical data type hampers compiler's ability to detect some errors with certainty int i; i = 0; if (i = 5) statement1; What happens in Java? What happens in C? 19

20 Floating-Point Data Types C specifies: Three floating-point data types: float, double, and long double Sizes unspecified, but constrained: sizeof(float) sizeof(double) sizeof(long double) On CourseLab (and on pretty much any 21 st -century computer using the IEEE standard) float: 4 bytes double: 8 bytes long double: 16 bytes (but only 10 bytes used on x86-64) 20

21 Floating-Point Literals fixed-point or scientific notation Any literal that contains decimal point or "E" is floating-point The default floating-point type is double Append "F" to indicate float Append "L" to indicate long double Examples double: float: long double: , 1E-2, E F, 1E-2F, E4F L, 1E-2L, E4L 21

22 Data Types Summary: C vs. Java Java only boolean, byte C only unsigned char, unsigned short, unsigned int, unsigned long Sizes Java: Sizes of all types are specified, and portable C: Sizes of all types except char are system-dependent Type char Java: char is 2 bytes (to hold all 1995-era Unicode values) C: char is 1 byte 22

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