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learning obj-c do i need to know a lot of c (pointers)

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by pacific707, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I am trying to learn Objective-c and have picked up a couple of books. both say i should learn some basic c before I read them. I have been a filemaker developer for years and have some basic skills at php. so i understand the universal concepts like variables, loops, functions, compiling, etc. I am having a hard time getting pointers because of the positioning of the * or something. Sometimes the * is by the variable and sometimes its a space away ( int* variable or int *variable )
    anyway its is necessary that i learn this down pat or can i just move on? Where is a good explanation about pointers?
    Is there a good source for learning just the amount of c I need before jumping into objective-C?

    any help appreciated thanks
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    int* variable and int *variable are the same...
  3. macrumors newbie

    so i can use them interchangeably? so peoplejust add the space in a different place for fun sometimes?
  4. macrumors G5


    It doesn't make a difference whether you write "int* variable" or "int *variable" or "int * variable" or "int*variable"; they all mean exactly the same thing to the compiler. The last two are quite horrible because they look like a multiplication, and therefore make your code hard to read. I use "int* variable" if the emphasis is on "variable" pointing to one or more integers, and "int *variable" if the emphasis is on an integer that is somewhere and can be reached through the pointer "variable", but that is just style.
  5. macrumors 68040


    I'll jump in and say:
    1) Pointers are critical in C, C++, and Objective-C. You should definitely know how to use them, and what the * and & operators do, etc. if you want to pursue these languages. There are other languages that use pointers in different ways, but knowing the C-style syntax obviously mostly applies to these 3 languages.

    2) There is no difference in meaning based on where the * is placed when declaring pointer variables. As stated above, this is generally a matter of style. I always like to keep the * by the name of the variable, so it is clear in a case like this:
    int x,y,*z,*a,b,c,*d;
    which is which (i'm not saying that's good style, either, just an example) vs. something like this:
    int* x,y,z;
    In the first example, it is pretty clear which variables are int * and which are int, in the second... well, once you "know", it's clear that x is the pointer, and y and z are not... but putting the * next to the type instead of the variable might mislead some newcomers into thinking that you are declaring a list of int *s instead of one int * and two ints.

    3) If the positioning of the * in declarations is the hardest thing about pointers for you, you're much better off than I was when I started learning about them. =)

  6. macrumors newbie

    Thanks so much

    been trying to understand pointers and lots of examples do it different ways, this makes it so much more clear.

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