Java to C: A Primer

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Formats and Editions of On to C : a primer to accompany Java by dissection []

Such an explicit specification of a type is a type annotation. When types are not specified explicitly, we have implicit typing. The typing in Python and Lua is mostly implicit. In dynamically typed programming languages, typing is usually mostly implicit. It is therefore tempting to conflate manifest typing with static typing; however, the two are not the same.

For example, here is function sq47 in Haskell, which has a static type system. However, identifiers sq47 , n , and result in the above code still have types. This is because a Haskell compiler performs type inference , determining types from the way entities are used in the code. Haskell types are said to be inferred. However, while type annotations are mostly not required in Haskell, they are still allowed , as below.

On the other hand, some implicitly typed programming languages are moving in the direction of optional type annotations. For example, beginning in , Python has allowed for type annotations on function parameters. When we specify in our code that a type conversion is to be done, we are doing an explicit type conversion ; other conversions are implicit. This mismatch is dealt with via an implicit type conversion: a double version of the value of n is computed, and this is passed to function sq We could also do the conversion explicitly, as below.

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With function sq47 defined as above, the following code will not compile, as we are attempting to pass an Integer to a function that takes a Double. An explicit type conversion fixes the mismatch. Type Checking: Nominal vs. Structural Nominal Typing Various standards can be applied when type checking is done. For example, should we allow the following function gg to be called with an argument of type B? It might seem that there is no possible reason to distinguish between A and B.

But here is one: they are different types. The programmer made them distinct, and perhaps we should honor that decision. For example, perhaps the two data members in type A represent hours and minutes in a time of day, while the two data members in type B represent hits and misses in a shooting competition. It might be a good idea to avoid mixing up the two. There are looser ways to apply nominal typing. Under structural typing, the types A and B defined above would be considered the same.

Structural typing may also be applied in a relatively loose manner. Perhaps the loosest variation on structural typing allows an argument to be passed to a function as long as every operation that the function actually uses is defined for the argument. This is duck typing. The following function template ggt can be called with arguments of type A or B. Here they are again. Python, Lua, and some other dynamic languages check all function parameter types using duck typing.

Both versions of addEm above can be called with arguments of any type, as long as all the operations used are defined for those types. In particular, both versions of addEm may be called with two integer arguments or with two string arguments. No Type Checking An alternative to the nominal and structural versions of type checking is no type checking at all.

Forth distinguishes between integer and floating-point values, so it arguably has a notion of type. However, these two types are dealt with using different syntax. There is no need to check whether an integer parameter is actually an integer; Forth provides no facilities for passing a floating-point value in its place.

Thus, while Forth has types, it has no type checking. This idea was once common in programming-language design.

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However, if different types involve different syntax, then it is difficult to implement an extensible type system. The C program will simply use what-. That value could be anything. Trouble spot: C compilers will not normally warn you about uninitialized variables. The one difference is that the loop index variable cannot be declared as part of the for loop.

This is a syntax error in C. As shown in this example, Java includes the increment operator. It can be used either postfix or prefix, and has the exact same behavior as in Java. The for loop above uses an additional feature of the printf function. The string passed to a printf can contain special formatting characters which are always preceded by the character percent. The last printf above simply prints a newline. As shown here, Java also includes the decrement operator --, which can be used as either prefix or postfix, having the exact same behavior as in Java.


There is one important difference because C does not contain a boolean type. The value will be 1 if the comparison is true and 0 if it is false. This will become important later, because many C programmers use this fact. All of the rules about using braces to place blocks of statements in the branches of an if-else statement are the same as in Java. Also, nesting of if-else statements is the same in C as in Java.

Zero is interpreted as false and the false branch of the if statement will be taken. In Java this is a syntax error because the expression does not result in a boolean value. The name printf is derived from the fact that this function allows for formatted printing. The function printf can accept any number of arguments. This looks a bit like function overloading, but C does not support function overloading. Instead, the function printf is designed to accept an arbitrary number of arguments.

The first argument to printf is always a format string. The format string is then followed by zero or more additional parameters that contain the values that are to be printed, as part of the output string. The format string contains both literal characters to be printed, and formatting characters. The following example shows how literal characters and several conversion specifications can be combined in a single printf.

The following table lists all of the conversion characters for printf. Print a floating point value. They are described in the following table. The default is right-justification. Inserts a space in front of non-negative numeric output when using a conversion that might generate a minus sign. It is used to align the first digit when the output includes both negative and positive values. The effect of this flag depends upon the conversion character. With conversion character o, a zero is printed at the front of the output string.

The leading zero indicates to the reader that this is in octal format.

At a Glance

With conversion characters x or X, the string 0x or 0X is printed at the front of the output string indicating hexadecimal to the reader. With conversion characters g or G, trailing zeros are printed. With conversion characters e, E, f, g, or G, a decimal point is always printed. Numeric conversions will use leading zeros instead of spaces to pad the output to fill the specified field. By default, the field is just wide enough to hold the converted value. When a field width is specified, the output is padded on the left with zeros or spaces, or on the right with spaces, depending on the flags.

If the field width is too small, it is extended to the width of the converted argument. The precision is interpreted differently for different conversion characters,. Conversion characters d, i, o, u, x, X e, E, f g, G s Effect of precision specification The precision specifies the minimum number of digits that will be printed. Leading zeros will be printed as necessary.

The precision specifies the number of digits that will be printed to the right of the decimal point. The precision specifies the maximum number of significant digits that will be printed. The precision specifies the maximum number of characters that will be printed from the string. Similarly an h placed before those same conversion characters indicates that the argument is a short int. An L placed before an e, E, f, g, or G indicates that the argument is a long double. The following example demonstrates a few of the many formatting possibilities.

Here is a simple example that uses scanf to read an integer, and a floating point value from the standard input device, usually the keyboard. These input conversion strings will automatically skip over any white space characters. The white space characters are newline, space and tab.

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It will be explained in more detail later. It must always be used when reading built-in types into simple variables.

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  4. The function scanf needs to know where to store the values read, hence the function is passed the address of the variables where the values are to be stored.