Here p is a character pointer not an array! Yet compiler gave no warning or error?

    char  *p = "Vladimir";

closed as off-topic by Deltik, Máté Juhász, Anaksunaman, DavidPostill Sep 17 at 22:05

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    This is the wrong site for your question - read the text of your tag c. That said, your code is completely correct: read K&R. – AFH Sep 17 at 11:42
  • @AFH Yeah that's what I'm asking why it is correct. Beacause pointer is a char pointer . So it must bot be able to hold the whole string ! – Da3kL10rd Sep 17 at 11:47
  • This question is better suited to stackoverflow.com – Mawg Sep 17 at 13:25
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    @Mawg okay I got it man – Da3kL10rd Sep 17 at 13:56
  • K&R is the standard definition of the C language by its designers, and your question is well explained there. I say again that you must read it. – AFH Sep 17 at 14:42

It's only a matter of interpretation: *p is a character, you are right.

But the C routines from string.h or stdio.h will interpret p as pointer to the first character of a "string", with the following characters at consecutive addresses p+1, p+2 and so on, and the convention that a zero character '\0' (which is added implicitly by the compiler!) will terminate the "string".

I use quotes for "string" here, because C (in opposite to C++) has no native string type at all.

C uses exactly this pointer-to-character for "strings". As a consequence, C "strings" cannot contain '\0' characters, and always use one char more space than visible at the first glance.

  • Please do not answer off-topic questions. – DavidPostill Sep 17 at 22:07

The characters "Vladimar" are stored as a string literal, which is stored in the read-only segment of the executable image. The pointer is assigned to the start address of the string literal.

Note the compiler null-terminates string literals. String handling functions in C depend on the null terminator. When it is found, the function typically stops processing the string. So this works:


It is a quirk of C that the non-const pointer can be assigned to a read-only string literal (In C++, it is invalid to do so).

A "string literal" is a sequence of characters from the source character set enclosed in double quotation marks (" "). String literals are used to represent a sequence of characters which, taken together, form a null-terminated string.

  • Please do not answer off-topic questions. – DavidPostill Sep 17 at 22:08

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