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Maximum char array size?

I've noticed a few threads (full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing) here recently about allocation of large memory blocks. I'm
about to start on a personal pet project where I'll be using memchr(),
memcmp(), memmove() a lot. Is there an ANSI C maximium size for
character arrays which are guaranteed to succeed, assuming the machine
has sufficient memory? And will the memxxx() functions work with that
size? I'm looking at hopefully 65792 bytes ( == 64K + 256, long story,
don't ask) in a memory block. I could get by with less, but the program
code would be clunkier. I could put up with some disk-thrashing, but I
obviously don't want the program dumping core.

My home platform is linux+gcc. I need to be compatable with the
Windows 32-bit world, but not necessarily ancient real-mode DOS. If the
max size is implementation-specific, is there a standard variable that I
can look up at run/compile time? Also, are there any advantages to
malloc(), versus declaring an array at compile time (other than the need
to macro-ize the array dimension in a regular declaration)?

Walter Dnes; my email address is *ALMOST* like wz*******@waltd nes.org
Delete the "z" to get my real address. If that gets blocked, follow
the instructions at the end of the 550 message.
Nov 14 '05
11 24160
I apologise that I confused previous article by mixing terms "character" and
"byte" ... I always meant "byte".

Nov 14 '05 #11
"Walter Dnes (delete the 'z' to get my real address)" wrote:
<Th************ *************@s bcglobal.net> wrote:
Since C has pointers, why do you need to use memmove() a lot?
Moving large blocks of memory is a waste of computer resources.
Maybe I've chosen the wrong algorithm. I need to search for
byte-arrays 255 bytes or less in a binary file. I am using the
term "byte-arrays", *NOT STRINGS*, because they can contain '\0'
as a valid 'character'. I was thinking something along the
lines of...

1) given a byte-array-to-search-for
2) read in first 256 bytes of file into buffer

Beginning of outer loop
3) read in next 64 kbytes of file into buffer, starting at
byte 256

Beginning of inner loop
4) use memchr() to find address of byte in buffer that
matches first byte of byte-array-to-search-for
5) use memcmp() to check if entire byte-array-to-search-for
is matched at that location
6) start search after the match, to see if any more
matches, repeating until search hits end of buffer
End of of inner loop

7) move last 256 bytes of of buffer to beginning of buffer
End of outer loop

Step 7 (outer loop) is the memory moving part. Until such time
as disk-threshing happens, the bigger the buffer, the better.
If there's a better algorithm, please do tell, and point me to
it. Text editors have probably invented that wheel already, but
do they handle '\0' as a valid 'character'?

There is definitely a better algorithm, requiring no buffer
whatsoever. A modification of the following will do your job, and
you don't have to dump the following string. It won't input
strings including '\0', but you can arrange to alter that.

Leor Zolman wrote: On 25 Feb 2004 07:34:40 -0800, jo**@ljungh.se (spike) wrote:
Im trying to write a program that should read through a binary
file searching for the character sequence "\name\"

Then it should read the characters following the "\name\"
sequence until a NULL character is encountered.

But when my program runs it gets a SIGSEGV (Segmentation
vioalation) signal.

Whats wrong? And is there a better way than mine to solve
this task (most likely)

I think so. Here's a version I just threw together:


/* And heres another throw -- binfsrch.c by CBF */
/* Released to public domain. Attribution appreciated */
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <ctype.h>
#include <assert.h>

/* The difference between a binary and a text file, on read,
is the conversion of end-of-line delimiters. What those
delimiters are does not affect the action. In some cases
the presence of 0x1a EOF markers (MsDos) does.

This is a version of Knuth-Morris-Pratt algorithm. The
point of using this is to avoid any backtracking in file
reading, and thus avoiding any use of buffer arrays.

size_t chrcount; /* debuggery, count of input chars, zeroed */

/* --------------------- */

/* Almost straight out of Sedgewick */
/* The next array indicates what index in id should next be
compared to the current char. Once the (lgh - 1)th char
has been successfully compared, the id has been found.
The array is formed by comparing id to itself. */
void initnext(int *next, const char *id, int lgh)
int i, j;

assert(lgh > 0);
next[0] = -1; i = 0; j = -1;
while (i < lgh) {
while ((j >= 0) && (id[i] != id[j])) j = next[j];
i++; j++;
next[i] = j;
#if (0)
for (i = 0; i < lgh; i++)
printf("id[%d] = '%c' next[%d] = %d\n",
i, id[i], i, next[i]);
} /* initnext */

/* --------------------- */

/* reads f without rewinding until either EOF or *marker
has been found. Returns EOF if not found. At exit the
last matching char has been read, and no further. */
int kmpffind(const char *marker, int lgh, int *next, FILE *f)
int j; /* char position in marker to check */
int ch; /* current char */

assert(lgh > 0);
j = 0;
while ((j < lgh) && (EOF != (ch = getc(f)))) {
while ((j >= 0) && (ch != marker[j])) j = next[j];
return ch;
} /* kmpffind */

/* --------------------- */

/* Find marker in f, display following printing chars
up to some non printing character or EOF */
int binfsrch(const char *marker, FILE *f)
int *next;
int lgh;
int ch;
int items; /* count of markers found */

lgh = strlen(marker);
if (!(next = malloc(lgh * sizeof *next))) {
puts("No memory");
else {
initnext(next, marker, lgh);
items = 0;
while (EOF != kmpffind(marker , lgh, next, f)) {
/* found, take appropriate action */
printf("%d %s : \"", items, marker);
while (isprint(ch = getc(f))) {
if (EOF == ch) break;
else chrcount++;
return items;
} /* binfsrch */

/* --------------------- */

int main(int argc, char **argv)
FILE *f;

f = stdin;
if (3 == argc) {
if (!(f = fopen(argv[2], "rb"))) {
printf("Can't open %s\n", argv[2]);
if (2 != argc) {
puts("Usage: binfsrch name [binaryfile]");
puts(" (file defaults to stdin text mode)");
else if (binfsrch(argv[1], f)) {
printf("\"%s\" : found\n", argv[1]);
else printf("\"%s\" : not found\n", argv[1]);
printf("%lu chars\n", (unsigned long)chrcount);
return 0;
} /* main binfsrch */

A: Because it fouls the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?
Nov 14 '05 #12

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