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# C function for returning number of digits?

 P: n/a Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an input int/long? example: numdigits(123) returns 3 numdigits(1232132) returns 7 Nov 29 '05 #1
27 Replies

 P: n/a "Luke Wu" writes: Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an inputint/long? example: numdigits(123) returns 3numdigits(1232132) returns 7 Learn about lagarithms, then apply that knowledge to standard C. -- Chris. Nov 29 '05 #2

 P: n/a Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes:Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an inputint/long?example:numdigits(123) returns 3numdigits(1232132) returns 7 Learn about lagarithms, then apply that knowledge to standard C. Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you #include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; Nov 29 '05 #3

 P: n/a "Luke Wu" writes: Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: >Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an input >int/long? >example: >numdigits(123) returns 3 >numdigits(1232132) returns 7 Learn about lagarithms, then apply that knowledge to standard C. Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you#include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; Check its prototype - it's double log10(double x); -- Chris. Nov 29 '05 #4

 P: n/a In article <11**********************@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups .com>, Luke Wu wrote:Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an inputint/long? example: numdigits(123) returns 3numdigits(1232132) returns 7 There is no standard one, no, but you can write your own. But first you will have to define: - whether the negative sign counts as a digit or not - whether +0 and 0 and -0 have different number of digits Be sure to test your routine against LONG_MIN and LONG_MAX (which will not necessarily have the same number of digits.) And don't just take absolute values: it is common for (-LONG_MIN) to exceed LONG_MAX. -- Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. -- Ecclesiastes Nov 29 '05 #5

 P: n/a Luke Wu said: Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an input int/long? example: numdigits(123) returns 3 numdigits(1232132) returns 7 int numdigits(int n) { int count = 1; /* bound to be at least one digit! */ while(n != 0) { n /= 10; ++count; } return count; } This function ignores signs. Note that the logarithm method is a little tighter in source terms, but involves a call to log(), which can be expensive, computationally speaking. -- Richard Heathfield "Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/1999 http://www.cpax.org.uk email: rjh at above domain (but drop the www, obviously) Nov 29 '05 #6

 P: n/a [attempting to supersede previous (broken) code] Luke Wu said: Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an input int/long? example: numdigits(123) returns 3 numdigits(1232132) returns 7 int numdigits(int n) { int count = 0; do { ++count; n /= 10; } while(n != 0); return count; } This function ignores signs. Note that the logarithm method is a little tighter in source terms, but involves a call to log(), which can be expensive, computationally speaking. -- Richard Heathfield "Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/1999 http://www.cpax.org.uk email: rjh at above domain (but drop the www, obviously) Nov 29 '05 #7

 P: n/a Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes:Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you#includeint numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; Check its prototype - it's double log10(double x); Yes. And with #include , the ints and doubles will be automatically converted back and forth. Since double is required to support at least 10 digits, integers of the size the OP used will be converted correctly, without any floating point error. There may still be a rounding error _within_ log10(), but that can't be helped, only worked around. Richard Nov 29 '05 #8

 P: n/a rl*@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) writes: Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: >Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you >#include >int numdigits(int n) > return log10(n) + 1; Check its prototype - it's double log10(double x);Yes. And with #include , the ints and doubles will beautomatically converted back and forth. Since double is required tosupport at least 10 digits, integers of the size the OP used will beconverted correctly, without any floating point error. There may stillbe a rounding error _within_ log10(), but that can't be helped, onlyworked around. Thanks; my mistake. Perhaps my coding style tends to be too pedantic, as I would have employed casts in both places. -- Chris. Nov 29 '05 #9

 P: n/a "Luke Wu" writes: Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: >Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an input >int/long? >example: >numdigits(123) returns 3 >numdigits(1232132) returns 7 Learn about lagarithms, then apply that knowledge to standard C. Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you #include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is likely to be even quicker. -- Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this. Nov 29 '05 #10

 P: n/a Keith Thompson wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you #include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course. Richard Nov 29 '05 #11

 P: n/a Richard Bos schrieb: Keith Thompson wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you #include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); Boxing this code in a function and/or handling special cases (has 0 1 digit or none?) is left as exercise for the OP. Nov 29 '05 #12

 P: n/a Ingo Menger: Luke Wu: #include int numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1; How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); length = snprintf(0, 0, "%d", n); /* C99 */ Jirka Nov 29 '05 #13

 P: n/a On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 08:07:37 +0000 (UTC), in comp.lang.c , Chris McDonald wrote: rl*@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) writes:Chris McDonald wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: >int numdigits(int n) > return log10(n) + 1; Check its prototype - it's double log10(double x);Yes. And with #include , the ints and doubles will beautomatically converted back and forth.Thanks; my mistake.Perhaps my coding style tends to be too pedantic, as I would have employedcasts in both places. As a general rule, you shold only use casts when a) you actually need one; or b) it makes the code less ambiguous This could be argued as a (b) since it would show that you really did intend to return an int, and would prevent maintenance droids from changing it in a tidy-up frenzy. Personally I don't think it does, since the function name/purpose is self-documenting. YMMV. -- Mark McIntyre CLC FAQ CLC readme: ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Unrestricted-Secure Usenet News==---- http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =---- Nov 29 '05 #14

 P: n/a "Ingo Menger" writes: Richard Bos schrieb: Keith Thompson wrote: "Luke Wu" writes: > Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you > #include > > int numdigits(int n) > return log10(n) + 1; I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); And how do you fix this when the next version of your compiler ships (which use 333 bit longs)? A solution using snprintf could work, but io functions are quite complex so I'd not be surprised if the log10 was faster. Personally I'd go for either a counting loop, or a binary lookup table, depending on how critical speed, and time for implementation are. /Niklas Norrthon Nov 29 '05 #15

 P: n/a In article <0p************@niklas.ua.dynas.se>, Niklas Norrthon wrote: And how do you fix this when the next version of your compiler ships(which use 333 bit longs)? A solution using snprintf could work, but io functions are quite complexso I'd not be surprised if the log10 was faster. Personally I'd go foreither a counting loop, or a binary lookup table, depending on howcritical speed, and time for implementation are. If one is assuming that the next generation compiler might have 333 bit longs (and of course the DS9000 has 666 bit longs whenever it feels like it ;-) ), then one would need to initialize the binary lookup table at runtime. The code to do that without risking overflow (UB) is probably not so long, but is likely a bit interesting. -- Okay, buzzwords only. Two syllables, tops. -- Laurie Anderson Nov 29 '05 #16

 P: n/a Ingo Menger wrote: Richard Bos schrieb:Keith Thompson wrote:"Luke Wu" writes:Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you#includeint numdigits(int n) return log10(n) + 1;I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop usinginteger arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For thatmatter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 islikely to be even quicker.*g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); Boxing this code in a function and/or handling special cases (has 0 1 digit or none?) is left as exercise for the OP. Is sprintf followed by a strlen actually any faster than log10? I'm dubious about it on modern hardware. Plus the additional test for sign. How about a simple integer loop (destroys n, so make a copy if you need to keep it) int length; while(n) { length++; n /= 10; } but it still might be slower depending on the availability of a hardware log instruction vs. integer division speed. ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Unrestricted-Secure Usenet News==---- http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =---- Nov 29 '05 #17

 P: n/a Niklas Norrthon schrieb: "Ingo Menger" writes: Richard Bos schrieb: Keith Thompson wrote: > "Luke Wu" writes: > > Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you > > #include > > > > int numdigits(int n) > > return log10(n) + 1; > > I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using > integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that > matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is > likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); And how do you fix this when the next version of your compiler ships (which use 333 bit longs)? I don't. I write the length of the char array as constant expression involving sizeof (long) in the first place. For example char digits[32 + 4 * sizeof (long)] That should do it. Nov 29 '05 #18

 P: n/a On 2005-11-29, Ingo Menger wrote: Richard Bos schrieb: Keith Thompson wrote: > "Luke Wu" writes: > > Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you > > #include > > > > int numdigits(int n) > > return log10(n) + 1; > > I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using > integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that > matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is > likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); For c99: length = snprintf(0,0,"%d",n)-1; Boxing this code in a function and/or handling special cases (has 0 1 digit or none?) is left as exercise for the OP. Nov 29 '05 #19

 P: n/a On 2005-11-29, Kevin Handy wrote: Ingo Menger wrote: Richard Bos schrieb:Keith Thompson wrote: "Luke Wu" writes:>Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you>#include>>int numdigits(int n)> return log10(n) + 1;I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop usinginteger arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For thatmatter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 islikely to be even quicker.*g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); Boxing this code in a function and/or handling special cases (has 0 1 digit or none?) is left as exercise for the OP. Is sprintf followed by a strlen actually any faster than log10? I'm dubious about it on modern hardware. Plus the additional test for sign. How about a simple integer loop (destroys n, so make a copy if you need to keep it) int length; while(n) { length++; n /= 10; } Both log10 and this also fall flat on negative numbers. a negative number divided by a positive number is permitted to never result in zero; and of course the log of a negative number is non-real. At least the sprintf solution returns something that some people _might_ consider sensible even in the naivest implementation [counting the minus as a digit] Nov 29 '05 #20

 P: n/a Jordan Abel wrote: On 2005-11-29, Ingo Menger wrote: Richard Bos schrieb: Keith Thompson wrote: > "Luke Wu" writes: > > Ohh my.... didn't think it would be a two liner.......thank you > > #include > > > > int numdigits(int n) > > return log10(n) + 1; > > I don't think a floating-point solution is best here. A loop using > integer arithmetic is likely to be faster and more accurate. For that > matter, a binary search on a lookup table holding powers of 10 is > likely to be even quicker. *g* Never knock the simple solution. You're quite right, of course How about: int length; char digits[100]; /* should be big enough even for 128 bit longs */ sprintf(digits, "%d", n); length = strlen(digits) - (n<0 ? 1 : 0); For c99: length = snprintf(0,0,"%d",n)-1; Why the -1? [#3] The snprintf function returns the number of characters that would have been written had n been sufficiently large, not counting the terminating null character, or a negative value if an encoding error occurred. Thus, the null- terminated output has been completely written if and only if the returned value is nonnegative and less than n. Return count doesn't include the terminating null. Sanity check on this with gcc: temp(1186)\$ cat foo.c #include int main(void) { int foo = 10; size_t len = snprintf(NULL, 0, "%d", foo); printf("%d has len %lu\n", foo, (unsigned long) len); return 0; } temp(1187)\$ gcc -Wall -pedantic foo.c -o foo temp(1188)\$ foo 10 has len 2 -David Nov 29 '05 #21

 P: n/a In article <11*********************@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>, Ingo Menger wrote: Niklas Norrthon schrieb: And how do you fix this when the next version of your compiler ships (which use 333 bit longs)? I don't. I write the length of the char array as constant expressioninvolving sizeof (long) in the first place. For example char digits[32 + 4 * sizeof (long)]That should do it. pow(2,332)-1 is 100 digits. Your expression 32 + 4 * sizeof (long) will not work unless sizeof(long) is at least 17 and CHAR_BIT is at least 20. You should be allocating about CHAR_BITS * sizeof long / (log(10)/log(2)) digits... though remember to allow for rounding and the sign. Getting sufficient precision on (log(10)/log(2)) at compile time could be tricky, so possibly the easiest would be to round that down and overeastimate the number of digits, resulting in CHAR_BIT * sizeof long / 3 -- "It is important to remember that when it comes to law, computers never make copies, only human beings make copies. Computers are given commands, not permission. Only people can be given permission." -- Brad Templeton Nov 29 '05 #22

 P: n/a "Jordan Abel" wrote At least the sprintf solution returns something that some people _might_ consider sensible [ number of digits in a number] even in the naivest implementation [counting the minus as a digit] That is something which is hard to answer. Should a negative number assert fail? Exhibit undefined behaviour? Return a negative number of digits? Nov 29 '05 #23

 P: n/a "Malcolm" writes: "Jordan Abel" wrote At least the sprintf solution returns something that some people _might_ consider sensible [ number of digits in a number] even in the naivest implementation [counting the minus as a digit] That is something which is hard to answer. Should a negative number assert fail? Exhibit undefined behaviour? Return a negative number of digits? It's easy to answer: just pick one and make it part of the problem definition. If the problem definition doesn't cover negative numbers, then either it's an inadequate definition or you can just assume undefined behavior. -- Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this. Nov 29 '05 #24

 P: n/a Malcolm wrote: "Jordan Abel" wrote At least the sprintf solution returns something that some people _might_ consider sensible [ number of digits in a number] even in the naivest implementation [counting the minus as a digit] That is something which is hard to answer. Should a negative number assert fail? Exhibit undefined behaviour? Return a negative number of digits? Eh, no. The original function was declared as taking an int. Hence, it is capable of processing negative numbers unless explicitly documented to do otherwise. Hence, it should return the number of digits in the number. The number of digits in a negative number is equal to the number of digits in its absolute value. Confused people may have wanted to ask for the number of characters instead, in which case the sign counts as a "digit", and the function is poorly named. What is hard to answer is why people keep insisting on guessing the intended behavior of a function by its name instead of using a specification. S. Nov 29 '05 #25

 P: n/a In article <43***********************@news.xs4all.nl>, Skarmander wrote:Eh, no. The original function was declared as taking an int. Hence, it iscapable of processing negative numbers unless explicitly documented to dootherwise. Hence, it should return the number of digits in the number. Thenumber of digits in a negative number is equal to the number of digits inits absolute value. Confused people may have wanted to ask for the number ofcharacters instead, in which case the sign counts as a "digit", and thefunction is poorly named. What is hard to answer is why people keep insisting on guessing the intendedbehavior of a function by its name instead of using a specification. If you are going to use that kind of semantic logic, then I would point out that the number of digits in 01234 is not the same as the number of digits in 1234. "digits" are not an inherent property of a number: they are a property of the representation of the number under some given representation schema. Whether the indication of negative values is to count as a "digit" or not depends upon the representation schema. For example, one could chose a representation schema involving octal digits and with the property that a negative value is indicated by a leading "9". How many "digits" are there in 9141 in such a schema ? How many digits in the hex number B27F ? -- If you lie to the compiler, it will get its revenge. -- Henry Spencer Nov 29 '05 #26

 P: n/a Walter Roberson wrote: In article <43***********************@news.xs4all.nl>, Skarmander wrote: Eh, no. The original function was declared as taking an int. Hence, it is capable of processing negative numbers unless explicitly documented to do otherwise. Hence, it should return the number of digits in the number. The number of digits in a negative number is equal to the number of digits in its absolute value. Confused people may have wanted to ask for the number of characters instead, in which case the sign counts as a "digit", and the function is poorly named. What is hard to answer is why people keep insisting on guessing the intended behavior of a function by its name instead of using a specification. If you are going to use that kind of semantic logic, then I would point out that the number of digits in 01234 is not the same as the number of digits in 1234. "digits" are not an inherent property of a number: they are a property of the representation of the number under some given representation schema. Whether the indication of negative values is to count as a "digit" or not depends upon the representation schema. Oh yes, very well. The number of digits in the smallest decimal representation of a number. Don't worry, I wouldn't have forgotten that had I written the specification of the function. (Well, probably the "smallest" part, because it's obvious that if leading zeros are allowed, anything goes.) For example, one could chose a representation schema involving octal digits and with the property that a negative value is indicated by a leading "9". How many "digits" are there in 9141 in such a schema ? How many digits in the hex number B27F ? Three and four, respectively. I won't deny that a certain amount of fudging and unclarity is always involved, unless you want to break everything down to, say, the Peano axioms. Some things are more reasonable than others when left unspecified, however. S. Nov 29 '05 #27

 P: n/a Richard Heathfield wrote: [attempting to supersede previous (broken) code] Luke Wu said:Is there a C function that returns the number of digits in an inputint/long?example:numdigits(123) returns 3numdigits(1232132) returns 7 int numdigits(int n) { int count = 0; do { ++count; n /= 10; } while(n != 0); return count; } This function ignores signs. Yep. Quite funny for round-down integer division as allowed by C89... ;-) Cheers Michael Note that the logarithm method is a little tighter in source terms, but involves a call to log(), which can be expensive, computationally speaking. -- E-Mail: Mine is an /at/ gmx /dot/ de address. Nov 30 '05 #28

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