Where is the value getting initalized in this case

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Chad, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Chad

    Chad Guest

    In the following code snippet, the value of 'lin' is someone gettng
    intialized to the value of 1.

    int main(argc, argv)
    int argc;
    char **argv;
    int err, tflg = 0, wflg = 0, slen, wr,
    sum = 0, in, rflg = 0, i, j, lin, waiting = 0;
    char str[256];

    memset(str, '\t', sizeof (str));

    slen = sizeof (str);

    while ((err = getopt(argc, argv, "t:s:wrp:")) != -1)
    switch (err) {
    case 't':
    tflg = 1;
    strncpy(tsk[0].u.ut_line, optarg, sizeof

    case 's':
    strncpy(str, optarg, sizeof (str));
    slen = strlen(str);

    case 'w':
    wflg = 1;

    case 'r':
    rflg = 1;

    case 'p':
    #ifndef BSD
    fprintf (stderr, "warn: this feature isn't
    "under this OS\n");
    exit (1);
    ptitle (optarg);

    case '?':

    default :
    argc -= optind;
    argv += optind;

    There is no other place were the value of 'lin' is used. Later on in
    main(), the author starts to compare the value of 'lin'. This is what
    struck my curiosity in the first place. It appears that he was
    comparing the unitialized value of 'lin' to numbers.

    However, when i step throug the debugger, I see the following:
    Breakpoint 1, main (argc=4, argv=0xcfbdafac) at no.c:243
    243 {
    (gdb) display lin
    1: lin = -809652604
    (gdb) step

    Breakpoint 2, main (argc=4, argv=0xcfbdafac) at no.c:244
    244 int err, tflg = 0, wflg = 0, slen, wr,
    1: lin = 1

    Is there somewhere else I should try to look in the program? Or is
    this just possibly undefined behavior?

    Chad, Sep 18, 2007
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  2. Chad

    CBFalconer Guest

    str has no terminating '\0' char. slen will also be high by one.

    Why don't you use modern organization of the functions? i.e.:

    int main(int argc, char **argv) {

    The K&R1 style hasn't been used for almost 20 years.
    CBFalconer, Sep 18, 2007
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  3. not enough code is provided, but it is ill advised to initialize an array
    called 'str' to something that is not a C string.
    calling a size 'slen' is bad omen.
    strncpy is most likely misused here, but we need more information to verify.
    strncpy *is* misused here: strlen will invoke undefined behaviour if -s is
    given a long enough argument.

    don't use strncpy!
    undefined behaviour is invoked then.
    a good compiler should detect that.
    actually, it looks like a side effect of the way gdb works: local variables
    are not yet addressable at the first breakpoint, presumably because the
    stack frame has not been set up yet. gdb should not even display a value
    for lin, it uses whatever value is current for the stack frame pointer. On
    the second breakpoint, the stack frame pointer has been set up, gdb displays
    the contents of the location where lin will be stored (or at least read
    from) at some later point in the program. It happens to contain 1, but this
    is just a coincidence, it may contain something else on another invocation,
    or on a different architecture.
    Charlie Gordon, Sep 18, 2007
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