C Interview Questions and Answers


If NULL and 0 are equivalent as null pointer constants, which should I use?

Many programmers believe that NULL should be used in all pointer contexts, as a
reminder that the value is to be thought of as a pointer. Others feel that the confusion
surrounding NULL and 0 is only compounded by hiding 0 behind a macro, and prefer
to use unadorned 0 instead. There is no one right answer. C programmers must understand
that NULL and 0 are interchangeable in pointer contexts, and that an uncast 0 is
perfectly acceptable. Any usage of NULL (as opposed to 0) should be considered a
gentle reminder that a pointer is involved; programmers should not depend on it
(either for their own understanding or the compiler's) for distinguishing pointer
0's from integer 0's.

It is only in pointer contexts that NULL and 0 are equivalent. NULL should not be
used when another kind of 0 is required, even though it might work, because doing
so sends the wrong stylistic message. (Furthermore, ANSI allows the definition of
NULL to be ((void *)0), which will not work at all in non-pointer contexts.) In
particular, do not use NULL when the ASCII null character (NUL) is desired. Provide
your own definition

#define NUL ''

if you must.

Posted by:Richards