In This Chapter
Defining character variables and constants
Declaring a string
Outputting characters to the console
Chapter 4 introduces the concept of the integer variable. This chapter introduces the integer's smaller sibling, the character or
char (pronounced variously as care, chair, or as in the first syllable of charcoal) to us insiders. I have used characters in programs appearing in earlier chapters — now it's time to introduce them formally.
Character variables are declared just like integers except with the keyword
char in place of
Character constants are defined as a single character enclosed in single quotes, as in the following:
char letterA = 'A';
This may seem like a silly question, but what exactly is "A"? To answer that, I need to explain what it means to encode characters.
As I mentioned in Chapter 1, everything in the computer is represented by a pattern of ones and zeros that can be interpreted as numbers. Thus, the bit pattern
0000 0001 is the number 1 when interpreted as an integer. However, this same bit pattern means something completely different when interpreted as an instruction by the processor. So it should come as no surprise that the computer encodes the characters of the alphabet by assigning each a number.
Consider the character 'A'. You could assign it any value you want as long as we all agree. For example, you could assign a value of ...