Chapter 11. Pointer Data Types

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Pointers are the data type equivalent of a goto statement. Used carelessly, they can reduce a well-written program to unreadable junk; they can turn a robust and efficient program into a buggy and inefficient junk pile. Unlike gotos, however, pointers and their use can be difficult to avoid in many common programming languages. There are no “pointers considered harmful” papers in academic journals like the “Gotos Considered Harmful” paper. Although many languages attempt to do away with explicit control of pointers (e.g., Java), the truth is that great programmers need to be able to deal with pointers because too many ...

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