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A Word on C

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Memory Leaks

Consider the following code fragment:

void someFunc( void )
  char *buf;

  buf = malloc( sizeof(char) * 256 );

   // do something

  // returning from the function results
  // in the frame being removed from the stack

The variable buf is local to someFunc and its value is lost when the function returns. The value, however, is a reference to memory allocated from the heap. If the function returns without an appropriate call to free, the memory can never be returned to the heap and is an illustration of a memory leak.

Finally, in our discussion of C syntax, style and convention are mechanisms for defining constants and macros within a program.


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