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Begin Your Journey with C

To initiate your learning in C, you require the following:

  • A text editor for crafting C code
  • A compiler like GCC to convert the C code into a machine-understandable language

There are various text editors and compilers to select from. For this tutorial, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) will be used by us.

Setting up the C IDE

An IDE is a software suite that consolidates the basic tools needed to write and test the code. Popular IDEs include Code::Blocks, Eclipse, and Visual Studio which are all free to use and facilitate both the editing and debugging of C code.

Note: Although web-based IDEs can be used, they typically have more limitations compared to their desktop counterparts.

We recommend starting with Code::Blocks. The latest version can be downloaded from here.

Let's Start with C

Create your first C file by following the steps below:

  1. Open Codeblocks
  2. Go to File > New > Empty File
  3. Write the following C code and save the file as myfirstprogram.c:
#include <stdio.h>, int main() { printf("Welcome to Fynd Academy!"); return 0;}

The above code might seem incomprehensible for now, we'll break it down in later chapters. For now, concentrate on running the code.

Executing Your Code

After writing the code, it's time to run it. In Codeblocks, navigate to Build > Build and Run. Your result will look something like this:

Welcome to Fynd Academy!

Great job! You've just written and executed your first C program.

Your C Learning Journey with Fynd Academy

Learning C with Fynd Academy is facilitated by our "Practice it Yourself" tool. It concurrently illustrates the code and the outcome, simplifying every new part you learn:

#include <stdio.h>int main() { printf("Welcome to Fynd Academy!"); return 0;} Welcome to Fynd Academy!

Practice it Yourself ยป

Fynd Academy Pathfinder

Track your progress as you embark on your learning journey. Best of all, it's complimentary!

<p>Memory Deallocation in C</p> <p>Deallocating or freeing memory is quintessential when you no longer need a block of memory. Dynamic memory remains reserved till it's deallocated or till the end of the program. Once the memory is deallocated, it becomes available for other programs or even for allocation to different parts of your existing program.</p> <h3>Memory Deallocation</h3> <p>To deallocate memory, use the free() function:</p> <pre> free(pointer); </pre> <p>The 'pointer' parameter is a pointer to the memory address to be deallocated:</p> <pre> int *pointer; pointer = malloc(sizeof(*pointer)); free(pointer); pointer = NULL; </pre> <p>After freeing memory, it is considered a good practice to set the pointer to NULL to prevent accidental usage. Continuing the use of memory after freeing it poses the risk of corrupting data from other programs or even another part of your own program.</p> <p>For instance, consider this example that includes error checking and freeing:</p> <pre> int *pointer; pointer = malloc(sizeof(*pointer)); if (pointer == NULL) { printf("Unable to allocate memory"); return 1; } *pointer = 20; printf("Integer value: %d\n", *pointer); free(pointer); pointer = NULL; </pre> <h3>Memory Leaks</h3> <p>Memory leaks occur when dynamic memory is allocated but never freed. This risk magnifies if the leak happens in a loop or a function that is frequently called as it could consume too much memory and slow down the computer. The risk of memory leak is there if a pointer to dynamic memory is lost before the memory can be freed.</p> <h3>Key Takeaway:</h3> <p>When managing memory in C:</p> <ul> <li>Always check for errors (NULL return values) to ensure successful memory allocation.</li> <li>Prevent memory leaks by freeing memory that is no longer used to ensure optimal program performance.</li> <li>Set the pointer to NULL after freeing memory to avoid accidental continued use.</li> </ul> <h3>Fynd Academy</h3> <p>Stay updated on your progress with Track your progress feature of Fynd Academy. It's free!</p>