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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: All
Nov 19, 1998



Building the Right Environment to Support AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

Always Initialize Pointers

An uninitialized pointer has an indeterminate value. It's almost impossible to test subsequently whether such a pointer is valid, especially if it is passed as an argument to a function, which in turn, can only verify that it is not NULL:
void func(char *p );

void main()
  char * p; //dangerous; an uninitialized pointer 
       //_many lines of code; p left uninitialized by mistake
  if (p) //erroneously assuming that a non-NULL value indicates a valid address
    func(p);   // func has no way of knowing whether p has a valid address; undefined behavior expected
Even if your compiler does initialize pointers automatically, your code will be more readable and portable if you use explicit initializations.
Danny Kalev
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