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Blednik

Best way to remove a substring from a C string?

5 posts in this topic

I'm poking around with the C string functions. Don't ask, I'd personally just use C++ for the task, but it has to be pure C in this case. Anyway here's the problem. I have a null-terminated string, and I have to remove a certain substring from it that begins on location a, and ends on location b. I'm doing this on windows in MinGW. Consider this sample:

char * mystr = "sometestingtennisbabesjunk";const int a = 4;const int b = 11;removesubstring(mystr, a, b);
The result would be: "sometennisbabesjunk", characters that were removed from location 4 to 11: "testing".

What is the best way in C to do this? Is there a dedicated C string function for this task? I couldn't find one.
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Also if you implement it manually make sure you validate your bounds, that is:

if ((b < a) || (b > strlen(str))))
    /* abort! */

Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for scribbling all over your stack or heap.

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Also if you implement it manually make sure you validate your bounds, that is:

if ((b &amp;amp;lt; a) || (b &amp;amp;gt; strlen(str))))    /* abort! */
Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for scribbling all over your stack or heap.
Shouldn't the sanity checks be like:
len = strlen(str);
if ( (!len) || (b <= a) || (a >= len) ) {... abort}
if (b > len) b = len;
EDIT: Stupid HTML
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Also if you implement it manually make sure you validate your bounds, that is:

if ((b &amp;amp;lt; a) || (b &amp;amp;gt; strlen(str))))    /* abort! */
Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for scribbling all over your stack or heap.
Shouldn't the sanity checks be like:
len = strlen(str);
if ( (!len) || (b <= a) || (a >= len) ) {... abort}
if (b > len) b = len;
EDIT: Stupid HTML

 

 

Depends how you want to use your function. I personally prefer to not allow nonsensical input at all, thus if b is beyond the string, I would reject it. If you prefer to clamp it to the string's length instead like some string functions do, that's fine too, as long as you document that behaviour. If you don't want to allow a == b, that's fine as well. And of course you should reject null char* pointers, forgot that one (though it is obvious). Notice that !((b < a) || (b > len)) implies len > 0 (or a = b = 0) since a and b are unsigned.

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