Finding the instance reference of an object [long and probably boring]

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Sat Nov 8 22:53:05 CET 2008

Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> In an attempt to keep this post from hitting the ridiculous length of one 

> (Aside: I've learned one thing in this discussion. Despite the number of 
> sources I've read that claim that if you pass an array to a C function 
> the entire array will be copied, this does not appear to be true....)

Since C does not have an array type, it is impossible to pass an array.
int *a, b[10] declares *both* a and b as int pointers.  As I remember, 
the only difference is that b is initialized to the address of an 
allocated block of 10.  In expressions, b is an int pointer, just like 
a, and a[i] and b[i] are defined the same, as *(a+i) and *(b+i), where 
the addition is pointer arithmetic. Function definitions can only define 
parameters as pointers (and lots else), not arrays.  So passing either a 
or b passes the address it represents.  (Function names also represent 
addresses in expressions, whereas, I believe, in C99 at least, struct 
names represent the struc, not its address.)


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