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Technical Discussion :: C

3. What is a local block?

Answer:

A local block is any portion of a C program that is enclosed by the left brace ({) and the right brace (}). A C function contains left and right braces, and therefore anything between the two braces is contained in a local block. An if statement or a switch statement can also contain braces, so the portion of code between these two braces would be considered a local block.

Additionally, you might want to create your own local block without the aid of a C function or keyword construct. This is perfectly legal. Variables can be declared within local blocks, but they must be declared only at the beginning of a local block. Variables declared in this manner are visible only within the local block. Duplicate variable names declared within a local block take precedence over variables with the same name declared outside the local block. Here is an example of a program that uses local blocks:


#include
void main(void);
void main()
{
/* Begin local block for function main() */
int test_var = 10;
printf("Test variable before the if statement: %d\n", test_var);
if (test_var > 5)
{
/* Begin local block for "if" statement */
int test_var = 5;
printf("Test variable within the if statement: %d\n",
test_var);
{
/* Begin independent local block (not tied to
any function or keyword) */
int test_var = 0;
printf(
"Test variable within the independent local block:%d\n",
test_var);
}
/* End independent local block */
}
/* End local block for "if" statement */
printf("Test variable after the if statement: %d\n", test_var);
}
/* End local block for function main() */

This example program produces the following output:

Test variable before the if statement: 10

Test variable within the if statement: 5

Test variable within the independent local block: 0

Test variable after the if statement: 10

Notice that as each test_var was defined, it took precedence over the previously defined test_var. Also notice that when the if statement local block had ended, the program had reentered the scope of the original test_var, and its value was 10.

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