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The GNU C Library

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9.4 Searching and Sorting Example

Here is an example showing the use of qsort and bsearch with an array of structures. The objects in the array are sorted by comparing their name fields with the strcmp function. Then, we can look up individual objects based on their names.

 
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>

/* Define an array of critters to sort. */

struct critter
  {
    const char *name;
    const char *species;
  };

struct critter muppets[] =
  {
    {"Kermit", "frog"},
    {"Piggy", "pig"},
    {"Gonzo", "whatever"},
    {"Fozzie", "bear"},
    {"Sam", "eagle"},
    {"Robin", "frog"},
    {"Animal", "animal"},
    {"Camilla", "chicken"},
    {"Sweetums", "monster"},
    {"Dr. Strangepork", "pig"},
    {"Link Hogthrob", "pig"},
    {"Zoot", "human"},
    {"Dr. Bunsen Honeydew", "human"},
    {"Beaker", "human"},
    {"Swedish Chef", "human"}
  };

int count = sizeof (muppets) / sizeof (struct critter);



/* This is the comparison function used for sorting and searching. */

int 
critter_cmp (const struct critter *c1, const struct critter *c2)
{
  return strcmp (c1->name, c2->name);
}


/* Print information about a critter. */

void 
print_critter (const struct critter *c)
{
  printf ("%s, the %s\n", c->name, c->species);
}


/* Do the lookup into the sorted array. */

void 
find_critter (const char *name)
{
  struct critter target, *result;
  target.name = name;
  result = bsearch (&target, muppets, count, sizeof (struct critter),
                    critter_cmp);
  if (result)
    print_critter (result);
  else
    printf ("Couldn't find %s.\n", name);
}

/* Main program. */

int
main (void)
{
  int i;

  for (i = 0; i < count; i++)
    print_critter (&muppets[i]);
  printf ("\n");

  qsort (muppets, count, sizeof (struct critter), critter_cmp);

  for (i = 0; i < count; i++)
    print_critter (&muppets[i]);
  printf ("\n");

  find_critter ("Kermit");
  find_critter ("Gonzo");
  find_critter ("Janice");

  return 0;
}

The output from this program looks like:

 
Kermit, the frog
Piggy, the pig
Gonzo, the whatever
Fozzie, the bear
Sam, the eagle
Robin, the frog
Animal, the animal
Camilla, the chicken
Sweetums, the monster
Dr. Strangepork, the pig
Link Hogthrob, the pig
Zoot, the human
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the human
Beaker, the human
Swedish Chef, the human

Animal, the animal
Beaker, the human
Camilla, the chicken
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the human
Dr. Strangepork, the pig
Fozzie, the bear
Gonzo, the whatever
Kermit, the frog
Link Hogthrob, the pig
Piggy, the pig
Robin, the frog
Sam, the eagle
Swedish Chef, the human
Sweetums, the monster
Zoot, the human

Kermit, the frog
Gonzo, the whatever
Couldn't find Janice.


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