March 26th, 2013, 08:46 AM
Modifying an existing array with a function
I have an array of char representing pixels in a bitmap, which I want to modify. I don't think I can just iterate over the array and pass chars into a function individually, because the function needs to take into account the neighboring pixels, too.
I thought of two ways to do this. The first would be to pass the array to the function as an argument, then have the function change it and return it. The trouble is I'm not exactly sure what happens internally when you pass an array to a function and return it. Is it the same array, modified? Or is it a copy of the array, so now you're using twice as much memory?
Alternatively I guess I could have a function with a void return type and pass a pointer to the array. I'm somewhat new to this, but the way I understand it is that a pointer is like the address of a house, while the array is the actual house. So if I give the function the address, it can go to that address and rearrange the furniture inside the house. Then, after the function returns, I can go to that address myself and see all the rearranged furniture, even though the function has already returned.
Is there a problem with the second way? It seems a bit neater, but maybe I'm understanding pointers wrong.
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