So I have an assignment that I have been attempting for 2 weeks now and the class has been given extensions twice now. Everyone seems to be struggling with this part of the assignment. The assignment is to do K&R Exercise 5-13, unix tail command.
Instructions: "The program takes lines from standard input and keeps the last n of them in memory as it goes through standard input. When it gets to an EOF, it prints the last n lines out. You may assume n is less than 2000 and each individual line is not longer than 1000 including the newline and the null terminator.

Use two source files plus a header file for this, just to show you know how to make multiple source files work together.

interprets the command line argument.
Calls init_lineholder(int nlines) with the numebr from the command line.
Does a loop calling getline and insert_line(char *line)
when getline returns 0 (indicating EOF on stdin), it calls print_lines().

contains a static array of pointers for lines.
Implements init_lineholder, insert_line, and print_lines.
Init_lineholder initializes the "first" slot and related variables.
Insert_line adds a line to the array.
It must allocate memory for the new line.
It must free the memory for a line no longer needed, if any.
Print_lines prints the lines in the array and frees the memory used for them.

lineholder.h: Just has prototypes for the three calls with appropriate comments explaining what they do for the caller.


blade71(148)% cat lineholder.h
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>

/* This header file contains the prototypes of the three functions
   in lineholder.c                                                 */

int init_lineholder(int nlines);

int insert_line(char *line);

void print_lines();

lineholder.c is correct, however I need to implement memory allocation.

blade71(160)% cat lineholder.c
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>

static char lines;
lines = *(*lines + MAXLEN) + MAXLINE);
static char (*first) [MAXLEN], (*last) [MAXLEN], (*end) [MAXLEN];
static int wrapped;

void init_lineholder(int lines)
if (nlines > MAXLINE)
  nlines = MAXLINE;
  first = last = lines;
  end = lines + nlines;
  wrapped = 0;

void insert_line(char *line)
  strcpy(*last++, line);

  if (wrapped)
  first = (++first >= end) ?
    lines : first;
    if (last >= end)
        last = lines;
        wrapped = 1;

void print_lines(void)
  do {
    if (*first != NULL)
      printf("%s", *first);

      first  = (++first >= end) ?
        lines : first;

Biggest mess of them all....:

blade71(188)% cat tail.c
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>

#define MAXLINE 2000
#define maxlen 1000

int getline(char *line, int max);
int main (int argc, char *argv[])
  int nlines = 0;
  char line[MAXLINE];

  if (argc != 2)
  printf("Too few of arguments");
  while (getline(line, MAXLINE) > 0)
 return nlines;
  /* Calls init_lineholder(int nlines) with nlines */
  /* Does loop callinggetline and insert_line(char*line) */
  /* When getline returns 0, call print_lines() */
  int getline(char *line, int max)
  int nch = 0;
  int c;
  max = max - 1;                        /* leave room for '\0' */

  #ifndef FGETLINE
  while((c = getchar()) != EOF)
  while((c = getc(fp)) != EOF)
      if(c == '\n')
      if(nch < max)
        line[nch] = c;
        nch = nch + 1;
  if(c == EOF && nch == 0)
  return EOF;
  line[nch] = '\0';
  return nch;

83 and no response....does it look right? can someone at least point out what I'm doing wrong. Do my algorithms make sense?

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