Thread: head pointer(linked list)

  1. #1

    Unhappy head pointer(linked list)

    Hi, I want to define a pointer, but I am very confused about head pointer, if i define a struct, like
    typedef struct name{
    int i;
    struct node *next;
    // should I define a head here?
    // like: struct node *head;
    // I'm not sure should I define the head outside or inside, like
    typedef node ptr;
    ptr head;
    can you give me some example for how should I use the head pointer? thank you

  2. #2
    Green Member Cshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Here's the tutorial on this site:

    No, you shouldn't declare the head pointer there. It should go outside the structure. You don't want all of your structures to have a head pointer, just one global one to manipulate your list.
    Try not.
    Do or do not.
    There is no try.

    - Master Yoda

  3. #3
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    The most straightforward way is to declare two structures, one for each node in the list and one which contains an entire list by way of a head pointer.
    struct link
      void *data;
      struct link *next;
    struct list
      struct link *head;
      int n_links;
    Now you simply create an instance of the list struct and add new nodes as usual to the head pointer.

    My best code is written with the delete key.

  4. #4
    Visionary Philosopher Sayeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Where did this 'specialized' idea of a head pointer come from? that's not how it's normally done.

    Maybe you're confusing two separate issues-- linked lists and circular queues. 'Head' pointers aren't the same as 'root' node pointers, in conversation.

    Both can have head and tail pointers, but usually it's implemented like this:

    For a circular queue:
    typedef struct
       long                     data;
       long                     moreData;
       . . .
    node      queue[10];
    nodeP    headPtr;
    nodeP    tailPtr;
    /* Create 10 nodes as an array         */
    headPtr = &queue[0];                    /* init head */
    tailPtr = &queue[0];                       /* init tail */
    /* as data is added to the queue, the
     * head pointer is incremented to the
     * next element.  If the head pointer
     * pointer ever == the tail (swallows
     * the tail), the queue is overrun/full
     * The idea is that something else is
     * following along, pulling data out of
     * the tailptr and incrementing it so
     * it tries to catch up (or run at the
     * same rate) with the headptr.  If
     * the tail catches up to the head
     * pointer, the queue is empty.
    And for a linked list, like this:

    typedef struct nodeStruc
       struct nodeStruc *next;
       long                     data;
       long                     moreData;
       . . .
    nodeP   nodeListP[10];
    /* allocate 10 (or however many needed) nodes
     * and link them together (or created and link them
     * as needed
    nodeP headPtr;
    headPtr = nodeListP[0];
    I mean, in terms of 'head pointers', usually that mechanism is used only when working with an array or an array of structures.

    I hope this was not too far off what you were looking for.
    It is not the spoon that bends, it is you who bends around the spoon.

  5. #5
    Banned Troll_King's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    struct card_t
    	int suit, face;
    struct node_t
    	struct node_t *next;
    	struct card_t card;
    	int size;
    node_t * AddNode(node_t *);
    int main()
    	//This is a pointer to the first node in the list
    	//and is used to reference the entire list
    	struct node_t *headp;
    	//add one node to the list
    	headp = AddNode(headp);
    	return 0;
    node_t * AddNode(node_t *returnp) {  
    	node_t *newp;
    	//allocate space for new node
    	//fill new node with information
    	//add new node to the head of the list 
    	newp->next = returnp; 
    	//reassign the returned pointer to the head
    	returnp = newp;
    	//return the return pointer to the head
    	return returnp; 
    The head pointer node is just used to reference the list. It is your only connection to a singly linked list and is the first node in the list.
    Last edited by Troll_King; 08-23-2002 at 10:45 AM.

  6. #6

    Smile head pointer

    Thanx, all ! And I still have a question on my case, for example, if I want to create a function which need to insert node into a linked list, which each node hodes a row header of another linked list, like a sparse matrix, I can declare the function prototype like void matrix(matrix *, int row_num, int col_num, int value), how should I define structrue, can I define like following?
    typedef struct row_header{
    struct dataNode *rowhead;
    struct row_header *next;
    int rowNum;

    typedef SparseMatrix *rowHeaderPtr;

    typedef struct data_node{
    struct dataNode *next;
    float data;
    int colNum;
    thanks to give me a little comments!

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. help! Placement of nodes in a Linked List
    By lostmyshadow in forum C Programming
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-17-2007, 01:21 PM
  2. singly linked circular list
    By DarkDot in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-24-2007, 08:55 PM
  3. compiler build error
    By KristTlove in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-30-2003, 10:16 AM
  4. How can I traverse a huffman tree
    By carrja99 in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-28-2003, 05:46 PM
  5. singly linked list
    By clarinetster in forum C Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-26-2001, 10:21 PM