Exercise Week-1: Variable, Datatype and Initialization

While visiting the below link, read carefully the full page. The source code page will contains both C and C++  Code  simultaneously.

Exercise-1:Adding Two Numbers

Declaration of variables


In order to use a variable in C++, we must first declare it specifying which data type we want it to be. The syntax to declare a new variable is to write the specifier of the desired data type (like int, bool, float...) followed by a valid variable identifier. For example

int a;
float mynumber;

These are two valid declarations of variables. The first one declares a variable of type int with the identifier a. The second one declares a variable of type float with the identifier mynumber. Once declared, the variables a and mynumber can be used within the rest of their scope in the program. If you are going to declare more than one variable of the same type, you can declare all of them in a single statement by separating their identifiers with commas. For example:

int a, b, c;

This declares three variables (a, b and c), all of them of type int, and has exactly the same meaning as:

int a;
int b;
int c;

The integer data types char, short, long and int can be either signed or unsigned depending on the range of numbers needed to be represented. Signed types can represent both positive and negative values, whereas unsigned types can only represent positive values (and zero). This can be specified by using either the specifier signed or the specifier unsigned before the type name. For example:

unsigned short int NumberOfSisters;
signed int MyAccountBalance;

By default, if we do not specify either signed or unsigned most compiler settings will assume the type to be signed, therefore instead of the second declaration above we could have written:

int MyAccountBalance;

with exactly the same meaning (with or without the keyword signed) An exception to this general rule is the char type, which exists by itself and is considered a different fundamental data type from signed char and unsigned char, thought to store characters. You should use either signed or unsigned if you intend to store numerical values in a char-sized variable. short and long can be used alone as type specifiers. In this case, they refer to their respective integer fundamental types: short is equivalent to short int and long is equivalent to long int. The following two variable declarations are equivalent:

short Year;
short int Year;

Finally, signed and unsigned may also be used as standalone type specifiers, meaning the same as signed int and unsigned int respectively. The following two declarations are equivalent:

unsigned NextYear;
unsigned int NextYear;

To see what variable declarations look like in action within a program, we are going to see the C++ code of the example about your mental memory proposed at the beginning of this section:

// operating with variables
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main ()
// declaring variables:
int a, b;
int result;
// process:
a = 5;
b = 2;
a = a + 1;
result = a - b;
// print out the result:
cout << result;
// terminate the program:
return 0;

Initialization of variables

When declaring a regular local variable, its value is by default undetermined. But you may want a variable to store a concrete value at the same moment that it is declared. In order to do that, you can initialize the variable. There are two ways to do this in C++:

The first one, known as c-like, is done by appending an equal sign followed by the value to which the variable will be initialized:

type identifier = initial_value ;

For example, if we want to declare an int variable called a initialized with a value of 0 at the moment in which it is declared, we could write:

int a = 0;

The other way to initialize variables, known as constructor initialization, is done by enclosing the initial value between parentheses (()):

type identifier (initial_value) ;

For example:

int a (0);

Both ways of initializing variables are valid and equivalent in C++.

// initialization of variables
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main ()
int a=5; // initial value = 5
int b(2); // initial value = 2
int result; // initial value
a = a + 3;
result = a - b;
cout << result;
return 0;



C++ Variables, Identifiers and Data Types


programming is not limited only to printing simple texts on the screen. In order to go a little further on and to become able to write programs that perform useful tasks that really save us work we need to introduce the concept of variable.

Let us think that I ask you to retain the number 5 in your mental memory, and then I ask you to memorize also the number 2 at the same time. You have just stored two different values in your memory. Now, if I ask you to add 1 to the first number I said, you should be retaining the numbers 6 (that is 5+1) and 2 in your memory. Values that we could now for example subtract and obtain 4 as result. The whole process that you have just done with your mental memory is a simile of what a computer can do with
two variables. The same process can be expressed in C++ with the following instruction set:

a = 5;
b = 2;
a = a + 1;
result = a - b;

Obviously, this is a very simple example since we have only used two small integer values, but consider that your computer can store millions of numbers like these at the same time and conduct sophisticated mathematical operations with them.

Therefore, we can define a variable as a portion of memory to store a determined value.

Each variable needs an identifier t
hat distinguishes it from the others, for example, in the previous code the variable identifiers were a, b and result, but we could have called the variables any names we wanted to invent, as long as they were valid identifiers.


A valid identifier is a sequence of one or more letters, digits or underscore characters (_). Neither spaces nor
punctuation marks or symbols can be part of an identifier. Only letters, digits and single underscore characters are

Another rule that you have to consider when inventing your own identifiers is that they cannot match any keyword of the C++ language nor your compiler's specific ones, which are reserved keywords. The standard reserved keywords are:

asm, auto, bool, break, case, catch, char, class, const, const_cast, continue, default, delete, do, double, dynamic_cast, else, enum, explicit, export, extern, false, float, for, friend, goto, if, inline, int, long, mutable, namespace, new, operator, private, protected, public, register, reinterpret_cast, return, short, signed, sizeof, static, static_cast, struct, switch, template, this, throw, true, try, typedef, typeid, typename, union, unsigned, using, virtual, void, volatile, wchar_t, while

Additionally, alternative representations for some operators cannot be used as identifiers since they are reserved words under some circumstances:

and, and_eq, bitand, bitor, compl, not, not_eq, or, or_eq, xor, xor_eq

Note: The C++ language is a "case sensitive" language. That means that an identifier written in capital letters is not equivalent to another one with the same name but written in small letters. Thus, for example, the RESULT variable is not the same as the result variable or the Result variable. These are three different variable identifiers.

Fundamental data types

When programming, we store the variables in our computer's memory, but the computer has to know what kind of data we want to store in them, since it is not going to occupy the same amount of memory to store a simple number than to store a single letter or a large number, and they are not going to be interpreted the same way. The memory in our computers is organized in bytes. A byte is the minimum amount of memory that we can manage in C++. A byte can store a relatively small amount of data: one single character or a small integer (generally an integer between 0 and 255). In addition, the computer can manipulate more complex data types that come from grouping several bytes, such as long numbers or non-integer numbers. Next you have a summary of the basic fundamental data types in C++, as well as the range of values that can be represented with each one:

* The values of the columns Size and Range depend on the system the program is compiled for. The values shown above are those found on most 32-bit systems. But for other systems, the general specification is that int has the natural size suggested by the system architecture (one "word") and the four integer types char, short, int and long must each one be at least as large as the one preceding it, with char being always 1 byte in size. The same applies to the floating point types float, double and long double, where each one must provide at least as much precision as the preceding one.