C Language FOREACH implementation


Example

We can also use macros for making code easier to read and write. For example we can implement macros for implementing the foreach construct in C for some data structures like singly- and doubly-linked lists, queues, etc.

Here is a small example.

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

struct LinkedListNode
{
    int data;
    struct LinkedListNode *next;
};

#define FOREACH_LIST(node, list) \
     for (node=list; node; node=node->next)

/* Usage */
int main(void)
{
    struct LinkedListNode *list, **plist = &list, *node;
    int i;

    for (i=0; i<10; i++)
    {
         *plist = malloc(sizeof(struct LinkedListNode));
         (*plist)->data = i;
         (*plist)->next = NULL;
         plist          = &(*plist)->next;
    }

    /* printing the elements here */
    FOREACH_LIST(node, list)
    {
        printf("%d\n", node->data);
    }
}

You can make a standard interface for such data-structures and write a generic implementation of FOREACH as:

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

typedef struct CollectionItem_
{
    int data;
    struct CollectionItem_ *next;
} CollectionItem;

typedef struct Collection_
{
    /* interface functions */
    void* (*first)(void *coll);
    void* (*last) (void *coll);
    void* (*next) (void *coll, CollectionItem *currItem);

    CollectionItem *collectionHead;
    /* Other fields */
} Collection;

/* must implement */
void *first(void *coll)
{
    return ((Collection*)coll)->collectionHead;
}

/* must implement */
void *last(void *coll)
{
    return NULL;
}

/* must implement */
void *next(void *coll, CollectionItem *curr)
{
    return curr->next;
}

CollectionItem *new_CollectionItem(int data)
{
    CollectionItem *item = malloc(sizeof(CollectionItem));
    item->data = data;
    item->next = NULL;
    return item;
}

void Add_Collection(Collection *coll, int data)
{
    CollectionItem **item = &coll->collectionHead;
    while(*item)
        item = &(*item)->next;
    (*item) = new_CollectionItem(data);
}

Collection *new_Collection()
{
    Collection *nc = malloc(sizeof(Collection));
    nc->first = first;
    nc->last  = last;
    nc->next  = next;
    return nc;
}

/* generic implementation */
#define FOREACH(node, collection)                      \
    for (node  = (collection)->first(collection);      \
         node != (collection)->last(collection);       \
         node  = (collection)->next(collection, node))

int main(void)
{
    Collection *coll = new_Collection();
    CollectionItem *node;
    int i;

    for(i=0; i<10; i++)
    {
         Add_Collection(coll, i);
    }

    /* printing the elements here */
    FOREACH(node, coll)
    {
        printf("%d\n", node->data);
    }
}

To use this generic implementation just implement these functions for your data structure.

1.  void* (*first)(void *coll);
2.  void* (*last) (void *coll);
3.  void* (*next) (void *coll, CollectionItem *currItem);