Make function pointers members of structures in c

2334 views c

I am completely noob when I work with C. Very weak with pointers.

I have written a struct for a binary search tree. But when I try to access it from code it throws an error:

Process terminating with default action of signal 11 (SIGSEGV). Bad permissions for mapped region at address 0x0`.

Here is my struct (in bst.h):

typedef struct tree Tree;

typedef struct tree{
    Node * root;
    Data * (*insert)(Tree * bst, Data value); //i get error in main when I make a call
    Data * (*search)(Tree * bst, Data value);
    void (*sort)(Tree *, Data *);
    int (*compare)(Tree *t, Tree * copy);
    Tree * (*clone)(Tree *t);
    void  (*delete)(Tree *bst);
    void  (*removeData)(Tree * bst, Data value);

Member functions (in bst.c):

Node * newNode(Data data, Node * parent) {
    printf("inside new node\n");
    Node * node = malloc(sizeof(Node));
    if(parent!=NULL) {
        if((parent->data.value)> data.value) {
        else {
    printf("after inside newNode\n");
    return node;

Tree * newTree() {
    Tree *tree;
    tree = (Tree*)malloc(sizeof(Tree));
    return tree;

// not getting inside in this function
Data * insert(Tree * tree, Data data) {
    if(tree->root==NULL) {
        tree->root = newNode(data,NULL);
    } else{
        return insertNode(tree->root,data);
    return NULL;

Here is my main() that calls this function (in main.c):

Tree *bst = newTree();
assert(bst->root == NULL);

for (i = 0; i < num_data; i++){
    bst->insert(bst, (Data){d[i]});
    printf("inside for loop");

I am not sure whether this is the right way to make function pointers as members of struct.

answered question

It's not clear what you want exactly because there's no actual question in there. Your code has a bug, most likely a NULL pointer dereference. Can you give us enough code to replicate the bug? Also, why is this tagged C++?

I recommend removing the C++ tag, since your title says you are programming in C and your questions states you are programming in C. They are different langyages. For example, struct tree defines tree as a type in C++.

Where do you initialize all the function pointers?

@ThomasMatthews added more code

Your structure has pointers to functions. Where do you initialize these pointers? You call newTree(), but the structure members, like insert are not initialized. You should make the insert pointer point to a valid function.

This is pretty advanced stuff for a complete noob.

@Barmar true. I did not write the code. I was playing with it.

1 Answer


In newTree(), you are not assigning your functions to the function-pointers inside of the allocated tree struct.

Data* insert(Tree* tree, Data data);

Tree* newTree() {
    Tree *tree = (Tree*) malloc(sizeof(Tree));
    if (!tree) return NULL;

    tree->root = NULL;

    tree->insert = &insert; // <-- ADD THIS!
    // and do the same for your other function pointers...
    tree->search = ...;
    tree->sort = ...;
    tree->compare = ...;
    tree->clone = ...;
    tree->delete = ...;
    tree->removeData = ...;

    return tree;

posted this

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