Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between scanf and fgets

Scanf vs fgets

Scanf and fgets are two commonly used function phrases in C programming and which have through time been implemented in other programming languages. Scanf refers to Scan formats. Scanf focuses on the input of the valid tokens and it parses them depending on the format specified. Focusing on their differences in execution and the codes that they hold helps in the overall implementation of the entire process is a good way to give insight of the differences between the two. Fgets is, on the other hand, a function of the C library which has spread since inception to be used in other libraries.

Use of fgets is discouraged in modern day programming, as it has been left in the C89 and C99 standards that allow backward compatibility. Even so, use of fgets should be very well addressed to ensure that the overall results are codes that can be run. The programmer using fgets must therefore be aware of the maximum upper limit of the number of characters needed to allow for sufficient buffer. This is a difficult challenge with no prior knowledge of the data. It is from this design that a gate that allows for exploitation of computer security is provided in the event of a buffer overflow. For the above reason, mops new programs are not recommended to use fgets.

The scanf function returns all the available items that match. It is important to note that it is not all the time that you will get an equal number of the items as requested. The items can be less than those requested. In the event of a stream being exhausted, an EOF error is given. This same scenario is also seen when reading fails before a matching of any items is done. The scanf function then returns the total number of successfully matched items, of which can be less than those of the number requested.

Another difference hat is seen between fgets and scanf includes the possibility of fgets to read from a given file, provided it is open. Scanf only reads from standard inputs, not any file. It is also important to note that fgets only reads a line of text at a given time from a file. Scanf, on the other hand, can read text one line at a time, but it also allows for handle conversions into numeric types, coming from string types. Fgets is in most cases used to read a given line of data whereas scanf is used for the dissection of the data.

Another thing that comes up as a difference is that scanf does not perform bounds checking, while fgets provides a better choice that can allow for evaluation to be done. Scanf can then be used to evaluate the bounds after they have been checked by fgets.

Another important thing to note is that scanf looks for a specific pattern that is defined within the format argument on a specific input. This input is referred to as stdin. The given input in this case could be string file, depending on the variant used. Fgets, on the other hand, specifically reads a line from the file and copies this to the output of the buffer. In general, it can be said that scanf does not come with any limits on the specific number of characters of which can be read in the default use. Fgets has a maximum number of characters that can be read.


Scanf refers to Scan formats.
Scanf focuses on the input of valid tokens.
Scanf parses inputs depending on the format specified.
Fgets are a function of the C.
Scanf only reads from standard inputs.
Fgets only reads a line of text at a given time from a file.
Scanf does not perform bounds checking.

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