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strcspn() in C
  • Difficulty Level : Hard
  • Last Updated : 23 Dec, 2017

The C library function strcspn() calculates the length of the number of characters before the 1st occurrence of character present in both the string.
Syntax :

strcspn(const char *str1, const char *str2)

Parameters:
str1 : The Target string in which search has to be made.
str2 : Argument string containing characters
to match in target string.

Return Value:
This function returns the number of characters before the 1st occurrence
of character present in both the string.
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// C code to demonstrate the working of
// strcspn()
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
  
int main()
{
  
    int size;
  
    // initializing strings
    char str1[] = "geeksforgeeks";
    char str2[] = "kfc";
  
    // using strcspn() to calculate initial chars
    // before 1st matching chars.
    // returns 3
    size = strcspn(str1, str2);
  
    printf("The unmatched characters before first matched character :  %d\n", size);
}

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Output:

The unmatched characters before first matched character :  3

Practical Application : There can be many practical application of this function, be it word games or irregularity calculator. A simple word game is demonstrated in this article.

Rules : According to this game, 2 players play and one player initially generated a string and is asked to produce a string which has as many unmatched characters. After 1 round, player producing string with maximum unmatched characters wins.

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// C code to demonstrate the application of
// strcspn()
  
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
  
int main()
{
  
    int score1 = 0, score2 = 0, k = 0, sizen = 0, size = 0;
  
    // initial Round1 strings
    char player1[] = "geeks";
    char play2[] = "";
  
    while (1) {
        // generating random character
        char randoml = 'a' + (random() % 26);
        play2[k++] = randoml;
  
        size = strcspn(play2, player1);
  
        if (size == sizen) {
            // if the character is present, break
            score2 = size;
            break;
        }
        else {
            sizen = size;
        }
    }
  
    // initial Round2 strings
    const char player2[] = "geeks";
    char play1[] = "";
    k = 0, sizen = 0;
  
    while (1) {
        // generating random character
        char randoml = 'a' + (random() % 26);
        play1[k++] = randoml;
  
        size = strcspn(play1, player2);
  
        if (size == sizen) {
  
            // if the character is present, break
            score1 = size;
            break;
        }
        else {
            sizen = size;
        }
    }
  
    if (score1 > score2)
        printf("Player 1 won!! Score : %d", score1);
    else if (score2 > score1)
        printf("Player 2 won!! Score : %d", score2);
    else
        printf("Match Drawn!! Score : %d", score1);
}

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Output:

Match Drawn!! Score : 2

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