puts is like fputs
except that the stream is assumed to be the standard output (stdout),
and a newline ('\n') is automatically appended.
gets is like fgets
except that the stream is assumed to be stdin,
and the newline ('\n') is deleted,
and there's no way to specify the maximum line length.
This last fact means that
to use gets
since you can't tell it how big the array it's to read into is,
there's no way to guarantee
that some unexpectedly-long input line
won't overflow the array,
with dire results.
(When discussing the drawbacks of gets,
it's customary to point out that the ``Internet worm,''
a program that wreaked havoc in 1988
by breaking into computers all over the net,
was able to do so
because a key network utility
on many Unix systems
the worm was able to overflow the buffer
in a particularly low, cunning way,
with the dire result that
the worm achieved superuser access to the attacked machine.)
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This page by Steve Summit // Copyright 1995, 1996 // mail feedback