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What is identifier? Explain its type in detail.

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Identifiers are names for entities in a C program, such as variables, arrays, functions, structures, unions and labels. An identifier can be composed only of uppercase, lowercase letters, underscore and digits, but should start only with an alphabet or an underscore. If the identifier is not used in an external link process, then it is called as internal. Example: Local variable. If the identifier is used in an external link process, then it is called as external. Example: Global variable

An identifier is a string of alphanumeric characters that begins with an alphabetic character or an underscore character that are used to represent various programming elements such as variables, functions, arrays, structures, unions and so on. Actually, an identifier is a user-defined word. There are 53 characters, to represent identifiers. They are 52 alphabetic characters (i.e., both uppercase and lowercase alphabets) and the underscore character. The underscore character is considered as a letter in identifiers. The underscore character is usually used in the middle of an identifier. There are 63 alphanumeric characters, i.e., 53 alphabetic characters and 10 digits (i.e., 0-9).

Rules for constructing identifiers

1.     The first character in an identifier must be an alphabet or an underscore and can be followed only by any number alphabets, or digits or underscores.

2.     They must not begin with a digit.

3.     Uppercase and lowercase letters are distinct. That is, identifiers are case sensitive.

4.     Commas or blank spaces are not allowed within an identifier.

5.     Keywords cannot be used as an identifier.

6.     Identifiers should not be of length more than 31 characters.

7.     Identifiers must be meaningful, short, quickly and easily typed and easily read.

Valid identifiers:      total    sum     average          _x        y_        mark_1           x1

Invalid identifiers    

                                                     1x       -           begins with a digit

                                                    char    -           reserved word

                                                    x+y      -           special character

Note: Underscore character is usually used as a link between two words in long identifiers.

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