I am really struggling to get started on the first part of Pset 3. I was able to do the commenting for generate.c (though without getting a deep understanding of srand and drand functions, which I hope is ok because the manuel pages felt really complex for my current knowledge base) and I also am not sure how much I understand about the make file. Like, when it is explained what each thing does that makes sense to me, but I in no way would feel comfortable writing my own make file. So I guess my first question is if I need to spend more time on those aspects, or if the goal was just to provide some basic exposure to those concepts right now?

Second, when going to implement helpers.c's search and sort functions, it feels a lot more nebulous than previous psets we've had. Maybe thats just moving more into the problem solving nature of CS, but I have been having a difficult time figuring out where to even start. Is the goal to just implement some version of the bubble/merge/binary search/sort functions we went over in lecture? If someone could help point me in the right direction, or even give me some idea of how to find the right direction on my own it would be much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, for now, you shouldn't worry too much about srand, drand and Makefile. The idea behind is to introduce some tools that you can use in the future, like man command. For Makefile, that is really nice tool btw, you may watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GExnnTaBELk&t. Anyway, in next weeks, there will be more about it.

For helpers.c, I would recommend to watch Walktroughs about sort (at first) and search http://docs.cs50.net/problems/find/less/find.html, and then, instead of thinking over the whole problem from very beginning till the very end, start to make it step by step. Sort three unsorted numbers. OK? and so on. Debug50 and eprintf are your allies.

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