A few years ago I would answer the above question with ”because NULL is defined as a void pointer to 0”, which is only half correct (and close to being wrong). The answer to this question is much more complicated and thus much more interesting.

Let’s start with checking what the C standards (or actually drafts of the standards) say about the (in)famous NULL ptr. The green/yellow/orange colors mark the part that caught my attention. I’ll leave the C++0x case for another time (C++0x introduces the nullptr of std::nullptr_t type btw). For TL;DR scroll down, I summarize the points anyway.

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