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1. What is "str"? I'm trying to understand the expression sizeof(*str).
2. Is "string" the std::string from the standard library?
3. Why is cline a char** instead of a char*? The alloca returns in this case a pointer to char, not a pointer to a pointer.
Finally, you can't create a std::string from a char**. You can initialize a std::string from another string or from a char* (or char array).