A GNU extension to formatted input lets you safely read a string with no
maximum size. Using this feature, you don't supply a buffer; instead,
scanf allocates a buffer big enough to hold the data and gives
you its address. To use this feature, write `a' as a flag
character, as in `%as' or `%a[0-9a-z]'.
The pointer argument you supply for where to store the input should have
type char **. The scanf function allocates a buffer and
stores its address in the word that the argument points to. You should
free the buffer with free when you no longer need it.
Here is an example of using the `a' flag with the `%[...]'
conversion specification to read a “variable assignment” of the form
`variable = value'.