RSS Feed
Download our iPhone app
Browse DevX
Sign up for e-mail newsletters from DevX

By submitting your information, you agree that devx.com may send you DevX offers via email, phone and text message, as well as email offers about other products and services that DevX believes may be of interest to you. DevX will process your information in accordance with the Quinstreet Privacy Policy.


Change the Rules of C++ with Defaulted Functions-2 : Page 2




Building the Right Environment to Support AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

What a Difference a default Makes
C++09 offers a neat solution to this problem by extending the semantics to the keyword default. To force the compiler to generate a copy constructor for a class that wouldn't normally get one, declare the default constructor like this:

class C { public: C(const C& rhs); C()=default; };

This way, the compiler will be forced to generate a default constructor for C.

Notice how elegantly this new feature extends the meaning of default, a keyword that already exists in C and C++. To make default's new role distinct from its traditional use in switch statements, defaulted functions now adopt pure virtual functions' =specifier notation. The =default function specifier can be added to any of the special member functions—not just the constructor.

Author's Note: By mere coincidence, the word default is used in both default constructors and defaulted functions. Recall that a default constructor is simply a constructor that can be invoked with no arguments. To avoid confusion, I use the phrase "defaulted constructor" to refer to a constructor that is declared with the =default specifier.

Destructors Unleashed
The C++ standard states clearly when the compiler will implicitly declare a destructor for a class and when it won't. Here too, the rules don't always meet your design goals. With the =default specifier you can override them.

Suppose you're designing an interface for an asbtract pointing device:

struct Pointing_device_interface { virtual bool onRightClick(Point xy)=0; virtual bool onDoubleClick(Point xy)=0; //.. virtual ~Pointing_device_interface(); };

You must declare a virtual destructor for this class because otherwise, the compiler will implicitly declare a non-virtual destructor for it. Here's the catch: after you declare a destructor (virtual or not), you must define it as well—even if it's a dummy destructor:


In this example, you're forced to manually define a dummy destructor simply because it must be virtual. As with the manual definition of a default constructor, a manual destructor—however trivial—is less efficient than an implicitly-defined one, and it imposes an unnecessary burden on the programmer. Ideally, you'd like to have the compiler generate a virtual destructor for you. Let's see how C++09 defaulted functions get it done:

struct Pointing_device_interface { virtual int onRightClick(Point xy)=0; virtual int onDoubleClick(Point xy)=0; //.. virtual ~Pointing_device_interface()=default; };

The compiler now implicitly defines a virtual destructor for Pointing_device_interface. The implicitly-defined destructor is as efficient as any implicitly-defined virtual destructor.

Remember, defaulted functions are only declared; you don't define them. The compiler will automatically define them for you.

Comment and Contribute






(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.



Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date