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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: All
May 29, 1998

Overloading postfix and prefix ++

For primitive types the C++ language distinguishes between ++x; and x++; as well as between --x; and x--; For objects requiring a distinction between prefix and postfix overloaded operators, the following rule is used:
 
	class Date {
		//...
		public:
		Date& operator++(); //prefix
		Date& operator--(); //prefix
		Date& operator++(int unused); //postfix
		Date& operator--(int unused); //postfix
	};
Postfix operators are declared with a dummy int argument (which is ignored) in order to distinguish them from the prefix operators, which take no arguments:
 
	void f() 
	{
	Date d, d1;
	d1 = ++d;//prefix: first increment d and then assign to d1
	d1 = d++; //postfix; first assign, increment d afterwards 
	}
Danny Kalev
 
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