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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Jan 13, 1999

Zero as a Universal Initializer

The literal 0 is an int. However, it can be used as a universal initializer for every data type, since it is automatically cast to the appropriate type. In this respect, 0 is a special case because the compiler examines its context to determine its type. For example:
 
  void *p = 0;   // when 0 is used to initialize a pointer, the compiler treats it as if it were NULL.
  float salary = 0;   // 0 is cast to a float
  char name[10] = {0};   // 0 cast to a '\0'
  void (*pf)(int) = 0;   // pointer to a function
Danny Kalev
 
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