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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Jun 7, 1999



Application Security Testing: An Integral Part of DevOps

Overloading the Subscript Operator the Right Way

It is customary to overload the subscript operator, [], in classes that hold a sequence of elements. Vector and String are examples of such classes. When you overload operator [], remember to define two versions thereof: a non-const version and a const one. For example:

class MyString
  char * buff;
  int size;
  char& operator [] (int index) { return buff[index]; } //non-const
  const char& operator [] (int index) const { return buff[index]; } //const

The const version of the subscript operator is called when its object itself is const:

void f(const MyString& str)
  char c = str[0]; //calls const char& operator [] (int index) const 
Danny Kalev
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