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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
May 23, 1999

Copy objects

Question:
Assume that you have a class Distance and two objects dist1 and dist2. You have initialized the object dist1. Now you do:

Distance dist2(dist1) to create a copy of dist1 into object dist2.

Have all members of dist1 been copied into dist2? What does not get copied?

Answer:
That depends on if the class has a copy constructor.

If the class has no copy constructor, then C++ will simply copy the memory from one class object to another. In many cases this will work. But what if the object contains a pointer? In this case, the pointer is copied and both classes reference the same memory location. This is probably not what you want, and so you should have a copy constructor to copy data appropriately.

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