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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL
Expertise: Beginner
Oct 25, 1999

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anonymous unions

Question:
I'm trying to find information regarding anonymous unions in C++. I hear that in C++, one is able to declare a union such as:

union example
{
  int a;
  int b;
} ;
Afterward, one would be able to refer to the variables a and b without using member notation. I've tried this and it doesn't seem to work. Any ideas?

Answer:
As the name 'anonymous union' suggests, the union has no tag name, nor does it have an instance name. Furthermore, according to the Standard, global anonymous unions must be declared static. Here's an example:


static union
{
  int a;
  int b;
};
int main()
{
 a = 0; //access anynimous union's member
 b = 5;
 cout<
Alternatively, you can define an anonymous union inside a class. In this case, it shouldn't be declared static:

class C
{
  union 
  {
   int a;
   int b;
  };
public:
  void assign(int n) { a = n;}
};
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