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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Feb 3, 2000

Static Char THIS_FILE[]=__FILE__

Question:
When I learned VC++, I found a bizarre statement in every .cpp produced by AppWizard:
"static char THIS_FILE[]=__FILE__;"
Why does AppWizard redefine THIS_FILE? I find that THIS_FILE is just defined as __FILE__ in AFX.h. Any idea why it's this way?

Answer:
The THIS_FILE variable stores the name of the current translation unit. It is displayed when the application crashes due to an Assert() failure or an Access Violation. Note that the THIS_FILE declaration is deprecated for two reasons:

1. It uses the keyword 'static' to force internal linkage, whereas an anonymous namespace is the recommended way of doing this.
2. The char array should be declared const. After all, it's not supposed to be changed after the initialization.

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