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Blocking Undesirable Object Copying and Implicit Conversions-3 : Page 3

C++ doesn't offer a direct mechanism for blocking undesirable copying or preventing implicit conversion of arguments. However, with some code tweaks you can work around these problems.


Blocking Copying and Assignment
A previous 10-Minute Solutiondemonstrated a technique for blocking object copying—but it has a flaw which calls for revision.

As said earlier, there's no way to instruct the compiler to not declare a copy constructor and an assignment operator implicitly as public members of the class—unless youdeclare them explicitly. If you declare these members explicitly as private members, they will become inaccessible and, hence, unusable:

class Myfile
 Myfile(const Myfile&); //block copying
 Myfile& operator=(const Myfile&); //block assignment

 explicit Myfile(const char * name);
 virtual ~Myfile();
 virtual int open(const char * name);
 virtual int close();

Notice how the private copy constructor and assignment operators block copying and assignment:

int main()
 Myfile datafile("mydata.txt");//OK
 Myfile file2(datafile);//error, copy ctor inaccessible
 Myfile third;
 third=file2; //error, assignment op inaccessible

This technique differs in one crucial aspect from the technique shown in the previous 10-Minute solution. In the code above, the private member functions are only declared; they are not implemented. If you implement the private copy constructor and the assignment operators, any member function of Myfilewill be able to invoke them. Using the new technique, the program will fail to link should a member function invoke the copy constructor or assignment operator.

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