Listing Members in an Initialization List

Listing Members in an Initialization List

This tips explains how to list members in an initialization list in the order in which they are declared.

Take a class Array:

 class Array {private: int *m_piData; // ptr to actual array data unsigned m_uiSize;// # of elements in the arraypublic: Array (unsigned size);};Array::Array (unsigned size): m_uiSize(size), 		m_piData(newint[m_uiSize])	    {}

The above code fragment does not reveal how much memory is held by the m_piData. This is because the class members are initialized in the order of their declaration in the class. The order in which they are listed in a member initialization list does not make any difference. In the Array class, m_piData will always be initialized first, followed by m_uiSize.

If the initialization of a data member needs the value of another data member, then it is safer to initialize them in the body of the constructor.

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