Assignment operator overloading

This is a discussion on Assignment operator overloading within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hello, I am having a hard time understanding the assignment operator overloading in a class that has a pointer as ...

  1. #1
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    Jan 2007
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    5

    Assignment operator overloading

    Hello,

    I am having a hard time understanding the assignment operator overloading in a class that has a pointer as its member attribute. My question is: why does it make a memory leak if you do not delete the pointer before reassigning the value of the right hand side object? For example, there is a class called Number that has a pointer, itsNum, to an integer that is dynamically allocated (just as an example). Here is the code for assignment operator:

    Code:
    Number& Number::operator=(const Number& rhs)
    {
        if (this != &rhs)
        {
            delete itsNum;
            itsNum = new int;
            *itsNum = *(rhs.itsNum);
        }
        
        return *this;
    }
    Also, another question is if pointers of *this and rhs point to the same address (even though two objects are distinct), doesn't deleting itsNum create a problem?

  2. #2
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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