Thread: cast to a reference to a static array

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    cast to a reference to a static array

    template<unsigned int size>class foo
            char arr[size];
    //returns a reference to arr
            char (&getArr())[size]
                return arr;
    //want to provide a cast operator to cast foo to a reference to a static char array of length size. syntax seems to follow the same rules as above, but the compiler doesn't like it. is this possible?
            operator char (&())[size]
                return arr;
    Last edited by m37h0d; 05-29-2009 at 12:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Try using a typedef within the class body.
        typedef char (&array_reference)[size];
        operator array_reference();
    Returning non-const references to private class members completely defeats the intent of encapsulation, so is not something I recommend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Inside my computer
    These kind of operators also typically allows evil implicit conversions that are not intended, but I suspect that because of this odd type, that risk is lessened. Regardless, be careful about these operators. It's far better to make an explicit function that returns your desired type.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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