Thread: [Operator Overloading] Accessing privates [inside]

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    [Operator Overloading] Accessing privates [inside]

    Hallo All.

    I have a quick question that tickles me. Its about operator overloading in Classes. I will demonstrate with a code snippet. I hope that someone will be able to clear it up a bit for me.

    class rectangle {
    // Rectangle Object, used to store the length and width of a rect
    // and compute it's area. Set functions included.
                    float itsLength; // Rectangle length
                    float itsWidth; // Rectangle width
                    float getArea(); // function to get area of Rectangle
                    void setLength(float pLength); // function to set Length
                    void setWidth(float pWidth); // function to set Width
                    float operator+(rectangle &pRect); // The operator overloading function.
    float rectangle::operator+(rectangle &pRect) {
            return  getArea() + pRect.itsLength * pRect.itsWidth; // This is just my demonstration. Normally it would not be done like this.
    int main(int argc, char* argv[])
            rectangle r1, r2; // Create 2 instances of class rectangle
            r1.setLength(10); // Set r1's length to 10
            r1.setWidth(5); // Set r1's width to 5
            r2.setLength(5); // Set r2's length to 5
            r2.setWidth(2); // Set r2's width to 2;
            float total = r1 + r2; // Operator overloading comes into play.
            cout << "Total == " << total; // print total to screen.
            return 0;

    Now, it shoes clearly that in the function rectangle::operator+(rectangle &pRect) that I access the private members of the referenced object &pRect.

    Altho this is a nice feature to have, doesn't it defeat the purpose of private members. I mean, private members are supposed to be private ? Or am I missing the point here ?

    I would be greatful if anyone can please explain to me why this is possible, and if there is any specific reason for it being so :)

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by PHaRaoH; 09-26-2002 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    They are private sure, but as its an object of type rectange that's accessing those private variables, its permissable....

    If you had another object...say square...then that object would not benefit from this privilege

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Thanks alot.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. vector : accessing values
    By rahulsk1947 in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-01-2009, 09:26 PM
  2. Problems accessing logged on user via System.Security
    By conor20_ie in forum C# Programming
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-16-2007, 07:52 AM