Generics, Algorithms, and Operators

Table of contents:

Overloading operator symbols makes it possible to define a common interface for our classes that is consistent with that of the basic types. Many generic algorithms take advantage of this by using the common operators to perform basic functions such as comparison.

The qSort() function is a generic algorithm that is implemented using the heap sort algorithm. In Example 10.7, we show how it can be used on two similar but different containers.

qSort() can be applied to any Qt container of objects that have publicly defined functions operator<() and operator==(). Containers of built-in numeric types can also be sorted with this function.

Example 10.7. src/collections/sortlist/sortlist4.cpp

#include  // for qSort()
#include  // for cin and cout
using namespace qstd;

class CaseIgnoreString : public QString {
 CaseIgnoreString(const QString& other = QString()) :
 QString(other) {}

 bool operator<(const QString & other) const {
 return toLower() < other.toLower();
 bool operator==(const QString& other) const {
 return toLower() == other.toLower();

int main() {
 CaseIgnoreString s1("Apple"), s2("bear"),
 s3 ("CaT"), s4("dog"), s5 ("Dog");

 ASSERT_TRUE(s4 == s5);
 ASSERT_TRUE(s2 < s3);
 ASSERT_TRUE(s3 < s4);

 QList namelist;

 namelist << s5 << s1 << s3 << s4 << s2; <-- 1

 qSort(namelist.begin(), namelist.end());
 int i=0;
 foreach (QString stritr, namelist) {
 cout << QString("namelist[%1] = %2")
 .arg(i++).arg(stritr) << endl;

 QStringList strlist;
 strlist << s5 << s1 << s3 << s4 << s2; <-- 2

 qSort(strlist.begin(), strlist.end());
 cout << "StringList sorted: " + strlist.join(", ") << endl;
 return 0;

(1)Insert all items in an order that is definitely not sorted.

(2)The value collection holds QString, but we are adding CaseIgnoreString. A conversion is required.

operator<<(), which is the left shift operator from C, has been overloaded in the QList class to append items to the list.

Example 10.8 shows the output of this program.

Example 10.8. src/collections/sortlist/sortlist-output.txt

namelist[0] = Apple
namelist[1] = bear
namelist[2] = CaT
namelist[3] = dog
namelist[4] = Dog
StringList sorted: Apple, CaT, Dog, bear, dog

Notice that the sorting order is case sensitive when we add CaseIgnoreString objects to a QStringList. This is because a CaseIgnoreString must be converted into a QString as it is added to strlist. Therefore, when strlist's elements are compared, they are compared as QStrings.

Exercises: Generics, Algorithms, and Operators


A QStringList is a value container of objects that have lazy copy-on-write. In a way, it is like a pointer-collection, but smarter. In Example 10.7, a CaseIgnoreString was added to a QStringList, which required a conversion. Does this require a copy of the actual string data? Why or why not?


Add some more functions to ContactList:

Operators += and -= should add() and remove() respectively.

Write some client code that tests these functions.

Serializer Pattern

Part I: Introduction to C++ and Qt 4

C++ Introduction


Introduction to Qt



Inheritance and Polymorphism

Part II: Higher-Level Programming


Introduction to Design Patterns


Generics and Containers

Qt GUI Widgets


Validation and Regular Expressions

Parsing XML

Meta Objects, Properties, and Reflective Programming

More Design Patterns

Models and Views

Qt SQL Classes

Part III: C++ Language Reference

Types and Expressions

Scope and Storage Class

Statements and Control Structures

Memory Access

Chapter Summary

Inheritance in Detail

Miscellaneous Topics

Part IV: Programming Assignments

MP3 Jukebox Assignments

Part V: Appendices

MP3 Jukebox Assignments


MP3 Jukebox Assignments

An Introduction to Design Patterns in C++ with Qt 4
An Introduction to Design Patterns in C++ with Qt 4
ISBN: 0131879057
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 268 © 2008-2020.
If you may any questions please contact us: