Overloading on const-ness

const changes the signature of a member function. This means that functions can be overloaded on const-ness. Example 5.16 shows a homemade vector class with member functions overloaded in this way.

Example 5.16. src/const/overload/constoverload.h



class Point3 {	 <-- 1
 friend std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& out, const
 Point3& v);
 Point3(double x = 0, double y = 0, double z = 0);
 double& operator[](int index);
 const double& operator[](int index) const; <-- 2
 Point3 operator+(const Point3& v) const;
 Point3 operator-(const Point3& v) const;
 Point3 operator*(double s) const; <-- 3
 static const int cm_Dim = 3;
 double m_Coord[cm_Dim];


(1)a 3D point (of double)

(2)overloaded on const-ness

(3)scalar multiplication

Exercises: Overloading on const-ness


In Example 5.17, the compiler can tell the difference between calls to the const and to the non-const versions of operator[] based on the const-ness of the object.

Example 5.17. src/const/overload/constoverload-client.cpp

#include "constoverload.h"

int main( ) {
 using namespace std;
 Point3 pt1(1.2, 3.4, 5.6);
 const Point3 pt2(7.8, 9.1, 6.4);
 double d ;
 d = pt2[2]; <-- 1
 cout << d << endl;
 d = pt1[0]; <-- 2
 cout << d << endl;
 d = pt1[3]; <-- 3
 cout << d << endl;
 pt1[2] = 8.7; <-- 4
 cout << pt1 << endl;
 // pt2[2] = 'd';
 cout << pt2 << endl;
 return 0;





  1. Which operator is called for each of the notes?
  2. Why is the last assignment commented out?
  3. The operator function definitions are shown in Example 5.18. The fact that the two function bodies are identical is worth pondering. If index is in range, each function returns m_Coord[index], so what is the difference between them?

Example 5.18. src/const/overload/constoverload.cpp

[ . . . . ]
const double& Point3::operator[](int index) const {
 if ((index >= 0) && (index < cm_Dim))
 return m_Coord[index];
 return zero(index);
double& Point3::operator[](int index) {
 if ((index >= 0) && (index < cm_Dim))
 return m_Coord[index];
 return zero(index);
[ . . . . ]

Inline Functions

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

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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
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