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C++ Workshop - C++ Keywords, Variables, & Constants (Ch. 3)

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#1 JWalsh   Moderators   -  Reputation: 462

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 05:09 AM

Welcome to the GDNet C++ Workshop – Ch. 3

For a complete introduction to this workshop, please look here. Workshop Overview This workshop is designed to aid people in their journey to learn beginning C++. This workshop is targeted at highly motivated individuals who are interested in learning C++ or who have attempted to learn C++ in the past, but found that without sufficient support and mentoring they were unable to connect all the pieces of this highly complex but powerful programming language. This is a 'guided' self-teaching C++ workshop. Each student is responsible for taking the time to read the material and learn the information. The community and tutors that arise out of this workshop are here for making the learning process run more smoothly, but are not obligated to baby-sit a person's progress. Because everyone will be working from the same textbook (Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days 5th Ed.), students may find it easier to get answers to the specific questions they might have. There is no minimum age requirement, and there is no previous programming experience required. Additionally, this workshop does not attempt to defend C++ as a language, nor does it attempt to demonstrate that C++ is either more or less useful then other programming languages for any particular purpose. People who intend to start a discussion about the differences between C++ and ANY other languages (except as are relevant to a particular discussion), are encouraged to do so elsewhere. This workshop is for educational, not philosophical discussions. Quizzes & Exercises Each week will have quizzes and exercises posted in the weekly threads. Please try and answer them by yourself. As well, please DO NOT post the answers to Quizzes and Exercises within this thread. Once it becomes acceptable to post the answers to quizzes and exercises, an additional thread will be created each week specificaly for the purpose of posting quiz answers. If you try with reasonable effort but are unable to answer the questions or complete the exercises, feel free to post a clarification question here on the thread. Tutors, myself, or others will do the best we can to point you in the right direction for finding the answer.

Chapter 3 – Working with Variables and Constants

Introduction Greetings! This week we will be covering chapter 3 on variables and constants. The chapter is approximately 20 pages not including the summary, Q&A, and quiz questions at the end of the chapter. Roughly half way through the week myself, tutors, or anyone else simply wishing to challenge their teammates learning C++ can post review and quiz questions in this thread. Please do not post the answers in this thread however, as a new thread will be created for that purpose. This is a shorter week, only 7 days instead of 10 and at the beginning of the next week (Monday morning) we will again move on, so try and keep up. Participants are welcome to post their questions for this chapters within this thread and myself, the tutors, and other participants will do the best we can to answer your questions. As the thread is likely to grow to a hundred or more posts, the C++ workshop threads will be closely moderated. Discussions which become narratives, flame-wars, or philosophical will either be removed or moved to another forum, unless entirely relevant to the current chapters. Finally, feel free to post quiz-like questions here in this thread after about 3 days. This will give people an opportunity to test their knowledge and understanding after they’ve had a chance to absorb the information. For questions which require further research then what is in the book, mark the question with an [Extra Credit] tag. Topical Outline of the Reading (Not literal due to copyrights)
  1. Exploring the parts of a variable
  2. How Data is stored in memory
  3. Looking at size and range modifiers
  4. Exploring the standard C++ data types
  5. The nuances of creating variables
  6. C++ keywords which cannot be used as identifiers
  7. Working with variables
  8. Aliases
  9. Overflow/Underflow & Range limitations
  10. Interpreting integers as characters
  11. Special Characters
  12. Using constants
  13. Using enumerations
[Edited by - jwalsh on May 30, 2007 5:28:49 PM]
Jeromy Walsh
Sr. Tools & Engine Programmer | Software Engineer
Microsoft Windows Phone Team
GameDevelopedia.com - Blog & Tutorials
GDNet Mentoring: XNA Workshop | C# Workshop | C++ Workshop
"The question is not how far, the question is do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?" - Il Duche, Boondock Saints

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#2 Palejo   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:23 AM

Hello all,

Quick question about literal constants. I've read the section in the book and I've become a bit confused. The following code:

int myAge = 39;

according to the book, is a literal constant. It also states that I can't change this value. Yet just eight pages earlier it uses this exact same method for assigning values to variables (or, at least, I think it's the same...???)

I'm sure I'm just missing something here. How exactly is this different from creating a variable and assigning a value to it?


#3 programwizard   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:29 AM

The literal constant in the above line of code is the "39". It is a constant in that its value cannot be changed, and it litterally stands for the value 39. myAge can be assigned another value. If you wanted to permanently assign 39 to my age, you would write

const int myAge = 39;

The const keyword is short for "constant". If you tried to assign a new value to myAge after it had been declared constant, you would recieve a compile-time error.
------------------------------Support the Blue Skies in Games Campaign!A blog... of sorts.As a general rule, if you don't have a general rule in your signature, you aren't as awesome as someone who does. General rules roxor teh big one one ones.

#4 Gambler   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:43 AM

I saw that too, about the literal constant.

I would like that clarified as well, but from what I could understand they were referring to the number 39 being a literal constant, not myAge.

#5 Fruny   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1653

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:47 AM

Correct. 39 is the literal constant. You can't change the value of 39. You can however change the value of myAge, unless it has been declared const, as programwizard pointed out.

[warning]
More importantly, string literals like "Hello World" also are literal constants. Trying to modify them is a very common error. You will hear more about it when we discuss pointers, arrays and strings.
[/warning]

#6 Myotis   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:12 AM

Hi,
I have a question regarding variable types. I understand how they work for numbers ( either int float or the others ) but what about letters ? char can store one character, a number or a letter but only one... How can I ask the user to input his name via cin>> ? With char Myname, Myname will only store the first letter of the name.

Thanks.

#7 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1670

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:13 AM

Quote:
literal:
  • actual: being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something; "her actual motive"; "a literal solitude like a desert"- G.K.Chesterton; "a genuine dilemma"

  • without interpretation or embellishment; "a literal depiction of the scene before him"

  • limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text; "a literal translation"

  • avoiding embellishment or exaggeration (used for emphasis); "it's the literal truth"

int myAge = 39;

myAge can not be a literal, even when it is made const, for the simple fact that it is a variable. Looking at it in source code does not tell you its value; you must evaluate it first.

C has a pair of interesting terms used to refer to the two sides of an expression. An lvalue (literally, "left value") is any object that can appear on the left hand side of an assignment while an rvalue is one that can appear on the right hand side. Virtually all lvalues are also rvalues; literals are objects that can only ever, throughout the entire program code, be rvalues. Even const objects appear as lvalues at point of initialization.

#8 programwizard   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:17 AM

Quote:
Original post by Myotis:
Hi,
I have a question regarding variable types. I understand how they work for numbers ( either int float or the others ) but what about letters ? char can store one character, a number or a letter but only one... How can I ask the user to input his name via cin>> ? With char Myname, Myname will only store the first letter of the name.

Thanks.


C++ has a built-in string class for handling strings of characters. You only have to include the string header file:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
using namespace std;

int main()
{
string myName;
cin >> myName;
cout << myName;
return 0;
}

This will allow the user to input a series of characters, and then print the result. Once you include the string header file, you can use string like a normal data type (note that if you don't use the namespace std, you will need to declare strings as std::string).

#9 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1670

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:28 AM

Quote:
Original post by Myotis
Hi,
I have a question regarding variable types. I understand how they work for numbers ( either int float or the others ) but what about letters ? char can store one character, a number or a letter but only one... How can I ask the user to input his name via cin>> ? With char Myname, Myname will only store the first letter of the name.

Thanks.

Fruny has intimated that this will be covered in significant detail soon, but here's the quick answer:

C supports the notion of arrays, though not as a true first-class type. In C, strings are represented using null-terminated character arrays, meaning regular arrays of char with a null character (0, '\0') signifying the end of the string. Unfortunately, this requires that you constantly monitor the size of your string, maintain the length of your string separately from the string itself and otherwise babysit everything pertaining to strings, thus making string handling a rather tedious affair in C.

Standard C++ supplants this by providing the std::string type. Internally, std::string uses arrays, but there is no need for them to be null-terminated as a std::string stores its own length. Being a class, it also provides a number of member functions and operator overloads that make using strings in C++ intuitive and secure.


// C language example of string handling
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>

char name[1024];
int length = 0;

int main()
{
printf("Please enter your name: ");
scanf("%s", &name);
length = strlen(name);

// Comment about the following line after the examples
printf("The name you entered was: %s\n"
"The length of the name was: %d characters\n", name, length);

return 0;
}


// C++ language example of string handling
#include <iostream>
#include <string>

int main()
{
using namespace std;
string name;

cout << "Please enter your name: ";
cin >> name;

cout << "The name you entered was: " << name
<< "\nThe length of the name was: " << name.length()
<< endl;

return 0;
}



Two interesting things about the C example. One is that C's output functions required you to know the appropriate format specifier (%s, %d, etc) for the type of data you wanted to output as part of the same printf statement. Blech.

The second is that I have two string literals that are basically adjacent to each other (whitespace is meaningless to the C and C++ compilers), and C concatenates them into one string literal. It's an easy way to make your programs prettier. [smile]

(Okay, that may have been too much for the beginning stages of this workshop...)

#10 CondorMan   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:15 PM

I need to get my head around some terminology. This doesn't relate specifically to this week and I wasn't sure if I should put this into the "Introduction" thread. I know that it will come up eventually but wonder if a simple structure can be offered at this stage.

We've worked extensively with the iostream header file and that's needed to allow us to access cin, cout etc. but we also need the standard namespace to allow us to access them. It strikes me that there is a hierarchy, starting with C++ Language at the top but what's the order beneath that? There are namespace, objects, classes, header files etc. so, for instance, is the standard namespace part of the iostream header file or the other way around? How do they relate to each other?

A further question relates to other header files (as mentioned by Oluseyi): if iostream is needed to access cin, cout etc., where can a list of all available commands or keywords be obtained, along with their respective header file? In order to use "string name;" in the source code, "#include <string>" must precede it. Sure, this will come with with experience and familiarity with the language but I suspect that there's a list somewhere.

Thank you.


#11 Driv3MeFar   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 1076

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 12:07 AM

Quote:
Original post by CondorMan
It strikes me that there is a hierarchy, starting with C++ Language at the top but what's the order beneath that? There are namespace, objects, classes, header files etc.

Namespaces, classes, structs, etc. are all elements of the C++ language, not layers upon which it is built. Header files, namespaces, and the like are all methods of grouping similar pieces of code/data todether. For example, you might have a header file containing all your function defenitions needed to render an object to the screen, which would all be wrapped in a class along with the necessary data members. This article has some good information on why/how header files are used to organize code.

Quote:
Original post by CondorMan
so, for instance, is the standard namespace part of the iostream header file or the other way around? How do they relate to each other?

<iostream>, as well as all other members of the C++ standard library (see link below), are in the std namespace.

Quote:
Original post by CondorMan
A further question relates to other header files (as mentioned by Oluseyi): if iostream is needed to access cin, cout etc., where can a list of all available commands or keywords be obtained, along with their respective header file? In order to use "string name;" in the source code, "#include <string>" must precede it. Sure, this will come with with experience and familiarity with the language but I suspect that there's a list somewhere.


MSDN holds all the answers

[Edited by - Driv3MeFar on June 13, 2006 8:07:23 AM]

#12 CondorMan   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 05:19 AM

Thank you. I'll check out the sites that you quoted. I'll go along with everything now and learn it verbatim, knowing that everything will crystallise in due course.

It's interesting that you said:

"<iostream>, as well as all other members of the C++ standard library (see link below), are in the std namespace."

so that reinforces the query that I had - if <iostream> is in the std namespace, why do both have to be mentioned in a listing which uses cout, cin etc.? Logic says to me that I should only have to mention std namespace as it seems "higher" than <iostream>. Having said that, I've never seen any source code which doesn't have one or more header files.

I don't want to get into detailed discussion now because that may well serve to confuse me (and, perhaps, others).


#13 ph33r   Members   -  Reputation: 380

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:39 AM

Quote:
Original post by CondorMan
so that reinforces the query that I had - if <iostream> is in the std namespace, why do both have to be mentioned in a listing which uses cout, cin etc.? Logic says to me that I should only have to mention std namespace as it seems "higher" than <iostream>.


The header file iostream contains a namespace within it.

// -- within iostream header file somewhere -- //

namespace std {
// variables like cout and cin are in here
}

// ------------------------------------------- //

This means if you include iostream you still need to scope in std. It's a little confusing because all members of the iostream library are within the standard namespace, but the header file "iostream" contains the standard namespace which also contains the iostream library.

iostream header file -> namespace std -> iostream library

Hopefully that makes a little sense.

- Dave

#14 JWalsh   Moderators   -  Reputation: 462

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:50 AM

CondorMan,

All good questions. Let me see if I can break it down a bit.

The C++ Language is a programming language, much like French or Spanish are natural languages. Both languages have semantics and to a degree syntax. The semantics of a language is what "features" it provides. By comparison, Spanish and French both have the same semantics (conjugations, sentence structure, gender, etc...), but as the vocabulary is different between the two languages they have a slightly different Syntax.

C++ shares common semantics with most modern object oriented languages including Java, C#, J#, javascript, PHP, etc...And to a degree, it shares the same syntax with many of them as well - because they're all ideas spawned from the same root - The C Language. Namespaces are just one of the "features" or "semantics" of most common OO languages.

Part of the argument for an object oriented language is being able to group data with functionality and code-reuse. The ability to build a library of reusable software rather than having to write everything from scratch is the dream of every software engineer. We imagine a world where everything we could want to create is simply a matter of plugging components together without the need to write any more of the "low level" stuff. To that end, the C++ ISO Board proposed a set of standardized libraries that every ISO compliant compiler must provide. How they implement the libraries is flexible, but the components that make up the library must be consistent. This is of course the C++ Standard Library.

When working within the C++ language the compiler must know at compile-time what the declarations look like for all the functions, classes, methods, etc...you want to use. In last week's thread I posted a really good explanation of namespaces, so I wont duplicate here. It basically comes down to this, namespaces help the compiler decide which Identifier to use, in case there is more than one with the same name. In other words, think of namespaces as a Surname. There are TONS of Michaels in the world, but I want to address a specific Michael, lets say Michael WALSH. Namespaces accomplish the same goal. I could create my own cin, cout, etc...but by telling the compiler I want to use the Standard Namespace with 'std' I'm telling it WHICH cin and cout to use.

std::cin as opposed to jwalsh::cin.

As was a part of last week's quiz, there's 3 ways to identify WHICH identifier I want to use.


std::cin; // fully qualified, us std::cin in this instance only
using std::cin; // Use the STD version of cin for the rest of this scope
using namespace std; // Look within the STD namespace for all classes for the rest of this scope


As for why we include different header files. Its pretty simple. The concepts of namespaces lies across the concept of a file. I can have a file with 12 different namespaces in it...but I can also have 12 different files all with code which is included in the same namespace. Files are a physical division of a library, while namespaces are a logical division of a library. Two different ways upon which to divide a library, and both necessary for identifying what to include in your program, and which version to use.

In the case of the Standard Library, there's about 50 different files, each which contains useful classes, etc...But I don’t want the compiler to include them ALL....that would be a performance nightmare, many of the library components are unnecessary for most tasks. So to keep my code small and program running quickly, the compiler allows me specify WHICH of the components of the library I want to use at any specific moment. To do that I simply include the header file.

Then, once I've included the header file I need to tell the compiler that I want to use the namespace contained WITHIN that file. Remember - there could be multiple namespaces within a single header...and there could be multiple versions of cin, cout, or whatever is IN the file I just included lying around my project.

I hope this helps, let us know if you have any follow-up questions.

Cheers!
Jeromy Walsh
Sr. Tools & Engine Programmer | Software Engineer
Microsoft Windows Phone Team
GameDevelopedia.com - Blog & Tutorials
GDNet Mentoring: XNA Workshop | C# Workshop | C++ Workshop
"The question is not how far, the question is do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?" - Il Duche, Boondock Saints

#15 BeanDog   Members   -  Reputation: 1063

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:17 AM

Quote:
Original post by CondorMan
So that reinforces the query that I had - if <iostream> is in the std namespace, why do both have to be mentioned in a listing which uses cout, cin etc.? Logic says to me that I should only have to mention std namespace as it seems "higher" than <iostream>. Having said that, I've never seen any source code which doesn't have one or more header files.

I don't want to get into detailed discussion now because that may well serve to confuse me (and, perhaps, others).

The above answers to your question are very good. I feel to clarify what the #include directive does. The #include directive is handled by the preprocessor before the C++ compiler proper ever sees your code. The preprocessor sees the #include, opens up the text file it points to (in this case, a file called "iostream") and pastes the entire contents of that file in the place of the #include directive.

Namespaces are part of C++ itself, and are handled by the compiler after all of the #include's and other preprocessor directives are done and over with.

Hope that helps.

~BenDilts( void );

Lucidchart: Online Flow Chart Software; Lucidpress: Digital Publishing Software


#16 CondorMan   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:48 AM

Thank you for the detailed responses to my questions. I've read them a few times and it's starting to make sense.

Here's to the remainder of this week's work and to the forthcoming quiz!


#17 Emmanuel Deloget   Members   -  Reputation: 1381

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:39 PM

CondorMan,

Are you confused by C++ namespaces or by the C++ way of using the using keyword?

I'm asking this because of this sentence in your post:
Quote:
Logic says to me that I should only have to mention std namespace as it seems "higher" than <iostream>


One way to understand the using keyword lies in one of the premise of the C++ language:

Thou shall not use any undeclared symbol


As BeanDog told you, the #include preprocessor directive is used to paste the content of a file into another file. In a sense, it imports the declarations that are in the included file into the includer file. You can see the output of the preprocessor by doing this (.NET 2003, but should be very similar ofr .NET 2005):
  1. go to the project properties
  2. in the C++ properties, chose 'Command Line'
  3. in the Additional Options text bos, add
    /P / EP
    (/P = write preprocessor output, /EP = don't write #line directives in the preprocessor output)
  4. Click OK
  5. Compile your project (the project will not link, because the object files are NOT created)
  6. go to your source (probably Debug or Release)
  7. the preprocessor output have the .i extension


Don't forget to revert this project options changes if you want to be able to successfully compile and link your project. Be aware that the generated files are rather big (often several thousands of lines).

The #include directive has no real impact on the compilation - in fact, strictly speaking, it takes place before compilation, in a step called preprocessing. The goal of preprocessing is to prepare a compilation unit (the resulting .i file) to be compiled. In fact, #include is a helper because it allows you to put the declarations that might need to be used in more than one C++ file into a single file (a header file - most of the time they have a .h extension, but some of them (those of the Standard C++ Library) may have no extension). Then, instead of writing the declaration in each C++ file, you simply include the corresponding header file.

This way, you can import the declarations you need in your compilation unit.

Now that all needed symbols are known, we are able to use them. Before I continue, let speak a bit about namespaces and their usage.

Namespaces are relatively new beasts in software engineering. The current trend is to use namespaces to create packages of classes that share a same goal (for example, providing a standard library to C++ programmers). You can even add subnamespaces (to create subpackages).

The strict usage of fully qualified names may lead to source code that is difficult to read - and difficult to maintain / modify. This is expecially true when namespace names are long or when you are using symbols that are declared in subnamespaces. For example:
company::database::clientmanager::Client *client = 
new company::database::clientmanager::Client(
company::database::clientmanager::ClientType::VERY_RICH);

Now that I wrote this horror, the goal of the using keyword should become clearer: while namespace are really useful because they help the definition of clearly bound units, they can lead to barely readable or even unreadable source code, which is never a good thing. the using keyword allows you to simplify the code when you need to use symbols that have been declared in a namespace.
using company::database::clientmanager;

Client *client(ClientType::VERY_RICH);

This is easier to read, isn't it?

You may ask: why did he speak about #include, then namespaces, then using? That's because I feel that you misunderstood the roles of #include and using: while you beleive that they are related, in fact they are not related at all (they can't be related, because they are used in different steps of the whole compilation process). As BeanDog clearly stated, #include is a copy-paster that allow you to declare your symbols in one file and to use this declaration in many classes (hence to satisfy the first part of the C++ premise that I stated). The using keyword allows you to define a new, simpler way, to gain access to these declared symbols (hence to satify the other part of the same C++ premise).

In your example, #include <iostream> is used to import the declarations of the streams symbols, and using std; is used to simplify the access to the symbols that have been imported and that are in the "std" namespace.

I hope I have been clear enough ;)

Regards,

#18 CondorMan   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:02 AM

Hi Emmanuel

Thank you for your contribution. I hope that this part of the thread is also helpful to anyone else who's having trouble understanding the terminology.

I understand "#include" and "using".

My original concern was when constructing typical "Hello World!" source code. I realised that *both* #include <iostream> and using namespace std; (or one of the equivalent variations) was necessary but I didn't know why. I assumed that there was a "hierarchy" - for instance, I assumed that having #include <iostream> pasted the contents of iostream into a space above my source code and then, as ph33r said, iostream contains std, so why declare (possibly not the correct word, but not used in the strict programming sense of "declare") the use of std? Jeromy said that he could create several namespaces, each having cin, cout etc. and I didn't know that was possible. I understand now why it's necessary to be explicit in wanting to use std::cin, std::cout etc.

As I've said before, this will crystallise in due course. I have NO intention of letting a computer beat me!


#19 Emmanuel Deloget   Members   -  Reputation: 1381

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:58 AM

C++ beginners often have problems to see when they should use the "declare" word or the "define" word, so you are not alone. As I already stated in the very first thread of this workshop, I don't own the book so I don't know if it contains a simple definition of these words.

Let's remember what a C++ compiler does:
  1. first, it preprocess the C++ file
  2. then it compiles the preprocessed file
  3. then it links all the compiled C++ files into one big executable file


The goal of the declaration of a C++ symbol is to tell the compiler that the symbol exists somewhere. Essentially, it says "this symbol exists somewhere, you don't have to know eaxactly where it is, and it has that name and that signature". Once a compiler knows every symbol that is used in a particular C++ file, it can compile the file and produce the object (.o or .obj) file.

The goal of the definition is tu put something behind the symbol itself.

Let's see an example:

// ----------------------- file1.h
#ifndef FILE_1_H
#define FILE_1_H

// this is the function ** declaration **
int function_plus(int a, int b);

#endif // FILE_1_H



// ----------------------- main.cpp
#include <iostream>
// including file1 will declare the existing symbol function_plus()
// so we can use it in this compilation unit
#include "file1.h"

int main()
{
std::cout << "10 + 20 = " << function_plus(10, 20) << std::endl;
}



If I stop my work here, what will happen? main.cpp will correcly compile (function_plus() is known), but what should function_plus() do? The compiler have no way to know about this problem (since you specifically told him that 'function_plus() exists somewhere') but the linker - which goal is to produce the final exe - will complain because of an undefined symbol ie an existing, declared symbol that has no real existence.

To correct the problem, let's add the function_plus() definition to correct the problem:

// ----------------------- file1.cpp
#include "file1.h"

int function_plus(int a, int b)
{
return a + b;
}



The couple definition/declaration is difficult to get for a beginner (I had the exact same problems when I began C++ some years ago - the problem was even worse for me because I came from a C background and the C language don't require function declarations).

At this point, I believe that the most important thing to remember about declaration and definition is that
  • the declaration is vital for the compiler
  • the definition is vital for the linker
  • an "undeclared symbol" compilation error means that the symbol is unknown to the compiler (check why)
  • an "undefined identifier" linker error means that the symbols is known by the compiler, is corectly used, but don't really exists.
  • a "multiple definition" linker error means that a symbol has been defined more than once in the whole project.


I guess I'm going to try to find a copy of this book on ebay. I feel that I'm not helping very much if I don't know what is the exact subject.

Regards,

#20 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1670

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 03:43 AM

Quote:
Original post by Emmanuel Deloget
Let's remember what a C++ compiler does:
  1. first, it preprocess the C++ file

  2. then it compiles the preprocessed file

  3. then it links all the compiled C++ files into one big executable file

The preprocessor "preprocesses" the file. The compiler compiles the preprocessed file. The linker links the generated object files.

What you have referred to is the toolchain, not just the compiler. The MSVC++ command line compiler, cl.exe, will invoke the linker, creatively named link.exe, by default unless you suppress that behavior with a flag. The preprocessor for MSVC++ has been integrated into the compiler binary.

GCC, on the other hand, still maintains a distinct C preprocessor binary, cc, as well as a C++ compiler, g++ and linker, ld. g++ will call cc and ld automatically. (We ignore other compilers included in GCC as this is a C++ workshop.)

Pedantic, I know, but since we're discussing terminology, we might as well get it right. Also, Emmanuel, you should close your <li> tags in order to be valid XHTML. For future reference. [smile]





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