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Simple question on cin

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I can''t seem to find anything that might answer my question so I''ll ask here. I can pass ''cin'' or ''cout'' for that matter as a reference to a function and I can use it just fine, but at the same time I can also use cin and cout without passing them as an arguments to a custom function. A book of mine had used it in an example where it made it seem necessary to do so with cin in order to read any possible error state in cin when the function returned, but still I can invoke the same function without passing cin to it and still check for failure states in cin well after the function returned. So my question is what is the real purpose of passing cin as istream& to a function? I can''t seem to understand what are the reasons where there is no alternative but to pass it.

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Maybe if you have a function that doesn't know, and care, from what the input will come. Then you cann pass any type of stream to that function. It could be cin, or an opened file, or any other istream.
If you're sure you want just input from cin, there's no point in passing it as a parameter, for cin is just a global variable, that every function cann access

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[edited by - Quasar3D on December 13, 2003 5:51:13 PM]

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