# literal strings and parameters and classes oh my!

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Let's set the scene. C++ I have a custom class String that is created to act like Java's String class. I have a debug function like so
void debug(String s)
{
..do some stuff and print the string..
}


Now I have, within another function, something like this
...
int someVariable = 14; // random value for demonstration
debug("literal string" + someVariable);
...


What I am wanting to happen is "literal string" constructed to a String and String's + operator to be called adding "14" to the end of it. Instead what is happening is the address to "literal string" is being incremented by 14 and String's constructor is being called with some invalid location to a char*. It makes sense in a way, to me, that what I am trying to do is invalid (it was a "hope for the best" moment) as the + operator is ambiguous. Although if it SHOULD work please let me know. What I want to know is, is there a better way to do this than something like, for example...
...
debug(String("literal string") + someVariable);
...


Or constructing a string before hand. I'm hoping to allow the debug function to be called in one of several ways
  debug("literal string" + someVariable);
or
debug("literal string %d",someVariable);


But I have heard that variable parameter lists in C++ should really be avoided. So what are my options?

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Quote:
 What I want to know is, is there a better way to do this than something like
Overload operator+ to take a const char* (or char* - can't remember) on the left and right hand sides of operator+. Look here.

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Writing something like debug("my string" + myInt) will never work, because the left argument is of type const char * and the right is of type int, and you can't change the way operators for built-in types work (when there are built-in types on both sides, that is). If you don't want to use variable argument lists (and you shouldn't), you can use something like stringstreams:

    ostringstream os;    os << "myInt = " << myInt;    debug(os.str().c_str());

Maybe there's some way to make it more compact. Something like this:

    MyCustomStringStream debugStream;    debugStream << "myInt = " << myInt; // This will call your debug() function

I'm not sure if the latter is possible but maybe you'll figure out a way to do it.

Hope this helps.

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If you mean something like...

String operator+ (const char* a, const char* b);

...

error C2803: 'operator +' must have at least one formal parameter of class type

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Quote:
 Original post by Gage64

Thanks, this pretty much confirms what I was thinking to begin with. Looks like I need to rethink the way debug works.

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Quote:
 Original post by instinKtIf you mean something like...String operator+ (const char* a, const char* b);...error C2803: 'operator +' must have at least one formal parameter of class type

One side should be your string class iirc

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Quote:
 Original post by Gage64I'm not sure if the latter is possible but maybe you'll figure out a way to do it.Hope this helps.

It is possible, just a little tricky. You would have to subclass a streambuf and override a few methods. If i remember correctly, sync, overflow and xsputn should be overridden at the very least for an output stream. The streambuf can then be plugged into an ostream object.

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Well I did pretty much what Gabe was suggesting, but I think a fair bit simpler.

I just created a DebugStream class with no inheritance, and just overloaded the << operator for different types. When an 'end character' comes through the stream the current stream is printed and possibly cleared depending on user settings.

Then I just have a global debug stream and use it like so...
__debug << "This is a debug test: " << someInt << DebugStream::END;

Might not be as flexible as it could be if i subclassed from the stringstream class, but this does exactly what I need it to.

Thanks for the help guys.

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... why aren't you using std::string? o_O

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Because it's a development for an embedded system and a lot of the core functionality is handled with custom interfaces etc.

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