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Problem with overloaded operator

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Good evening, I'm having some trouble with my overloaded operators in C++, specifically the << overloaded operation. I am doing a complex number class. Here is the code: class complex0 { public: complex0 operator+(const complex0& comp) const { return complex0(real + comp.real, imaginary + comp.imaginary); } complex0 operator-(const complex0& comp) const { return complex0(real - comp.real, imaginary - comp.imaginary); } complex0 operator*(const complex0& comp) const { return complex0(real * comp.real, imaginary * comp.imaginary); } complex0 operator*(double num) const { return complex0(real * num, imaginary * num); } complex0 operator~() { return complex0(real, imaginary * -1); } friend ostream& operator<<(ostream& os, complex0& comp); friend istream& operator>>(istream& is, complex0& comp); friend complex0 operator*(double num, complex0& comp); complex0():real(0), imaginary(0) {} complex0(double r, double i):real(r), imaginary(i) {} private: double real; double imaginary; }; complex0 operator*(double num, complex0& comp) { return(complex0(num * comp.real, num * comp.imaginary)); } ostream& operator<<(ostream& os, complex0& comp) { os<<"("<<comp.real<<","<<comp.imaginary<<"i)"; return os; } istream& operator>>(istream& is, complex0& comp) { double real; double imaginary; cout<<"real: "; is>>real; cout<<endl; cout<<"imaginary: "; is>>imaginary; comp.real = real; comp.imaginary = imaginary; return is; } #include <iostream> using namespace std; #include "complex0.h" // to avoid confusion with complex0.h int main() { complex0 a(3.0, 4.0); // initialize to (3,4i) complex0 c; cout << "Enter a complex number (q to quit):\n"; while (cin >> c) { c = c + a; cout << "c is " << c << '\n'; cout << "complex conjugate is " << ~c << '\n'; cout << "a is " << a << '\n'; cout << "a + c is " << a + c << '\n'; cout << "a - c is " << a - c << '\n'; cout << "a * c is " << a * c << '\n'; cout << "2 * c is " << 2 * c << '\n'; cout << "c * 4 is " << c * 4 << '\n'; cout << "Enter a complex number (q to quit):\n"; } cout << "Done!\n"; return 0; } I get the following error: "no match for 'operator<<' error" on line 28 of the main function, and for every other line where a mathematical operation is done in between "<<" operators. I tested the mathematical operators (for example, in the line c = c + a in int main()), and they seem to work okay. I also noticed that the problem occurs when the << operator is followed by an operation, such as << c * 4<<. What's the order of operations for how the statement is executed? I was under the impression that the c * 4 would be executed first, then the << operator. I suspect that's my problem. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Thanks!

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You are using non-const references in a number of places, which prevents expressions being used (you can bind a temporary to a const reference, but not a non-const one).

As an example, you operator << code should be like this:

ostream& operator<<(ostream& os, const complex0& comp)
os << "(" << comp.real << "," << comp.imaginary << "i)";
return os;

Don't forget to change the friend declaration to match.

I assume you are doing this as an excersize in operator overloading in C++. I will just point out that C++ already has a complex class, std::complex defined in <complex>.

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Thank you for your help...that solved my problem.

I'd still like some clarification, if that's okay.

I noticed that if I leave the friend function operator*, for example, as a non-const function, I have no problem with execution. Doesn't that also use a temporary reference? Of course, it is possible that I am misunderstanding what constitutes a temporary. Sorry if it's a silly question. I just want to make sure I have everything straight.

Thanks again!

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The result of the operations in your print statements are temporaries.

Lets look at the offending line:

cout << "2 * c is " << 2 * c << '\n';

To make it more explicit, this is similar to:

complex temp = 2 * c;
cout << "2 * c is " << temp << '\n';

Now, as you can see the operator<<() call is receiving the temporary value. However, the call to operator*() does not receive a temporary, it takes c. To pass it a temporary you would do something like this:

cout << "3 * (2 * c) is " << 3 * (2 * c) << '\n';

Again, more explicitly this is like:

complex temp1 = 2 * c;
complex temp2 = 3 * temp1;
cout << "3 * (2 * c) is " << temp2 << '\n';

This new snippet (not the explicit version) will no longer compile unless operator*() is modified to take a const complex reference.

Does this clarify what going on for you?

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