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This doesn't necessarily mean that the objects are identical: some purely internal data members (such as caches) might not be copied, or data members pointing to other objects might end up pointing to different objects that are themselves semantically equivalent, rather than pointing to the same objects.The difference between the copy constructor and assignment operator is that the copy constructor is a constructor a function whose job it is to turn raw storage into an object of a specific class.These three functions are special in C : If you don't provide them yourself, C provides them for you. Among other things, this means you have to define these operations even if you don't want a client to be able to copy or default-construct a particular class.
It's a good way to test a programmer's grasp of C syntax and C style, but more importantly, it tests the programmer's knowledge of C memory management and exception handling. We'll go through it all piece by piece and see why this is.
For the impatient among you, let's cut right to the chase: One correct answer to this question would look something like this: Yes, it's a lot of code. The first reaction I usually get from people is something along the lines of "But I never have to write assignment operators." You should.
If your class has no pointer members, then the shallow copy works just fine. Fraction& Fraction::operator = (const Fraction & source) By returning a reference to the calling object, you are able to chain the assignment Fraction f, g, h;f = g = h; // h assigned to g, which is assigned to f The order of evaluation of assignment operators is right to left.
For a dict, if the location designated by the left-hand operand is a non-existent array element, a new element is inserted with the designated key and with a value being that of the right-hand operand.
They're not the same thing, although they're similar. The copy constructor and assignment operator do similar things.
They both copy state from one object to another, leaving them with equivalent semantic state.
If your class has pointer members, this is practically never what you want, and even when you don't have pointer members, this isn't always the right behavior. Even when the default versions of the special functions do what you want them to, it's still generally a good policy to always spell that out explicitly by writing them yourself.
It avoids ambiguity, and it forces you to think more about what's going on inside your class.
Unfortunately, we would have rated almost all of them somewhere between a 4 and a 6.
In my opinion, this goes to show you that working with C for a long time doesn't guarantee you really understand the language.