this pointer and anachronisms

Okay... first off let me say that I am not a C++ programmer by any means. We have some existing C++ code that has compiled for years using the SunSoft C++ compiler ( 1.x thru to 3.x ). The newest version of the compiler ( 4.x )
does not seem to like the c++ code. Okay now thats done... on to the question

When I go to compile the code I am constantly getting the following returned error message:
The left operand cannot be assigned to.  
The line of code is mostly in the form .....   this = next  
or something along that line.

This all refers to the 'this' pointer and the changes in the syntax of the language ( so I have been told ).
Basically, anachronism assignment to "this" isn't allowed in C++ 4.0 and C++ 4.0.1.
How do you correct such a problem????

I am unable to find anything regarding such a problem. Can someone please help.

Thanks alot


Who is Participating?
alexoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The "this" pointer refers to the current object and as such cannot be reassigned (it's type is "const T*" where T is the object type).

However, if you REALLY want to reassign it you can casting.  Either use:
    const_cast<T*>(this) = that;
Or, if your compiler does not yet support the notation, use:
    (T*)this = that;

I cannot guarantee that it will work, though...
Sorry, ny mistake.  Ignore the casting suggestions - they won't work.
"this" is not an lvalue.  It cannot be assigned to, it's address cannot be taken, etc.
So, It cannot be done (I tried) :-(
greco050798Author Commented:
Is it possible to keep this question active so that other experts may have a look and respond with their possible solution.
I believe your answer is valid, but I wonder if someone else may have a workaround that
can possible aid me.

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Bad mistake...  As soon as you grade an answer, its status changes to "previously answered" which means:
1. To enter the discussion one must fork out 1/10 of the original assigned points.
2. Nobody can get any points for their further comments.

You can ask Linda from customer support (on the "Experts Exchange" area) to reopen the question (I won't mind losing the points, if she asks) or finding any other solution.

Can you post the code that uses "this = that"?  A small sample will suffice.
What exactly are you trying to achieve by saying 'this = that'.  Are you trying to move the object, or are you just using the 'this' pointer to iterate thru, say, a linked list. If it is the second case, then just use a different variable (eg. pThis).  init it to 'this' and then use pThis instead

I'd like to see your code too .. it must be interestng :-)

greco050798Author Commented:

Some of the code in question is a simple link list traversal.  I would be happy to send you the code to review if you are interested. Like I said... I am not a C++ programmer and I am having some problems understanding some concepts ( such as this ). Is there any way I can forward the code to you directly??

You mention using a different variable are you suggesting a solution as follows

Wrong Code segment

link_list* link_list::tail ()
     if (this)
        while (next)
           this = next;
     return this;

Corrected Code
link_list* link_list::tail ()
link_list* pTHIS;

     pTHIS = this;
     if (pTHIS)
        while (next)
           pTHIS = next;
     return pTHIS;

Not sure if this is what you are getting at, but contact me at and I can show you the code ( not mine... its 10 yrs old
I just inherited it )
>> ( not mine... its 10 yrs old I just inherited it )
Which provess that inheritance is overrated!

Anyway, got your email, sent you a suggestion.

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