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why INT in postfix overloading

Posted on 2002-04-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-02
I was wondering why in C++ when you overload an operator for postfix operations that it takes in an INT?

Would it makes sence to create a command such as POST to take in?  Thanks.
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Question by:sarniscool
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Expert Comment

by:jasonclarke
ID: 6927593
It is just a dummy parameter, as you are no doubt aware, to differentiate between postfix and prefix.

One of the basic design goals of C++ was to avoid unnecessary new keywords (although in this case Bjarne Stroustrup states that he would actually have preferred new keywords).

This led to the use of this convention, which is, as you imply a bit of a language wart.

If you want to find out more, read the Design & Evolution of C++ (by Bjarne Stroustrup), section 11.5.3.
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by:sarniscool
ID: 6929838
Is that it?  No special reason other than to differentiate?  Why INT out of all the other C++ keywords?
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jasonclarke earned 200 total points
ID: 6930747
Nothing really... all Bjarne Stroustrup has to say is:

'...Other unary operators are prefix and take no arguments when defined as member functions.  The "odd" and unused dummy int argument is used to indicate the odd prefix operators.  In other words, in the postfix case, ++ comes between the first (real) operand and the second (dummy) argument and is thus postfix."

it is purely a convention, for no real reason.... BS states he would have preferred 'prefix' and 'postfix' keywords.
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by:sarniscool
ID: 6934729
alright, thanks
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