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polymorphism ?

Posted on 2003-10-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-02
Hi C++ Experts,

   I have a code that I don't quiet understand :
 ---------------------------------------------
class Base{
 public :
   virtual int f(int i){ cout << " Base  f()" << endl;}
} ;

class Derived: public Base{
 public:
  Derived(){ f(0);}
  int f(char *s){ cout << "Derived f()" << endl ;}
};
int main()
{
  Derived d ;
  return 0 ;
}
------------------------------
In the main code is executed, it prints : "Derived f()". However, I feel
kind of wierd ... because when f(0) is called in the constructor,
the object d actually hasn't been constructed yet... then how can it call the f(0) in the derived class ? not in the base class ?

In any case, is this a polymorphism ? if not, what's the reason that it calls the f() in the derived class ?

Thanks a lot !!!


--------------------------
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Question by:meow00
3 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:burcarpat
burcarpat earned 20 total points
ID: 9628545
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Expert Comment

by:n_fortynine
ID: 9628548
The compiler will look for the closest methods possible before going up to the base class.
Derived() { Base::f(0); } would call the other f(int) in base. (Note that 0 is like a NULL address for char*)
What you're doing is just normal function overloading. virtual int f(int) in base is not related to int f(char*) in Derived.
0
 
LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
GaryFx earned 30 total points
ID: 9628742
> the object d actually hasn't been constructed yet

Actually, it has - at least enough for its own methods to be called.  By the time you get to the body of the constructor, all of the base class constructors have been called, and all of the constructors for the member variables have been called.  The presumption is that you know what you're doing inside your constructor, and that you'll only call methods that you know are safe to call at this point.  The body of the constructor is allowed to call any method of the object.

This is important for a common pattern, in which there's a separate initialize method that is called both by the constructor and by other methods that need to reinitialize the object.  Since the constructor cannot be called explicitly by other methods, the only way to achieve this is partition some of the initialization code into a separate method and have both the constructor and higher level methods call the initialization code.

Gary
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