const keyword

Posted on April 18, 2013. Filed under: C++ |

const keyword can declare variables that can not change. If you have a const variable in your class, you have to use member initializers to initialize them in the class constructor.

class Sally



Sally(int a, int b); //constructor takes 2 variables, one assign to regVar, another to constVar


int regVar;   //regular variable

const int constVar;  //constant variable



#include “Sally.h”

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

Sally::Sally(int a, int b)  //constructor takes two parameters

: regVar(a),           //: tell c++ I will start a member initializer list, use comma as separator

constVar(b)         //const variable have to be initialized with this weird member initializer syntax

{} //no code here because const variable can’t be initialized in normal way.


Sally so(3,87); //caller assigned 3 to regVar, 87 to constVar.

const keyword allows C++ to create both ordinary objects and constant objects from a class containing both regular functions and constant functions. The constant object can not be modified.

Whenever you create a const object, you tell the compiler the object can not be modified, you can only access the constant members defined inside the class.

The syntax for const object is as follows.
in class body:
void Sally::printShiz2() const {
cout << ‘whatever’ << endl;

in header prototype:
void printShiz2() const;

in caller:
const Sally constObj;


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