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Ambiguity by making overloaded operator function-const - why?

P: n/a
Hi,
I have the following code and trouble with ambiguity due to operator
overloading..

The code is also at http://paste.nn-d.de/441

snip>>

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <map>

using namespace std;
class ConfigItem;
typedef map<wstring, ConfigItemConfigMap;

class ConfigItem {

public:
ConfigItem() { type=NONE; s[0]=0; }
ConfigItem(const wchar_t *str) {
type=STRING;
wcscpy(s, str);
}
operator const wchar_t*() const {
return s;
}
wchar_t operator[](int pos) const {
return (operator const wchar_t*())[pos];
}
ConfigItem& operator[](const wchar_t *option) {
return operator[](wstring(option));
}
ConfigItem& operator[](const wstring &option) {
switch (type) {
case MAP: return (*cm)[option];
default: return *this;
}
}

private:
enum {
NONE,
INT,
STRING,
MAP,
} type;

wchar_t s[512];
ConfigMap *cm;
};
int main() {
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[0]) == L'\0')
cout << "works as expected";

return 0;
}

<<snap

If I compile it using g++ 4.1.2, I get:

test.cpp: In function 'int main()':
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:32: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const std::wstring&)
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:29: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const wchar_t*)

On which path does ISO C++/the compiler deduct the second
candidates?? Now for the really (to me) weird part:

If I remove the function const from wchar_t operator[](int pos) const
so it reads

wchar_t operator[](int pos) {

above code works as expected and no ambiguity error is shown, the
following does also work

const wchar_t operator[](const int pos) {
It is just the function const that provokes the ambiguity - why?

Many thx for an insightful reply, I spent hours on this and don't
really have a clue, why making an overloaded operator function-const
opens paths to the ambiguity shown.

Btw, this is not the full code, just the minimal part to make the
mistake happen

Thanks much,
Christian Müller
Jun 1 '08 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a

<ab********@gmail.coma écrit dans le message de news:
ef**********************************...oglegroups.com...
Hi,
I have the following code and trouble with ambiguity due to operator
overloading..

The code is also at http://paste.nn-d.de/441

snip>>

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <map>

using namespace std;
class ConfigItem;
typedef map<wstring, ConfigItemConfigMap;

class ConfigItem {

public:
ConfigItem() { type=NONE; s[0]=0; }
ConfigItem(const wchar_t *str) {
type=STRING;
wcscpy(s, str);
}
operator const wchar_t*() const {
return s;
}
wchar_t operator[](int pos) const {
return (operator const wchar_t*())[pos];
}
ConfigItem& operator[](const wchar_t *option) {
return operator[](wstring(option));
}
ConfigItem& operator[](const wstring &option) {
switch (type) {
case MAP: return (*cm)[option];
default: return *this;
}
}

private:
enum {
NONE,
INT,
STRING,
MAP,
} type;

wchar_t s[512];
ConfigMap *cm;
};
int main() {
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[0]) == L'\0')
cout << "works as expected";

return 0;
}

<<snap

If I compile it using g++ 4.1.2, I get:

test.cpp: In function 'int main()':
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:32: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const std::wstring&)
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:29: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const wchar_t*)

On which path does ISO C++/the compiler deduct the second
candidates?? Now for the really (to me) weird part:

If I remove the function const from wchar_t operator[](int pos) const
so it reads

wchar_t operator[](int pos) {

above code works as expected and no ambiguity error is shown, the
following does also work

const wchar_t operator[](const int pos) {
It is just the function const that provokes the ambiguity - why?

Many thx for an insightful reply, I spent hours on this and don't
really have a clue, why making an overloaded operator function-const
opens paths to the ambiguity shown.

Btw, this is not the full code, just the minimal part to make the
mistake happen

Thanks much,
Christian Müller

ok first try this :

if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[1]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";

you gonna see that it work. That is because using 0 could be interpreted as
a NULL pointer and that is the reason the compiler is considering the
function with a wchar_t *.

you can do :

int zero = 0;
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[zero]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";

than it will work.

Now for the const thing.
First, the return value is never used in argument deduction, so adding a
const to the return value does not change anything, but it does if you make
the function const.
This should work fine

const ConfigItem c;
if (wchar_t(c[0]) == L'\0')
cout << "works as expected";

cause c is const and therefore no ambiguity here since the function is
const.


Jun 2 '08 #2

P: n/a
ok first try this :
>
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[1]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";

you gonna see that it work. That is because using 0 could be interpreted as
a NULL pointer and that is the reason the compiler is considering the
function with a wchar_t *.

you can do :

int zero = 0;
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[zero]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";

than it will work.
Thanks for your answer, but at least the first part is bogus, first
statement is not true - it does not matter if i use 0 or 1, the
ambiguity is even present if I do:

if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[int(0)]) == L'\0') // explicit cast to int
cout << "works as expected";

Now for the const thing.
First, the return value is never used in argument deduction, so adding a
const to the return value does not change anything, but it does if you make
the function const.

This should work fine

const ConfigItem c;
if (wchar_t(c[0]) == L'\0')
cout << "works as expected";

cause c is const and therefore no ambiguity here since the function is
const.
Ok this works, but I was under the impression that making a function
const just makes the compiler enforce my intention to not change any
values outside of the scope of this function.. you say it does make a
difference, but in what way. After all, I am allowed to call the
const function from a non-const ConfigItem. So why is it ambiguous?

Regards and thx,
Christian
Jun 2 '08 #3

P: n/a
On Jun 1, 10:38 pm, abendst...@gmail.com wrote:
I have the following code and trouble with ambiguity due to
operator overloading..
The code is also athttp://paste.nn-d.de/441
snip>>
#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <map>
using namespace std;
class ConfigItem;
typedef map<wstring, ConfigItemConfigMap;
class ConfigItem {
public:
ConfigItem() { type=NONE; s[0]=0; }
ConfigItem(const wchar_t *str) {
type=STRING;
wcscpy(s, str);
}
operator const wchar_t*() const {
return s;
}
wchar_t operator[](int pos) const {
return (operator const wchar_t*())[pos];
}

ConfigItem& operator[](const wchar_t *option) {
return operator[](wstring(option));
}
ConfigItem& operator[](const wstring &option) {
switch (type) {
case MAP: return (*cm)[option];
default: return *this;
}
}
private:
enum {
NONE,
INT,
STRING,
MAP,
} type;
wchar_t s[512];
ConfigMap *cm;
};
int main() {
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[0]) == L'\0')
cout << "works as expected";
return 0;
}
<<snap
If I compile it using g++ 4.1.2, I get:

test.cpp: In function 'int main()':
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:32: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const std::wstring&)
test.cpp:53: error: ISO C++ says that these are ambiguous, even though
the worst conversion for the first is better than the worst conversion
for the second:
test.cpp:24: note: candidate 1: wchar_t ConfigItem::operator[](int)
const
test.cpp:29: note: candidate 2: ConfigItem& ConfigItem::operator[]
(const wchar_t*)
On which path does ISO C++/the compiler deduct the second
candidates??
For the operator[], the compiler considers two arguments, the
object on which it is going to be called (the argument which
becomes the this pointer), and the index argument. In your
expression, ConfigItem()[0], you have a (non-const) ConfigItem,
and a constant integral expression evaluating to 0. Both
operator[]( int ) const and operator[]( wchar_t* ) can be
called. For the first argument, the second is the better match,
because the first requires a qualifier conversion. For the
second argument, the first is a better match, because it is an
exact match. The result is that the call is ambiguous.
Now for the really (to me) weird part:
If I remove the function const from wchar_t operator[](int
pos) const so it reads
wchar_t operator[](int pos) {
above code works as expected and no ambiguity error is shown,
Yes. Because now, you have a better match for the second
argument, and the first two are equal (both exact matches).
the following does also work
const wchar_t operator[](const int pos) {
This is the same as the above.
It is just the function const that provokes the ambiguity - why?
Because it means that calling the function on a non-const object
requires a qualifier conversion.
Many thx for an insightful reply, I spent hours on this and
don't really have a clue, why making an overloaded operator
function-const opens paths to the ambiguity shown.
It *is* sometimes surprising. But frankly, I'd wonder about so
many overloads. What does [] mean on an object of your class?
Off hand, I'd say that if you have [] whose return type differs
in more than just const, then you have operator overload abuse:
if there's a natural meaning for [], then that will exclusively
determine the return type, and if there's not, then you
shouldn't use [].

--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Jun 2 '08 #4

P: n/a
On Jun 2, 4:44 am, abendst...@gmail.com wrote:
ok first try this :
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[1]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";
you gonna see that it work. That is because using 0 could be interpretedas
a NULL pointer and that is the reason the compiler is considering the
function with a wchar_t *.
you can do :
int zero = 0;
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[zero]) == L'\0') // 0 changed by 1
cout << "works as expected";
than it will work.
Thanks for your answer, but at least the first part is bogus, first
statement is not true - it does not matter if i use 0 or 1, the
ambiguity is even present if I do:
if (wchar_t(ConfigItem()[int(0)]) == L'\0') // explicit cast to int
cout << "works as expected";
Which still has the 0. Use 1 instead of 0, and the ambiguity
disappears. Use anything but a constant integral expression,
and the ambiguity disappears.

--
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:ja*********@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Jun 2 '08 #5

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