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'*' cannot appear in a constant-expression problem

Hi all, I'm encountering this while trying to implement a factory
singleton method to generate objects.

The singleton has a static map which binds a static creation function
defined in each class to the type of the object to be created.

Here it is the code, which is a modification of the wikipedia C++
factory example code:

----------------------------------8<--------------------------------
#include <string>
#include <iostream>
#include <map>

class Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() = 0;
};

class HamAndMushroomPizza: public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price(){
std::cout << "Ham and Mushroom: $8.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza()
{
return new HamAndMushroomPizza;
}
};

class DeluxePizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Deluxe: $10.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza()
{
return new DeluxePizza;
}

};

class SeafoodPizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price(){
std::cout << "Seafood: $11.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza()
{
return new SeafoodPizza;
}
};

class PizzaFactory {
private:

static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;

init() {
map["Deluxe"] = DeluxPizza::create_pizza;
map["Ham and Mushroom"] = HamAndMushroom::create_pizza;
map["Seafood"] = SeafoodPizza::create_pizza;
}

public:
PizzaFactory* get_instance()
{
static PizzaFactory instance = 0;
if (!instance) {
instance = new PizzaFactory;
instance.Init();
}
return instance;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza(const std::string type) {
PString type = config.GetAttribute("type");
if ((it = creators.find(type) != creators.end()))
return (it->second)();
else
return 0;
}
};

// usage
int main() {
PizzaFactory* factory = PizzaFactory::get_instance();
Pizza *pizza = 0;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Default");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Ham and Mushroom");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Seafood Pizza");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}
----------------------------------8<--------------------------------

The static map declaration syntax is somehow wrong, and after hitting
my head sometime I still can't get out of it.

I'm using g++ 4.3.1, and the syntax error I get is this:

make PizzaFactory2; and PizzaFactory2
g++ -I/home/stefano/opt/reilabs/include -I/home/stefano/include -O0 -g -ggdb PizzaFactory2.cxx -c -o PizzaFactory2.o
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: template argument 2 is invalid

The exact line of the error is:
static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;

which I interpret as:
a static map from string to a static method pointer which takes no
parameters and returns a pointer to a Pizza object.

What am I missing or what I'm doing wrongly?

Regards and many help in advance.
Oct 24 '08 #1
8 20366
On 2008-10-24 05:46:59 -0400, Stefano Sabatini
<st**************@caos.orgsaid:

[~90 lines of mostly irrelevant code snipped]
>
I'm using g++ 4.3.1, and the syntax error I get is this:

make PizzaFactory2; and PizzaFactory2
g++ -I/home/stefano/opt/reilabs/include -I/home/stefano/include -O0 -g
-ggdb PizzaFactory2.cxx -c -o PizzaFactory2.o
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: template argument 2 is invalid

The exact line of the error is:
static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;
#include <string>
#include <map>
class Pizza;
std::map<std::string, (Pizza*)(*)()creators;

These four lines produce the same series of error messages. Learn how
to reduce code that produces error messages to a minimal example. In
the course of doing that, the error usually becomes obvious. If it
doesn't become obvious (and this one isn't obvious), post the minimal
example. This code compiles cleanly:

#include <string>
#include <map>
class Pizza;
std::map<std::string, Pizza*(*)()creators;

In general, though, don't write complicated types on the fly (pointers
to functions are complicated types). Use typedefs:

typedef Pizza*(*creator)();
std::map<std::string, creatorcreators;

--
Pete
Roundhouse Consulting, Ltd. (www.versatilecoding.com) Author of "The
Standard C++ Library Extensions: a Tutorial and Reference
(www.petebecker.com/tr1book)

Oct 24 '08 #2
On 2008-10-24, Stefano Sabatini <st**************@caos.orgwrote:
Hi all, I'm encountering this while trying to implement a factory
singleton method to generate objects.

The singleton has a static map which binds a static creation function
defined in each class to the type of the object to be created.

Here it is the code, which is a modification of the wikipedia C++
factory example code:

----------------------------------8<--------------------------------
[...]
----------------------------------8<--------------------------------
Sorry it had tons of erros, check below the new version.
The static map declaration syntax is somehow wrong, and after hitting
my head sometime I still can't get out of it.

I'm using g++ 4.3.1, and the syntax error I get is this:

make PizzaFactory2; and PizzaFactory2
g++ -I/home/stefano/opt/reilabs/include -I/home/stefano/include -O0 -g -ggdb PizzaFactory2.cxx -c -o PizzaFactory2.o
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: template argument 2 is invalid

The exact line of the error is:
static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;

which I interpret as:
a static map from string to a static method pointer which takes no
parameters and returns a pointer to a Pizza object.

What am I missing or what I'm doing wrongly?
Well I found a solution, even if I'm not sure I really understood it.

If I define the type like this:
typedef Pizza *(* pizza_creator_fn_ptr)();

and then use the map like this:
static map<std::string, pizza_creator_fn_ptrcreators;

then it seems to work fine.

A short explanation would be nice.

New version here:
-----------------------------------8<-------------------------------------
#include <string>
#include <iostream>
#include <map>

class Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() = 0;
};

class HamAndMushroomPizza: public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Ham and Mushroom: $8.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new HamAndMushroomPizza;
}
};

class DeluxePizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Deluxe: $10.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new DeluxePizza;
}
};

class SeafoodPizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Seafood: $11.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new SeafoodPizza;
}
};

typedef Pizza* (*pizza_creator_fn_ptr)(void);

class PizzaFactory {
private:
static std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_fn_ptrcreators;

void init() {
creators["Deluxe"] = &DeluxePizza::create_pizza;
creators["Ham and Mushroom"] = &HamAndMushroomPizza::create_pizza;
creators["Seafood"] = &SeafoodPizza::create_pizza;
}

public:
static PizzaFactory* get_instance()
{
static PizzaFactory * instance = 0;
if (!instance) {
instance = new PizzaFactory;
instance->init();
}
return instance;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza(const std::string& type) {
std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_fn_ptr>::iterator it;
if ((it = creators.find(type)) != creators.end())
return (*(it->second))();
else
return 0;
}
};

//usage
int main() {
PizzaFactory* factory = PizzaFactory::get_instance();
Pizza *pizza = 0;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Default");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Ham and Mushroom");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;

pizza = factory->create_pizza("Seafood Pizza");
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}
-----------------------------------8<-------------------------------------

The code has still a problem related to the use of the static map
which isn't found by the compiler, but this is another problem.

Thanks for your attention.
Oct 24 '08 #3
On 2008-10-24, Pete Becker <pe**@versatilecoding.comwrote:
On 2008-10-24 05:46:59 -0400, Stefano Sabatini
<st**************@caos.orgsaid:

[~90 lines of mostly irrelevant code snipped]
>>
I'm using g++ 4.3.1, and the syntax error I get is this:

make PizzaFactory2; and PizzaFactory2
g++ -I/home/stefano/opt/reilabs/include -I/home/stefano/include -O0 -g
-ggdb PizzaFactory2.cxx -c -o PizzaFactory2.o
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a
constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: template argument 2 is invalid

The exact line of the error is:
static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;

#include <string>
#include <map>
class Pizza;
std::map<std::string, (Pizza*)(*)()creators;

These four lines produce the same series of error messages. Learn how
to reduce code that produces error messages to a minimal example. In
the course of doing that, the error usually becomes obvious. If it
doesn't become obvious (and this one isn't obvious), post the minimal
example. This code compiles cleanly:

#include <string>
#include <map>
class Pizza;
std::map<std::string, Pizza*(*)()creators;
OK, so the problem was the superfluous parentehsis.
In general, though, don't write complicated types on the fly (pointers
to functions are complicated types). Use typedefs:

typedef Pizza*(*creator)();
std::map<std::string, creatorcreators;
Yes, good advice.

Many thanks, regards.
Oct 24 '08 #4
On 2008-10-24, Stefano Sabatini <st**************@caos.orgwrote:
On 2008-10-24, Stefano Sabatini <st**************@caos.orgwrote:
>Hi all, I'm encountering this while trying to implement a factory
singleton method to generate objects.

The singleton has a static map which binds a static creation function
defined in each class to the type of the object to be created.

Here it is the code, which is a modification of the wikipedia C++
factory example code:

----------------------------------8<--------------------------------
[...]
>----------------------------------8<--------------------------------

Sorry it had tons of erros, check below the new version.
>The static map declaration syntax is somehow wrong, and after hitting
my head sometime I still can't get out of it.

I'm using g++ 4.3.1, and the syntax error I get is this:

make PizzaFactory2; and PizzaFactory2
g++ -I/home/stefano/opt/reilabs/include -I/home/stefano/include -O0 -g -ggdb PizzaFactory2.cxx -c -o PizzaFactory2.o
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: `*' cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: a function call cannot appear in a constant-expression
PizzaFactory2.cxx:50: error: template argument 2 is invalid

The exact line of the error is:
static std::map<std::string, (Pizza *)(*)()creators;

which I interpret as:
a static map from string to a static method pointer which takes no
parameters and returns a pointer to a Pizza object.

What am I missing or what I'm doing wrongly?

Well I found a solution, even if I'm not sure I really understood it.

If I define the type like this:
typedef Pizza *(* pizza_creator_fn_ptr)();

and then use the map like this:
static map<std::string, pizza_creator_fn_ptrcreators;

then it seems to work fine.

A short explanation would be nice.
As we discovered the problem was the superfluous parentheses.
New version here:
-----------------------------------8<-------------------------------------
[...]
-----------------------------------8<-------------------------------------

The code has still a problem related to the use of the static map
which isn't found by the compiler, but this is another problem.
For the archive, the problem was due to the (non obvious) fact that a
static map has to be also defined in the implementation, that is
outside the delclaration. Adding the missing definition:

std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptrPizzaFactory::creators;

fixed the problem.

Reposting the correct and running version of the toy pizza creator
singleton/factory sample.

----------------------------------------8<------------------------
#include <string>
#include <map>
#include <iostream>

class Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() = 0;
};

class HamAndMushroomPizza: public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Ham and Mushroom: $8.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new HamAndMushroomPizza;
}
};

class DeluxePizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Deluxe: $10.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new DeluxePizza;
}
};

class SeafoodPizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Seafood: $11.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new SeafoodPizza;
}
};

typedef Pizza* (*pizza_creator_ptr)(void);

class PizzaFactory {
private:
static std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptrcreators;

void init() {
PizzaFactory::creators["Deluxe"] = &DeluxePizza::create_pizza;
PizzaFactory::creators["Ham and Mushroom"] = &HamAndMushroomPizza::create_pizza;
PizzaFactory::creators["Seafood"] = &SeafoodPizza::create_pizza;
}

public:
static PizzaFactory* get_instance()
{
static PizzaFactory * instance = 0;
if (!instance) {
instance = new PizzaFactory;
instance->init();
}
return instance;
}

Pizza* create_pizza(const std::string& type) {
std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptr>::iterator it;
if ((it = PizzaFactory::creators.find(type)) != creators.end())
return (*(it->second))();
else
return 0;
}
};

std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptrPizzaFactory::creators;

//usage
int main() {
PizzaFactory* factory = PizzaFactory::get_instance();
Pizza *pizza = 0;

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Default")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Ham and Mushroom")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Seafood")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

return 0;
}
----------------------------------------8<------------------------

Regards.
Oct 24 '08 #5
----------------------------------------8<------------------------
#include <string>
#include <map>
#include <iostream>

class Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() = 0;
};

class HamAndMushroomPizza: public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Ham and Mushroom: $8.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new HamAndMushroomPizza;
}
};

class DeluxePizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Deluxe: $10.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new DeluxePizza;
}
};

class SeafoodPizza : public Pizza {
public:
virtual void get_price() {
std::cout << "Seafood: $11.5" << std::endl;
}

static Pizza* create_pizza() {
return new SeafoodPizza;
}
};

typedef Pizza* (*pizza_creator_ptr)(void);

class PizzaFactory {
private:
static std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptrcreators;

void init() {
PizzaFactory::creators["Deluxe"] = &DeluxePizza::create_pizza;
PizzaFactory::creators["Ham and Mushroom"] = &HamAndMushroomPizza::create_pizza;
PizzaFactory::creators["Seafood"] = &SeafoodPizza::create_pizza;
}

public:
static PizzaFactory* get_instance()
{
static PizzaFactory * instance = 0;
if (!instance) {
instance = new PizzaFactory;
instance->init();
}
return instance;
}

Pizza* create_pizza(const std::string& type) {
std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptr>::iterator it;
if ((it = PizzaFactory::creators.find(type)) != creators.end())
return (*(it->second))();
else
return 0;
}
};

std::map<std::string, pizza_creator_ptrPizzaFactory::creators;

//usage
int main() {
PizzaFactory* factory = PizzaFactory::get_instance();
Pizza *pizza = 0;

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Default")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Ham and Mushroom")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

if (pizza = factory->create_pizza("Seafood")) {
pizza->get_price();
delete pizza;
}

return 0;
}
----------------------------------------8<------------------------
I think there is another problem with this example: the Pizza class is
missing the virtual destructor.

Oct 24 '08 #6
Pete Becker wrote:

In general, though, don't write complicated types on the fly
(pointers to functions are complicated types). Use typedefs:

typedef Pizza*(*creator)();
std::map<std::string, creatorcreators;
I tend to find it a bit more readable to do something like:

typedef Pizza* CreatorFuncType();
std::map<std::string, CreatorFuncType*creators;

Brian

Oct 24 '08 #7
On 2008-10-24 14:20:09 -0400, "Default User" <de***********@yahoo.comsaid:
Pete Becker wrote:

>In general, though, don't write complicated types on the fly
(pointers to functions are complicated types). Use typedefs:

typedef Pizza*(*creator)();
std::map<std::string, creatorcreators;

I tend to find it a bit more readable to do something like:

typedef Pizza* CreatorFuncType();
std::map<std::string, CreatorFuncType*creators;
Thus making use of the only way that a function type can be used in C:
as the target of the address-of operator.

--
Pete
Roundhouse Consulting, Ltd. (www.versatilecoding.com) Author of "The
Standard C++ Library Extensions: a Tutorial and Reference
(www.petebecker.com/tr1book)

Oct 24 '08 #8
Pete Becker wrote:
On 2008-10-24 14:20:09 -0400, "Default User"
<de***********@yahoo.comsaid:
Pete Becker wrote:

In general, though, don't write complicated types on the fly
(pointers to functions are complicated types). Use typedefs:
>
typedef Pizza*(*creator)();
std::map<std::string, creatorcreators;
I tend to find it a bit more readable to do something like:

typedef Pizza* CreatorFuncType();
std::map<std::string, CreatorFuncType*creators;

Thus making use of the only way that a function type can be used in
C: as the target of the address-of operator.
You can use it in a declaration (but not definition) of a function as
well, I believe.

Brian
Oct 24 '08 #9

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