Re: derived class and virtual function

red floyd <>
Tue, 17 Aug 2010 16:54:57 -0700
On 8/17/2010 1:54 AM, James Kanze wrote:

On Aug 13, 10:09 am, "Francesco S. Carta"<> wrote:

Francesco S. Carta<>, on 13/08/2010 10:39:51, wrote:, India<>, on
13/08/2010 01:29:13, wrote:

In Stanley Lippman's 'C++ Primer Fourth Edition', in page 564, the
following is mentioned:

"A virtual function in the derived class can return a reference or
pointer to a class that is PUBLICLY derived from the type returned by
the base class function."

I am unable to understand this sentence. Kindly explain it with
program sample.

IIUIC, that means that if you have a function with signature "virtual
Base* Clone() const;" in the base class, then the implementation of the
same function in the derived class can be: "Base* Clone() const { return
new Derived(*this); }" - just an example that assumes Derived is
copy-constructible, of course.

There is either something wrong in that sentence, in my understanding
or in my compiler - or my settings thereof - because it allows me to
return a pointer to Derived where Base is private:

In your understanding, I think, because...



using namespace std;

class Base {
      Base(int data = 0) : data(data) {};
      Base(const Base& base) : data( {};
      virtual Base* Clone() const {
          cout<< "cloning Base"<< endl;
          return new Base(*this);
      int Data() const {
          return data;
      int data;

class Derived : private Base {
      Derived(int data = 0) : Base(data) {};
      Derived(const Derived& derived) : Base(derived) {};
      Base* Clone() const {

Here, you're still returning a Base. Any conversion takes place
in Derived (where the derivation is visible).

Try changing the return type to Derived*; the compiler should
complain then.

See ?10.3/5 in the standard for details.

James, I thought that the compiler should *not* complain if the
return type of Derived::Clone was Derived*. Isn't that a
covariant return type?

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