Re: Why the copy assignment operator is written to return non-const reference to this?

"Daniel T." <>
Sun, 23 Nov 2008 08:25:30 -0800 (PST)
On Nov 23, 3:54 am, Singulus <> wrote:

On Nov 23, 6:14 am, "Daniel T." <> wrote:

std::string s;
// later

I often set-up method chains
( It's
rather standard in SmallTalk as well (in SmallTalk, if a method doesn't
explicitly return something else, it will return self (this).)

Since when method chaining is a good practice in C++?

Why would you think it isn't?

The whole point
of returning reference to this in the copy assignment operator is to
enable chaining of assignments, not to stack another thing to do
(member function calls for example).

Not really. The whole "point" of returning a reference (if you can
call it that) is to more closely mimic the behavior of C. I guess it
can be argued that mimicing C behavior isn't a good thing though.

// NOW that's is silly...the line does more than one thing.
size_t size = (s = y).GetSize();

In that case:

class Foo {
    void operator=(const Foo& f);

Is probably the best thing to do.

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