checking for a null object in C++

I've mostly only worked with C, and am running into some unfamiliar issues in C++. Let's say that I have some function like this in C, which would be very typical:

int some_c_function(const char* var)
{
    if (var == NULL) {
        /* exit early so we don't dereference a null pointer */
    }
    /* rest of code */
}

and let's say that I'm trying to write a similar function in C++:

int some_cpp_function(const some_object& str)
{
    if (str == NULL)  // this doesn't compile, probably because some_object doesn't overload the == operator

    if (&str == NULL) // this compiles, but doesn't work, and does this even mean anything?
}

Basically, all I'm trying to do is to prevent the program from crashing when some_cpp_function() is called with NULL.

  • what is the most typical/common way of doing this with an object C++ (that doesn't involve overloading the == operator)?

  • is this even the right approach? ie. should I not write functions that take an object as an argument, but rather, write member functions? (but even if so, please answer the original question)

  • between a function that takes a reference to an object, or a function that takes a C-style pointer to an object, are there reasons to choose one over the other?

Answers


Basically, all I'm trying to do is to prevent the program from crashing when some_cpp_function() is called with NULL.

It is not possible to call the function with NULL. One of the purpose of having the reference, it will point to some object always as you have to initialize it when defining it. Do not think reference as a fancy pointer, think of it as an alias name for the object itself. Then this type of confusion will not arise.


Need Your Help

what's the most efficient way to perform the same operation(s) on multiple data frames?

r data.frame

my apologies if this is a duplicate, i couldn't find it anywhere..

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