Learning how to create a custom string class from scratch in C++ can be a great experience for developers. Such a class provides complete control over your strings, letting you implement features exactly as you please and allowing you to modify operations. In this guide, we will walk through the key stages in designing a custom string class.
Step 1: Defining The Standard Members
When designing a C++ string class, the first step is to define the standard members used throughout. This includes members such as
clear. All of these predefined members should exist either as an individual function or as an overloaded operator.
Step 2: Assigning Data and Allocating Memory
The next step is to define how strings will store and allocate memory space. This is done by implementing the string's constructors, assignment operators, and
push_back operators. C++ built-in strings use
new operator for dynamic memory allocation, but your class's memory space management can be different.
Step 3: Specifying The Rules For Comparing Strings
The next step is to define how your class will compare strings, for sorting, for comparing or for any other purpose. This comparison should be consistent in the presence of different character types, such as newlines and EOFs, so you can customize rules to your liking.
Step 4: Overriding I/O Operators
The final step is to override input/output operators. This allows to use
cin when interacting with strings, and also allows us to print directly to a string class. This helps make code more readable when it comes to code that accesses strings.
Step 5: Compile and Test
Before the custom string class can be used in a program, it needs to be compiled. Compiling is the process that converts your source code into a set of executable instructions for the computer. After that, the custom string class should be tested to ensure proper functioning and better performance.
Q1. What is a custom string class in C++?
A custom string class is a user-defined string type that can store and manipulate strings in accordance with the class's instructions and programming logic. This gives developers a way to create strings that offer customized and targeted solutions.
Q2. What are the stages for designing a custom C++ string class?
The five steps for designing a custom C++ string class include: (1) defining the standard members, (2) assigning data and allocating memory, (3) specifying the rules for comparing strings, (4) overriding I/O operators, and (5) compiling and testing.
Q3. What is dynamic memory allocation?
Dynamic memory allocation is a process that allows allocated memory space to be accessed beyond pre-set limits. This feature lets programs dynamically allocate memory while they are running and is used to create and manage strings in C++.
Q4. What is the purpose of cin and cout when it comes to strings?
cin and cout are input/output operators that can be used for C++ strings. Overriding these operators allows for the use of cin and cout when interacting with strings, letting programs in this language read input from the console or write output directly to a string.
Q5. What is the purpose of the compile step?
Compilation is the step that bridges the gap between source code and a program that can actually be run by the computer. It involves a compiler taking the code from source files, reading it line by line, and transforming it into an executable format recognized by the operating system.