Hi,

I have a doubt regarding inheritance of base class constructor by inherited class.

I was recently going through some C++ online tutorial when I came across this piece of code:

#include <iostream>
class Foo
{
        public:
        Foo() { std::cout << "Foo's constructor" << std::endl; }
};
class Bar : public Foo
{
        public:
        Bar() { std::cout << "Bar's constructor" << std::endl; }
};

int main()
{
        // a lovely elephant ;)
        Bar bar;
}

I will quote the exact text present in the site from where I took the above code :

The object bar is constructed in two stages: first, the Foo constructor is invoked and then the Bar constructor is invoked. The output of the above program will be to indicate that Foo's constructor is called first, followed by Bar's constructor.

Now, my question is:

Will the constructor Foo() be called when an object of class Bar is declared?


This is the site from where I got the above code:
Initialization Lists in C++


Now according to the site, the constructor Foo() will be called. But as per my knowledge, this is not true since base class constructors are not inherited. But I want to confirm this.

Regards,

Edited 6 Years Ago by el33t: n/a

Every derived-class object contains a base-class object as part of it. By implication, constructing a derived-class object involves constructing the base-class object as well.

Therefore, when you construct an object of type Bar, part of that construction process is to construct an object of type Foo.

The Foo constructor is not inherited in the normal sense, because if it were inherited, you would be able to override it--and you can't. One of Foo's constructors is always executed as part of constructing a Bar. All you can do is choose which constructor to execute, and which arguments to pass to it, by using a constructor initializer:

class Foo {
public:
    Foo();
    Foo(int);
    // ... (perhaps other constructors)
};

class Bar: public Foo {
public:
    Bar(): Foo(42) { }
    // ...
};

Now, if you execute

Bar b;

that will execute Bar's default constructor. That constructor has a constructor-initializer of Foo(42), which means that it will pass an argument of 42 to Foo's constructor when it executes. The fact that that argument exists, and the fact that it has type int, will select the Foo constructor that takes an int argument.

Inheritance does not come into play here.

Thanks for the reply.

Now considering the source code in your post, what will happen if I execute something like:

Bar b(12)

Which constructor will be called in this case? Will this give an error because the class Bar has no constructor of the form Bar(int) or will it instead execute the constructor Foo(int) without any error?

Also, will it be fine if I edit line#10 of your source and make it something like:

Bar(): Foo(int) { }

in order to generalize the Foo part?

Thanks for the reply.

Now considering the source code in your post, what will happen if I execute something like:

Bar b(12)

Which constructor will be called in this case? Will this give an error because the class Bar has no constructor of the form Bar(int) or will it instead execute the constructor Foo(int) without any error?

It will give an error because Bar has no constructor of the form Bar(int).


Also, will it be fine if I edit line#10 of your source and make it something like:

Bar(): Foo(int) { }

in order to generalize the Foo part?

No. A constructor initializer expects an expression, and int is not an expression.

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