I am new to C++ and I have read abt copy constructors from a C++ book but could not exactly get the concept. Can you please provide me with examples of when and how copy constructors are used..
Let us Imagine if you don't have a copy constructor for the class B. At the first place, if an object is created from some existing object, we cannot be sure that the memory is allocated. Also, if the memory is deleted in destructor, the delete operator might be called twice for the same memory location.
This is a major risk. One happy thing is, if the class is not so complex this will come to the fore during development itself. But if the class is very complicated, then these kind of errors will be difficult to track.
There are 3 important places where a copy constructor is called.
When an object is created from another object of the same type
When an object is passed by value as a parameter to a function
When an object is returned from a function
If a copy constructor is not defined in a class, the compiler itself defines one. This will ensure a shallow copy. If the class does not have pointer variables with dynamically allocated memory, then one need not worry about defining a copy constructor. It can be left to the compiler's discretion.
But if the class has pointer variables and has some dynamic memory allocations, then it is a must to have a copy constructor.
As i given an example in prev reply.