How to Choose the Right Assignment Operator for Your C++ Programming Project

How to Choose the Right Assignment Operator for Your C++ Programming Project

The C++ programming language is a general-purpose, middle-level, object-oriented computer programming language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup. It supports a rich set of features. The symbol = is used to assign a value to a variable. The right operand can be either a literal value or an expression that evaluates to a value.


Type of Variables



The type of a variable determines what it can contain. The most common types are scalar strings, integers, and character types, which can hold letters (‘A’ – ‘Z’), numbers (0 to 9), punctuation, spaces, and control codes (like newline and tab).


Variable names can start with uppercase or lowercase letters or the underscore (_) symbol. They cannot begin with a number, special keyword, or symbol.


When the left operand of a built-in assignment operator in c++  operator is an lvalue or rvalue of a non-class type, it must be specified using a move operation. Otherwise, an error will be triggered. In addition, if the type of the right operand is different from the left one, an exception will be raised. Therefore, it’s better to create a copy constructor instead of an assignment operator in such cases. Alternatively, you can define a compound assignment operator that takes a member template and an lvalue or rvalue of the class. It’s important to understand the differences between these two types of operators, though.


Variable Size


An assignment operator takes the value of a modifiable data object (for beginners this typically means a variable) and moves it into a storage location. It does this by using a special symbol called an equal sign.


This operator can be overloaded to perform different operations, such as addition (+=), subtraction (-=) and multiplication (*). A compound assignment operator is used with a variable of the same type as an expression on the right side of the equal sign. This is because the operator expects that the types on both sides of the equal sign match each other for successful operation.


The variable size must be known before using an assignment operator, as it could cause errors during code generation. This is because the compiler may incorrectly assume that a variable of a certain class, size or complexity has already been assigned a value, which can result in odd implicit conversions. Therefore, you should only assign values to variables of the same type once.


Variable Access


When an identifier is used in an expression, it usually means that some value is assigned to or changed by the variable. This value may be an integer, a float, or a string. In general, variables can only be accessed inside the scope where they are declared. For example, a variable named age cannot be accessed outside the body of the method that declares it. This is because the variable is declared local to that method.


If you want to access a variable outside its scope, you can use the global assignment operator or use a function that exposes the variable’s current value as an argument. However, be careful because you could accidentally break the program if you do something like this. The name of a variable must be an identifier, which is a sequence of letters and underscores up to a compiler-defined maximum length (usually 255). White space and other special characters are not allowed in the name.


Variable Type


A variable can store information of various types. You can name your variables with any character that is valid in the C programming language, including letters, digits and underscore characters (_). The only limitation is that variable names cannot be keywords or start with a punctuation mark. White spaces are also not allowed.


The name of a variable must be unique and meaningful. Choose a name that accurately reflects its meaning, e.g. numberOfStudents, roomNumber or xTopLeft. Ensure that your variable name does not include any special character or symbol as these will be treated differently by the C compiler.


If you use a compound assignment operator, it avoids making a copy of the operand and performs the operation on the variable in place. This can be more efficient than using simple assignment operators. The operator can be used to assign values of different types, as long as their element types are compatible. This can save memory and code space.


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