Saturday, 27 August 2011

C++ Interview Questions and Answers (1)

C++ Interview Questions and Answers (1)

Q: Is it possible to have Virtual Constructor? If yes, how? If not, Why not possible?
A: There is nothing like Virtual Constructor. The Constructor can’t be virtual as the constructor
is a code which is responsible for creating an instance of a class and it can’t be delegated to
any other object by virtual keyword means.

Q: What is constructor or ctor?
A: Constructor creates an object and initializes it. It also creates vtable for virtual functions. It is
different from other methods in a class.

Q: What about Virtual Destructor?
A: Yes there is a Virtual Destructor. A destructor can be virtual as it is possible as at runtime
depending on the type of object caller is calling to, proper destructor will be called.

Q: What is the difference between a copy constructor and an overloaded assignment operator?
A: A copy constructor constructs a new object by using the content of the argument object. An
overloaded assignment operator assigns the contents of an existing object to another existing
object of the same class.

Q: Can a constructor throws an exception? How to handle the error when the constructor fails?
A:The constructor never throws an error.

Q: What is default constructor?
A: Constructor with no arguments or all the arguments has default values.

Q: What is copy constructor?
A: Constructor which initializes the it's object member variables ( by
shallow copying) with another object of the same class. If you don't implement one in your class
then compiler implements one for you. for example:
(a) Boo Obj1(10); // calling Boo constructor
(b) Boo Obj2(Obj1); // calling boo copy constructor
(c) Boo Obj2 = Obj1;// calling boo copy constructor

Q: When are copy constructors called?
A: Copy constructors are called in following cases:
(a) when a function returns an object of that
class by value
(b) when the object of that class is passed by
value as an argument to a function
(c) when you construct an object based on another
object of the same class
(d) When compiler generates a temporary object


Q: Can a copy constructor accept an object of the same class as parameter, instead of reference
of the object?
A: No. It is specified in the definition of the copy constructor itself. It should generate an error if
a programmer specifies a copy constructor with a first argument that is an object and not a
reference.

Q: What is conversion constructor?
A: constructor with a single argument makes that constructor as conversion ctor and it can be
used for type conversion.
for example:
class Boo
{
public:
Boo( int i );
};
Boo BooObject = 10 ; // assigning int 10 Boo object

Q:What is conversion operator??
A:class can have a public method for specific data type conversions.
for example:
class Boo
{
double value;
public:
Boo(int i )
operator double()
{
return value;
}
};
Boo BooObject;
double i = BooObject; // assigning object to variable i of type double.
now conversion operator gets called to assign the value.

Q: How can I handle a constructor that fails?
A: throw an exception. Constructors don't have a return type, so it's not possible to use return codes. The best way to signal constructor failure is therefore to throw an exception.

Q: How can I handle a destructor that fails?
A: Write a message to a log-_le. But do not throw an exception. The C++ rule is that you must never throw an exception from a destructor that is being called during the "stack unwinding" process of another exception. For example, if someone says throw Foo(), the stack will be unwound so all the stack frames between the throw Foo() and the } catch (Foo e) { will get popped. This is called stack unwinding. During stack unwinding, all the local objects in all



those stack frames are destructed. If one of those destructors throws an exception (say it throws a Bar object), the C++ runtime system is in a no-win situation: should it ignore the Bar and end up in the } catch (Foo e) { where it was originally headed? Should it ignore the Foo and look for a } catch (Bare) { handler? There is no good answer:either choice loses information. So the C++ language guarantees that it will call terminate() at this point, and terminate() kills the process. Bang you're dead.

Q: What is Virtual Destructor?
A: Using virtual destructors, you can destroy objects without knowing their type - the correct destructor for the object is invoked using the virtual function mechanism. Note that destructors can also be declared as pure virtual functions for abstract classes. if someone will derive from your class, and if someone will say "new Derived", where "Derived" is derived from your class, and if someone will say delete p, where the actual object's type is "Derived" but the pointer p's type is your class.

Q: Can a copy constructor accept an object of the same class as parameter, instead of reference of the object?
A: No. It is specified in the definition of the copy constructor itself. It should generate an error if a programmer specifies a copy constructor with a first argument that is an object and not a reference.

Q: What's the order that local objects are destructed?
A: In reverse order of construction: First constructed, last destructed.

In the following example, b's destructor will be executed first, then a's destructor:

void userCode()
{
Fred a;
Fred b;
...
}

Q: What's the order that objects in an array are destructed?
A: In reverse order of construction: First constructed, last destructed.

In the following example, the order for destructors will be a[9], a[8], ..., a[1], a[0]:

void userCode()
{
Fred a[10];
...
}

Q: Can I overload the destructor for my class?

A: No.

You can have only one destructor for a class Fred. It's always called Fred::~Fred(). It never takes any parameters, and it never returns anything.

You can't pass parameters to the destructor anyway, since you never explicitly call a destructor (well, almost never).

Q: Should I explicitly call a destructor on a local variable?
A: No!

The destructor will get called again at the close } of the block in which the local was created.
This is a guarantee of the language; it happens automagically; there's no way to stop it from happening. But you can get really bad results from calling a destructor on the same object a second time! Bang! You're dead!

Q: What if I want a local to "die" before the close } of the scope in which it was created? Can I call a destructor on a local if I really want to?
A: No! [For context, please read the previous FAQ].

Suppose the (desirable) side effect of destructing a local File object is to close the File. Now suppose you have an object f of a class File and you want File f to be closed before the end of the scope (i.e., the }) of the scope of object f:

void someCode()
{
File f;

...insert code that should execute when f is still open...

We want the side-effect of f's destructor here!

...insert code that should execute after f is closed...
}
There is a simple solution to this problem. But in the mean time, remember: Do not explicitly call the destructor!

Q: OK, OK already; I won't explicitly call the destructor of a local; but how do I handle the above situation?
A: Simply wrap the extent of the lifetime of the local in an artificial block {...}:

void someCode()
{
{

File f;
...insert code that should execute when f is still open...
} f's destructor will automagically be called here!

...insert code here that should execute after f is closed...}

Q: What if I can't wrap the local in an artificial block?
A: Most of the time, you can limit the lifetime of a local by wrapping the local in an artificial block ({...}). But if for some reason you can't do that, add a member function that has a similar effect as the destructor. But do not call the destructor itself!

For example, in the case of class File, you might add a close() method. Typically the destructor will simply call this close() method. Note that the close() method will need to mark the File object so a subsequent call won't re-close an already-closed File. E.g., it might set the file Handle_ data member to some nonsensical value such as -1, and it might check at the beginning to see if the file Handle_ is already equal to -1:

class File {
public:
void close();
~File();
...
private:
int fileHandle_; // fileHandle_ >= 0 if/only-if it's open
};

File::~File()
{
close();
}

void File::close()
{
if (fileHandle_ >= 0) {
...insert code to call the OS to close the file...
fileHandle_ = -1;
}
}
Note that the other File methods may also need to check if the fileHandle_ is -1 (i.e., check if the
File is closed).

Note also that any constructors that don't actually open a file should set fileHandle_ to -1.

Q: But can I explicitly call a destructor if I've allocated my object with new?
A: Probably not.


Unless you used placement new, you should simply delete the object rather than explicitly calling the destructor. For example, suppose you allocated the object via a typical new expression:


Fred* p = new Fred();
Then the destructor Fred::~Fred() will automagically get called when you delete it via:


delete p; // Automagically calls p->~Fred()
You should not explicitly call the destructor, since doing so won't release the memory that was allocated for the Fred object itself. Remember: delete p does two things: it calls the destructor and it deallocates the memory.

Q: What is "placement new" and why would I use it?
A: There are many uses of placement new. The simplest use is to place an object at a particular location in memory. This is done by supplying the place as a pointer parameter to the new part of a new expression:

#include // Must #include this to use "placement new"
#include "Fred.h" // Declaration of class Fred

void someCode()
{
char memory[sizeof(Fred)]; // Line #1
void* place = memory; // Line #2

Fred* f = new(place) Fred(); // Line #3 (see "DANGER" below)
// The pointers f and place will be equal

...
}
Line #1 creates an array of sizeof(Fred) bytes of memory, which is big enough to hold a Fred object.
Line #2 creates a pointer place that points to the first byte of this memory (experienced C programmers will note that this step was unnecessary; it's there only to make the code more obvious).
Line #3 essentially just calls the constructor Fred::Fred(). The this pointer in the Fred constructor will be equal to place. The returned pointer f will therefore be equal to place.

ADVICE: Don't use this "placement new" syntax unless you have to. Use it only when you really
care that an object is placed at a particular location in memory. For example, when your
hardware has a memory-mapped I/O timer device, and you want to place a Clock object at that
memory location.

DANGER: You are taking sole responsibility that the pointer you pass to the "placement new" operator points to a region of memory that is big enough and is properly aligned for the object type that you're creating. Neither the compiler nor the run-time system make any attempt to check whether you did this right. If your Fred class needs to be aligned on a 4 byte boundary but you supplied a location that isn't properly aligned, you can have a serious disaster on your hands
(if you don't know what "alignment" means, please don't use the placement new syntax). You have been warned.

You are also solely responsible for destructing the placed object. This is done by explicitly calling the destructor:

void someCode()
{
char memory[sizeof(Fred)];
void* p = memory;
Fred* f = new(p) Fred();
...
f->~Fred(); // Explicitly call the destructor for the placed object
}
This is about the only time you ever explicitly call a destructor.

Note: there is a much cleaner but more sophisticated way of handling the destruction / deletion
situation.
Q: When I write a destructor, do I need to explicitly call the destructors for my member objects?
A: No. You never need to explicitly call a destructor (except with placement new).

A class's destructor (whether or not you explicitly define one) automagically invokes the
destructors for member objects. They are destroyed in the reverse order they appear within the
declaration for the class.

class Member {
public:
~Member();
...
};

class Fred {
public:
~Fred();
...
private:
Member x_;
Member y_;
Member z_;

};

Fred::~Fred()
{
// Compiler automagically calls z_.~Member()
// Compiler automagically calls y_.~Member()
// Compiler automagically calls x_.~Member()
}

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