kooldart kooldart - 11 months ago 44
C++ Question

Operator= of class 'Entity' doesn't work properly

Okay so I'm making my own Entity Component System, and I want to be able to set an Entity to another, here is how it looks:

Entity& operator=(const Entity& other) {
this->Name = other.Name;
this->Tag = other.Tag;
this->IsStatic = other.IsStatic;
return Entity(this->Name, this->Tag, true, this->IsStatic);

an Entity also has an ID which has to be unique from other Entities, but when i set an Entity to another, the ID also gets set:


Entity a = Entity("a", "tag of a"); // A automatically gets ID: 0 because its the first Entity created
Entity b = Entity("b", "tag of b"); // B gets ID: 1 because its the second Entity created
a.PrintAll(); // This is a function which prints the name, tag, and ID of an Entity, this prints out: " "a" has "tag of a" as a tag, and its ID = "0" "
// but after i set a to b, things get a little messy
a = b;
a.PrintAll(); // This now prints out: " "b" has "tag of b" as a tag, and its ID = "1" ", that should not happen, why did the ID of a change ?

the way IDs work is that when an Entity is constructed its ID is set to a global variable which increments by 1, like so:

'Public.h' // this is included everywhere, has all the global variables

int IDcounter = 0;
int GetNewID(){
return IDcounter;

And then inside the Entity constructor:


Entity::Entity(string name, string tag){
this->name = name;
this->tag = tag;
this->ID = GetNewID(); // Everything fine, the problem is the operator=


I tried what you guys told me, here is how i tried it:

Entity* leshko;
Entity* ent2;
leshko = new Entity("leshko", "lesh");
ent2 = new Entity("ent2", "presh");
leshko->PrintAll(); // ID = 0
leshko = ent2;
leshko->PrintAll(); // ID = 1

I think the problem may be that I'm using pointer 'Entities' and not regular 'Entities', but I cannot change that.

Answer Source

The issue here is you are trying to return a reference to a local variable. In your assignment operator you have

return Entity(this->Name, this->Tag, true, this->IsStatic);

Which creates a temporary. You cannot return that by reference.

What you want to do instead is return a reference to the object you just assigned to. You do that with

return *this;

Note that in your code leshko = ent2; is pointer assignment not object assignment. If you want to assign the underlying objects you need *leshko = *ent2;.