cruxi cruxi - 1 year ago 43
C++ Question

C++ pointer, reference and function call

I am really new to C++ and I am a bit confused about pointers, adresses and function calls in C++.

I have the following function call:

config.pages= avail_pages(config.books_path, &config.books.front());

the config class has multiple
, e.g.
holds the book ids (which are the file names from books_path).

Now I want to get the available pages of the first book (every page is a file). Therefore, avail_pages shall look for the files in books_path and for the first book.

A valid path to book 1234 and page 12 looks like this: books_path/1234/12

std::vector<uint16_t> avail_pages(std::string books_path, uint16_t* book) {

std::vector<uint16_t> pages;

std::string first_book;
first_book = books_path + std::to_string(*book); //pointer or not? string concatenation?
boost::filesystem::path p(first_book);

for (auto i = boost::filesystem::directory_iterator(p); i != boost::filesystem::directory_iterator(); i++)
std::string s = i->path().filename().string();
return pages;

The question is: if I use the vector function front() it returns a reference to the first element.

  1. Do I call it like this:

  2. How do I pass the reference to a function? Do I have to use a pointer, like this:
    std::vector<uint16_t> avail_pages(std::string books_path, uint16_t* book)

  3. How can I access the actual value and cast it from an integer to a

At the moment I am getting an error at the function call for the front() function which shows that I didnt understand the reference/ pointer thing.
Thanks in advance!

Answer Source

It'd be better if you provided definitions of config and books. This being said, you need to understand than the vector function front() returns a reference to the front object held by the vector, this means you will typically call a class member after front. Consider this :

class book
public :
std::string books_path;
uint16_t book_id;
std::vector <book> config;
//your declared function :
std::vector<uint16_t> avail_pages(std::string books_path, uint16_t* book);
//you'd call this as such :
avail_pages(config.front().books_path, &config.front().book_id);