StoneThrow StoneThrow - 1 month ago 18
C++ Question

How is std::getline() equated with bool?

I'm a

std::getline(...)
virgin and having consulted documentation and example at cppreference.com, I'm confused by example code such as this:

#include <sstream>
#include <string>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
std::string line;
std::ifstream infile("sample.txt");

while (std::getline(infile, line))
{
// Do stuff
}

return 0;
}


...specifically the while statement:
while (std::getline(infile, line))
.

The noted documentation says the return value of
std::getline(std::basic_istream<CharT,Traits>& input, ...)
is
input
, i.e. a reference to the first argument.

How, then, can the return value of
getline
be used as the while loop's condition, which needs to be of type
bool
?

Does
std::ifstream
implement an
operator bool()
?

Answer

Does std::ifstream implement an operator bool()?

It does:

Checks whether the stream has no errors. <...> Returns true if the stream has no errors and is ready for I/O operations. Specifically, returns !fail().

This operator makes it possible to use streams and functions that return references to streams as loop conditions, resulting in the idiomatic C++ input loops such as while(stream >> value) {...} or while(getline(stream, string)){...}