Comma as separator in variable initialization (not as operator)

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Category:Languages

This seems such a simple question, but something I've not examined for ages in my own style... When initializing variables separated by a comma, I've assumed the following to be an unsafe practice:

unsigned int n = foo.size, nxn = n * n;

Since I don't really ever use the comma operator as such for syntactic sugar, etc; but rather to indicate that two expressions are independent - as a kind of implicit commentary on 'fine-grained parallelism' (or expression independence), that often makes code a bit more terse, e.g.,

if (<some condition>)     a = true, b = value; 

rather than requiring {} scope for semi-colon separated expressions.

But my question is really in re-examining the variable initialization case. Have I been incorrect in my assumption that nxn can't be relied on to be initialized as expected? Or have I been laboring under a misinterpretation all this time?

 


Per [dcl.decl]/3

Each init-declarator in a declaration is analyzed separately as if it was in a declaration by itself. [...]

we get that

unsigned int n = foo.size, nxn = n * n; 

is the same as

unsigned int n = foo.size; unsigned int nxn = n * n; 

There is a note with exceptions for other rules like auto or if a name shadows the type but those don't apply in this case.


Be very wary with pointers if you put multiple variables on a single line

int * foo, bar; 

does not give you two pointers. Instead, foo is a pointer and bar is an int. You would need

int * foo, * bar; 

to get two pointers. For this reason I would prefer to use

int * foo; int * bar; 

and pay the extra keystorkes for safeties sake.

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