C++ Pointers to members Pointers to member functions


Example

To access a member function of a class, you need to have a "handle" to the particular instance, as either the instance itself, or a pointer or reference to it. Given a class instance, you can point to various of its members with a pointer-to-member, IF you get the syntax correct! Of course, the pointer has to be declared to be of the same type as what you are pointing to...

typedef int Fn(int); // Fn is a type-of function that accepts an int and returns an int

class Class {
public:
    // Note that A() is of type 'Fn'
    int A(int a) { return 2*a; }
    // Note that B() is of type 'Fn'
    int B(int b) { return 3*b; }
}; // Class

int main() {
    Class c;          // Need a Class instance to play with
    Class *p = &c;    // Need a Class pointer to play with

    Fn Class::*fn;    // fn is a pointer to a type-of Fn within Class

    fn = &Class::A;   // fn now points to A within any Class
    (c.*fn)(5);       // Pass 5 to c's function A (via fn)
    fn = &Class::B;   // fn now points to B within any Class
    (p->*fn)(6);      // Pass 6 to c's (via p) function B (via fn)
} // main()

Unlike pointers to member variables (in the previous example), the association between the class instance and the member pointer need to be bound tightly together with parentheses, which looks a little strange (as though the .* and ->* aren't strange enough!)