Evgenii Legotckoi
Evgenii LegotckoiAug. 21, 2019, 3:56 a.m.

C++14 - unnamed structure as auto value returned by function

Let's look at an interesting construction from the C++14 standard, which allows you to return the structure used in one place of the code, but you need to return an object with named fields.

Such a construction can serve as a replacement for std::tuple. At the same time, we will not need to declare any additional structures that we are not going to transfer anywhere, since we need to get only a set of data that we will somehow use immediately at the place of return and will not transfer further in the same form.


Normal function example

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

using namespace std;

// Declare a function that will return auto
auto getHero()
{
    // We will form an unnamed structure of the return value
    struct
    {
    std::string name;
    std::string surname;
    int age;
    } result { "James", "Bond", 42 }; // Initially initialize the structure object
    return result; // Then you can return the resulting structure, the compiler will do everything thanks to auto
}

int main()
{
    // We return this value immediately to the auto variable
    auto hero = getHero();
    // And we can already use this object, while it will have named fields
    std::cout << hero.surname << "..." << hero.name << " " << hero.surname << " " << hero.age << std::endl;
    return 0;
}

Lambda function example

The example with the lambda function will not differ much in this case from the usual function, there will simply be a different place for the declaration.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

using namespace std;

int main()
{
    // Declare a lamda function that will return auto
    auto getHero = []()
    {
        // We will form an unnamed structure of the return value
        struct
        {
        std::string name;
        std::string surname;
        int age;
        } result { "James", "Bond", 42 }; // Initially initialize the structure object
        return result; // Then you can return the resulting structure, the compiler will do everything thanks to auto
    };

    // We return this value immediately to the auto variable
    auto hero = getHero();
    // And we can already use this object, while it will have named fields
    std::cout << hero.surname << "..." << hero.name << " " << hero.surname << " " << hero.age << std::endl;
    return 0;
}

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