C++ Class Member Functions
In C++, class methods, also known as member functions, are functions that are defined within a class and operate on the attributes and behavior of objects created from that class. They are an integral part of object-oriented programming (OOP) and play a central role in encapsulating the behavior associated with objects.
Declaration and Definition
Class methods are declared within the class definition and are associated with a specific class. They define the operations or behavior that objects of the class can perform. The declaration in the class specifies the method's name, return type, and parameters, while the definition (implementation) is provided outside the class. You can define methods within the class itself for simplicity or outside the class using the className::methodName syntax.
Methods can have different access specifiers (public, private, or protected) to control their visibility and accessibility, just like attributes. Public methods are accessible from external code, private methods are limited to the class itself, and protected methods are accessible within the class and by derived classes.
To invoke a class method, you create an object of the class and use the dot operator (.) to access and call the method on that object. The method operates on the specific instance of the object, allowing it to access and modify the object's attributes and perform actions associated with that object.
Class methods declaration
Class methods can be declared and defined in two ways:
- Inside the class definition: This is the most common way to declare and define class methods. The method definition is simply included within the class body.
- Outside the class definition: This is less common, but it can be useful in some cases. To declare a class method outside the class definition, you use the scope resolution operator (::) to specify the class to which the method belongs.
Class methods, also known as member functions, are functions defined within a class that operate on the attributes and behavior of objects created from that class. They encapsulate the behavior specific to objects and are invoked through object instances using the dot operator. Class methods play a central role in defining the actions that objects can perform and are a fundamental aspect of object-oriented programming in C++.