Thread overview
opCast'ing strings
Nov 13
helxi
Nov 13
bauss
November 13
struct Fraction
{
private:
	int numerator = 1, denominator = 1;
public:
	string opCast(T : string)() const
	{
		import std.conv : to;

		return numerator.to!string() ~ "/" ~ denominator.to!string();
	}
}

void main()
{
	import std.stdio, std.conv;

	Fraction n = Fraction(23, 11);
	writeln(n.to!string(), " ", n.opCast!string);
}



In this program, casting using to does not work as intended (returning 23/11) on the struct. However, calling opCast directly seems to do the job. Why is that?
November 13
On Monday, 13 November 2017 at 01:03:17 UTC, helxi wrote:
> In this program, casting using to does not work as intended (returning 23/11) on the struct. However, calling opCast directly seems to do the job. Why is that?


to!string calls a function called `string toString() {}` on the struct, not the cast operator.
November 13
On Monday, 13 November 2017 at 01:12:59 UTC, Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
> On Monday, 13 November 2017 at 01:03:17 UTC, helxi wrote:
>> In this program, casting using to does not work as intended (returning 23/11) on the struct. However, calling opCast directly seems to do the job. Why is that?
>
>
> to!string calls a function called `string toString() {}` on the struct, not the cast operator.

Which is generally what you want to use anyway and not a cast overload.

My rule of thumb (Which can of course differ per preference.) is that cast overload should only be done between the following:

struct <-> scalar types
class <-> scalar types
struct <-> class

Any string conversions should always be done with `toString()`.

Anything else should not be implemented with casts or conversion methods. An exception of course is creating slices, which is acceptable using `opSlice`, but generally I avoid using something like `opCast` to an array, UNLESS it's an array wrapper, which you most likely won't have in D anyway, because you'd be better off creating a range.




November 13
On Monday, November 13, 2017 12:40:39 bauss via Digitalmars-d-learn wrote:
> On Monday, 13 November 2017 at 01:12:59 UTC, Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
> > On Monday, 13 November 2017 at 01:03:17 UTC, helxi wrote:
> >> In this program, casting using to does not work as intended (returning 23/11) on the struct. However, calling opCast directly seems to do the job. Why is that?
> >
> > to!string calls a function called `string toString() {}` on the
> > struct, not the cast operator.
>
> Which is generally what you want to use anyway and not a cast overload.
>
> My rule of thumb (Which can of course differ per preference.) is that cast overload should only be done between the following:
>
> struct <-> scalar types
> class <-> scalar types
> struct <-> class
>
> Any string conversions should always be done with `toString()`.
>
> Anything else should not be implemented with casts or conversion methods. An exception of course is creating slices, which is acceptable using `opSlice`, but generally I avoid using something like `opCast` to an array, UNLESS it's an array wrapper, which you most likely won't have in D anyway, because you'd be better off creating a range.

There's nothing wrong with using opCast to define other conversions - it's generally what std.conv.to is going to use (the other options being alias this and a constructor if the type being converted to has a constructor that would work). It's just that in the case of string, there's a standard function for converting to it other than opCast. The main problem with overloading opCast in general is that doing so unfortunately disables all of the built-in casts, which can be a big problem - though hopefully that gets fixed at some point.

https://issues.dlang.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5747 https://issues.dlang.org/show_bug.cgi?id=9249

There's also the argument that using an explicitly named function is clearer - particularly if it's not obvious what converting from one type to another would mean - but those won't work with std.conv.to. So, it depends on what you're trying to do.

- Jonathan M Davis