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Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct



  • Good afternoon,
    I ran into problem I don't understand re the topic.

    I have a struct in a QVector array:

    struct ZFILENAMEPARSER_EXPORT zfpField {
      QString pattern; //!< Pattern used ot initiate QRegularExpression for the field
      bool permanent; //!< is field permanent or can be ommited?
      bool service; //!< is field a service field that should be forwarded to the combobox filtering the view?
      bool skip; //!< should we omit this field in the view?
    };
    

    This vector is a part of larger structure but that's irrelevant here, I think. Through out one of the applications I use I allow the user to set values to different parts of the structure. The trouble is, that I can assign value to the QString field, but can not to the bool. Relevant parts of the code (taken from two different slots of the mainwindow class that handles the view and interaction) below.
    current - the main member holding the whole dataset
    fields - QVector holding an array of zfpField values.

    Now, this one works:

    void MainWindow::patternEditDone() {
      current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).pattern=ui->sectionEdit->text();
    }
    

    and with this one, Qt Creator says "Expression not assignable":

    void MainWindow::permanent(qint32 state) {
      current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).permanent=(state>0);
    }
    

    What have I missed?

    Thanks in advance for the help.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @artwaw said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    Now, this one works:

    It may compile but it for sure does not work as expected: https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qvector.html#value



  • @Christian-Ehrlicher Range of the index is strictly controlled, simply can't be out of bounds. I took care of that.
    My problem is that it does not compile.



  • Hi, perhaps value() is read-only, what happens if you try:

    current.fields[ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()].permanent=(state>0);
    

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @hskoglund

    Hi, perhaps value() is read-only

    Not perhaps, it is const.

    That's what Christian wanted to say with his link.

    Regards


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @hskoglund said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    perhaps value() is read-only

    It's even worse - it returns a copy.



  • @artwaw said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:
    If const is the cause of the error (and I don't doubt it is) for

    current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).permanent=(state>0);
    

    why is there no error for

    current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).pattern=ui->sectionEdit->text();
    

    ? That was the OP's query. That's what I don't see, it should produce the same error.



  • I suspect it's because the const is only 1 layer deep, i.e. it protects integers and booleans in that struct from being reassigned, but since QStrings are pointers, that const only protects reassignment of the pointer, not what the pointer points to, i.e. QStrings data().


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @JonB said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    it should produce the same error.

    In theory it's a temporary so it should compile. In practice the compiler prevents you from shooting into your foot - at least when the left hand side is a POD. As soon as it's a class the compiler will not complain - blame the compiler :)

    struct blub
    {
        int a = 0;
        int b = 0;
        blub(int _a, int _b) : a(_a), b(_b) {}
        blub() = default;
    };
    struct foo
    {
        std::string stdStr;
        QString str;
        QPointF p;
        blub myBlub;
        int myInt = -1;
        bool myBool = false;
    };
    
    QVector<foo> fooVec;
    
    void doSomething()
    {
        int i = 5;
        fooVec.value(i).stdStr = "str";
        fooVec.value(i).str = "str";
        fooVec.value(i).p = QPointF(1,2);
        fooVec.value(i).myBlub = blub(1,2);
        fooVec.value(i).myInt = 2;  // gives compiler error
        fooVec.value(i).myBool = true;  // dito
    }
    

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @hskoglund said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    it's because the const

    QVector::value() does not return a const object!



  • @Christian-Ehrlicher Hmmm, but the docs says that API is const:

    T QVector::value(int i) const
    

  • Qt Champions 2017

    @Christian-Ehrlicher said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    As soon as it's a class the compiler will not complain - blame the compiler

    But don't rush to. The compiler has to generate the assignment for the trivial bool, hence it can see that the written is nonsense. On the other hand QString has both assignment operators defined already, so the compiler has to be really, really, really clever to understand that the written assignment is not what was intended. (for example the compiler has to verify that the destructor of mentioned temporary produces no side effects, which isn't trivial to begin with, to be able to then to infer that the assignment is wrong)


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @hskoglund said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    but the docs says that API is const

    The point, Henry, is not that the method is non-mutating, which is without a doubt correct, but that it returns a copy of the element, which copy is then modified.



  • @kshegunov Aha, you're right! If the method had a const at the beginning things would be different :-)


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @kshegunov I thought this too, but even when the compiler generates all the operators (see my struct blub) it will not complain. So I think they simply did not implement it for classes.


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @Christian-Ehrlicher said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    @kshegunov I thought this too, but even when the compiler generates all the operators (see my struct blub) it will not complain. So I think they simply did not implement it for classes.

    Yes probably, and probably because it's nontrivial in the general case. While at the same time for an intrinsic type it's plain and simple to deduce.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @hskoglund said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    had a const at the beginning

    But then the copy elision would not work afair.



  • Thinking about this, if the intent is to modify the elements of the QVector, then using value() is a bad idea since you're working with a copy (even though it happens to work for QStrings in that struct).

    But if the API was changed to have another const at the beginning, say:

    const T QVector::value(int i) const
    

    I'm too lazy to test it, but wouldn't that leading const cause compilation errors also for QStrings assignments? If so that would help dispel confusion about the usage of value().


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @hskoglund said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    I'm too lazy to test it, but wouldn't that leading const cause compilation errors also for QStrings assignments?

    It would. I'm not sure if the compiler can RVO it correctly if you assign to a non-const however ... that needs actual looking at the asm output.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    From my pov QVector::value() should be deprecated - it's a really weird function which returns a copy just for the reason that the caller does not do the bounds checking.
    I don't see a difference in the asm output in a single testcase.



  • Thank you for the explanation - indeed, I saw in docs that value() is const but since it worked for the QString I just... assumed it works anyway. Silly of me.

    So, to make it work as intended I should use [index] notation, like @hskoglund said (I am somehow opposed to using it in the favour of methods).

    Since I already got everyones involved attention - the QVector (in this case) is supposed to hold less than 20 of items, set once and not being manipulated further. Is the choice of QVector over other container types a valid one? I read about container classes and differences between them and after that I rather tend to avoid QList.


  • Moderators

    @artwaw said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    after that I rather tend to avoid QList.

    👍 very good.

    If you want to stay in Qt - World, than there are not many other options available.
    A simple c/c++ array could be enough for your case?



  • @J-Hilk Might be enough, of course. QVector seemed... just convenient.



  • Thank you all, I learned a lot from my mistake. Will pay more attention to docs and implications next time.



  • Now that the OP appears to be happy he is solved, I'd like to say that I am not! :) And would ask for further explanation.

    I wrote earlier:

    @artwaw said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:
    If const is the cause of the error (and I don't doubt it is) for

    current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).permanent=(state>0);`
    

    why is there no error for

    current.fields.value(ui->editSectionNum->currentIndex()).pattern=ui->sectionEdit->text();
    

    ? That was the OP's query. That's what I don't see, it should produce the same error.

    @hskoglund replied

    I suspect it's because the const is only 1 layer deep, i.e. it protects integers and booleans in that struct from being reassigned, but since QStrings are pointers, that const only protects reassignment of the pointer, not what the pointer points to, i.e. QStrings data().

    I know the const "is only one level deep". And I don't understand how he comes up with that "the pointer value will be retained but what it points to will be changed".

    And @Christian-Ehrlicher wrote

    In theory it's a temporary so it should compile.

    I don't understand either of these. The OP's struct has

      QString pattern;
      bool permanent;
    

    I have yet to understand why the bool can be altered but not the QString. (Yes, I know QStrings are stored shared, so what?) They are both members of the struct. If current.fields.value() returns a const then neither of them should be alterable, and if it does not both should be alterable.

    Would somebody care to enlighten me on what exactly is the difference?



  • I'd be happy to read further on the details too, if our more experienced colleagues don't mind?


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @JonB said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    If current.fields.value() returns a const then neither of them should be alterable, and if it does not both should be alterable.

    Look carefully at what I wrote to Henry. The struct's instance returned by QVector::value is not const. It's a temporary (probably the compiler does it as an rvalue), so it's valid to write its members. However the compiler deduces that assigning to the boolean of said temporary is meaningless, thus as @Christian-Ehrlicher eloquently put it - it prevents you from shooting yourself in the foot. When it comes to classes and structs it's more complicated, which we discussed briefly with Christian upstairs.



  • @kshegunov said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    instance returned by QVector::value is not const. It's a temporary

    Good, got that (was always dubious about whether it was const anyway).

    However the compiler deduces that assigning to the boolean of said temporary is meaningless

    Ah ha!! Got it! Sooooooooo... what you are saying is: on the one hand we now have a compiler which gets involved in the meaning of life/teleological purpose, yet on the other hand chooses to blurt out "Expression not assignable" as the diagnostic message when it's non-such. "Meaningless assignment", "Assignment with no side-effect" would have been much better, "non-assignable" means e.g. it's const to me, hence my confusion (and perhaps that of @artwaw).

    What happened to the days when I wrote code and the compiler knew its place, minded its business and just shut up and compiled?


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @JonB said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    What happened to the days when I wrote code and the compiler knew its place, minded its business and just shut up and compiled?

    They've passed some time ago. The compilers've become smarter than us (developers) so we only can bite the bullet on that one, sorry. I expect soon compilers to be writing compilers, Terminator 2-style ...



  • @kshegunov @Christian-Ehrlicher I have another question: since value() returns const but copy of QString occurs (re my very unfortunate construction with assignment to QString) - will the value assigned to that QString remain in the QVector? My understanding is that not, after terminating the method copy would be discarded and new value lost. Do I understand correctly?


  • Qt Champions 2017

    @artwaw said in Trouble assigning value to boolean in the struct:

    since value() returns const

    It does not return const. It's a non-mutating method, meaning that the vector's contents aren't going to be modified. It returns a copy of the element.

    but copy of QString occurs (re my very unfortunate construction with assignment to QString) - will the value assigned to that QString remain in the QVector?

    No. You're assigning to a temporary, which is going to be destroyed and assignment will have no observable effect (if the destructor of the class doesn't have side effects, which in this case it doesn't)

    My understanding is that not, after terminating the method copy would be discarded and new value lost. Do I understand correctly?

    That's correct.



  • @kshegunov Thank you, will remember that.


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