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C++ - what is the aim of operator new?

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#1 Cybbermouse


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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:50 AM

I heard that if I want to dispose unlimited number of memory cells I use the operator new. For example : I want to have a table[x] and x is unknown then I wanna reserve some place (because I don't know x will be 10 or 4503 or 15). I do it with the operator new, *index and alternatively with delete (if I want to delete *index). 

I understand it. 

But in my book is :

"double *index
index = new double [15]"

So : if I know that table has got 15 elements why I use the operator new?
Maybe there is more than one application of new?

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#2 Billy O'Neal

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 08:10 PM

There are two forms of operator new:
  • Traditional operator new; allocates memory for an object or array of objects and calls any necessary constructor(s) to initialize the memory in question.
  • Placement new; calls the constructor for an object to initialize it in a given memory block; this is how, for example std::vector is able to have non-constructed objects in its underlying array.
In the example in your book, they're using a fixed value, 15, to demonstrate how this looks in code; but that's not always known in advance. Consider:

double* give_me_x_doubles(std::size_t numberOfDoubles)
    return new double[numberOfDoubles];
Here the size of the resulting array is not known until runtime.

That said, in most real code you'll want to use std::vector or std::unique_ptr<T[]> to ensure that you can't have memory leaks by forgetting to call operator delete[].

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#3 Cybbermouse

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 09:45 AM

Thanks very much for Your explanation.

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