C++ Virtual Functions

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30 C++ Virtual Functions Questions And Answers

1⟩ What is virtual base class?

When two or more objects are derived from a common base class, we can prevent multiple copies of the base class being present in an object derived from those objects by declaring the base class as virtual when it is being inherited. Such a base class is known as virtual base class. This can be achieved by preceding the base class’ name with the word virtual.

Consider following example:

class A

{

public:

int i;

};

class B : virtual public A

{

public:

int j;

};

class C: virtual public A

{

public:

int k;

};

class D: public B, public C

{

public:

int sum;

};

int main()

{

D ob;

ob.i = 10; //unambiguous since only one copy of i is inherited.

ob.j = 20;

ob.k = 30;

ob.sum = ob.i + ob.j + ob.k;

cout << “Value of i is : ”<< ob.i<<”n”;

cout << “Value of j is : ”<< ob.j<<”n”; cout << “Value of k is :”<< ob.k<<”n”;

cout << “Sum is : ”<< ob.sum <<”n”;

return 0;

}.

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2⟩ Do you know the use of Vtable?

Vtables are used for virtual functions. Its a shortform for Virtual Function Table.

It's a static table created by the compiler. Compiler creates a static table per class and the data consists on pointers to the virtual function definitions. They are automatically initialised by the compiler's constructor code.

Since virtual function pointers are stored in each instance, the compiler is

enabled to call the correct vrtual function at runtime.

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3⟩ What is Dynamic Binding?

C++ provides facility to specify that the compiler should match function calls with the correct definition at the run time; this is called dynamic binding or late binding or run-time binding. Dynamic binding is achieved using virtual functions. Base class pointer points to derived class object. And a function is declared virtual in base class, then the matching function is identified at run-time using virtual table entry.

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4⟩ What is Static Binding?

By default, matching of function call with the correct function definition happens at compile time. This is called static binding or early binding or compile-time binding. Static binding is achieved using function overloading and operator overloading. Even though there are two or more functions with same name, compiler uniquely identifies each function depending on the parameters passed to those functions.

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5⟩ Do you know the problem with overriding functions?

Overriding of functions occurs in Inheritance. A derived class may override a base class member function. In overriding, the function names and parameter list are same in both the functions. Depending upon the caller object, proper function is invoked.

Consider following sample code:

class A

{

int a;

public:

A()

{

a = 10;

}

void show()

{

cout << a;

}

};

class B: public A

{

int b;

public:

B()

{

b = 20;

}

void show()

{

cout << b;

}

};

int main()

{

A ob1;

B ob2;

ob2.show(); // calls derived class show() function. o/p is 20

return 0;

}

As seen above, the derived class functions override base class functions. The problem with this is, the derived class objects can not access base class member functions which are overridden in derived class.

Base class pointer can point to derived class objects; but it has access only to base members of that derived class.

Therefore, pA = &ob2; is allowed. But pa->show() will call Base class show() function and o/p would be 10.

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6⟩ Can you please explain the difference between Overloading and Overriding?

Overriding of functions occurs when one class is inherited from another class. Overloading can occur without inheritance.

Overloaded functions must differ in function signature ie either number of parameters or type of parameters should differ. In overriding, function signatures must be same.

Overridden functions are in different scopes; whereas overloaded functions are in same scope.

Overriding is needed when derived class function has to do some added or different job than the base class function.

Overloading is used to have same name functions which behave differently depending upon parameters passed to them.

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7⟩ What is Virtual Table?

A virtual table is a mechanism to perform dynamic polymorphism i.e., run time binging. Virtual table is used to resolve the function calls at runtime. Every class that uses virtual functions is provided with its own virtual functions.

Every entry in the virtual table is a pointer that points to the derived function that is accessible by that class. A hidden pointer is added by a compiler to the base class which in turn calls *_vptr which is automatically set when an instance of the class is created and it points to the virtual table for that class..

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8⟩ What is virtual function?

A virtual function is a member function that is declared within a base class and redefined by a derived class. To create virtual function, precede the function’s declaration in the base class with the keyword virtual. When a class containing virtual function is inherited, the derived class redefines the virtual function to suit its own needs.

Base class pointer can point to derived class object. In this case, using base class pointer if we call some function which is in both classes, then base class function is invoked. But if we want to invoke derived class function using base class pointer, it can be achieved by defining the function as virtual in base class, this is how virtual functions support runtime polymorphism.

Consider following program code:

Class A

{

int a;

public:

A()

{

a = 1;

}

virtual void show()

{

cout <<a;

}

};

Class B: public A

{

int b;

public:

B()

{

b = 2;

}

virtual void show()

{

cout <<b;

}

};

int main()

{

A *pA;

B oB;

pA = &oB;

pA->show();

return 0;

}

Output is 2 since pA points to object of B and show() is virtual in base class A.

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9⟩ What is a virtual base class?

An ambiguity can arise when several paths exist to a class from the same base class. This means that a child class could have duplicate sets of members inherited from a single base class.

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10⟩ What is Object slicing?

When a Derived Class object is assigned to Base class, the base class' contents in the derived object are copied to the base class leaving behind the derived class specific contents. This is referred as Object Slicing. That is, the base class object can access only the base class members. This also implies the separation of base class members from derived class members has happened.

class base

{

public:

int i, j;

};

class derived : public base

{

public:

int k;

};

int main()

{

base b;

derived d;

b=d;

return 0;

}

here b contains i and j where as d contains i, j& k. On assignment only i and j of the d get copied into i and j of b. k does not get copied. on the effect object d got sliced.

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11⟩ What is Virtual destructor ans explain its use?

If the destructor in the base class is not made virtual, then an object that might have been declared of type base class and instance of child class would simply call the base class destructor without calling the derived class destructor.

Hence, by making the destructor in the base class virtual, we ensure that the derived class destructor gets called before the base class destructor.

class a

{

public:

a(){printf("nBase Constructorn");}

~a(){printf("nBase Destructorn");}

};

class b : public a

{

public:

b(){printf("nDerived Constructorn");}

~b(){printf("nDerived Destructorn");}

};

int main()

{

a* obj=new b;

delete obj;

return 0;

}

Output:

Base Constructor

Derived Constructor

Base Destructor

By Changing

~a(){printf("nBase Destructorn");}

to

virtual ~a(){printf("nBase Destructorn");}

Output:

Base Constructor

Derived Constructor

Derived Destructor

Base Destructor.

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12⟩ What is virtual methods?

virtual methods are used to use the polymorphism feature in C++. Say class A is inherited from class B. If we declare say function f() as virtual in class B and override the same function in class A then at run time appropriate method of the class will be called depending upon the type of the object.

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13⟩ Explain the pure virtual functions?

A pure virtual function is a function which has no definition in the base class. Its definition lies only in the derived class ie it is compulsory for the derived class to provide definition of a pure virtual function. Since there is no definition in the base class, these functions can be equated to zero.

The general form of pure virtual function is:

virtual type func-name(parameter-list) = 0;

Consider following example of base class Shape and classes derived from it viz Circle, Rectangle, Triangle etc.

class Shape

{

int x, y;

public:

virtual void draw() = 0;

};

class Circle: public Shape

{

public:

draw()

{

//Code for drawing a circle

}

};

class Rectangle: public Shape

{

Public:

void draw()

{

//Code for drawing a rectangle

}

};

class Triangle: public Shape

{

Public:

void draw()

{

//Code for drawing a triangle

}

};

Thus, base class Shape has pure virtual function draw(); which is overridden by all the derived classes.

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14⟩ What is Virtual base class uses?

When two or more objects are derived from a common base class, we can prevent multiple copies of the base class being present in an object derived from those objects by declaring the base class as virtual when it is being inherited. Such a base class is known as virtual base class. This can be achieved by preceding the base class' name with the word virtual.

Consider following example:

class A

{

public:

int i;

};

class B : virtual public A

{

public:

int j;

};

class C: virtual public A

{

public:

int k;

};

class D: public B, public C

{

public:

int sum;

};

int main()

{

D ob;

ob.i = 10; //unambiguous since only one copy of i is inherited.

ob.j = 20;

ob.k = 30;

ob.sum = ob.i + ob.j + ob.k;

cout << "Value of i is : "<< ob.i<<"n";

cout << "Value of j is : "<< ob.j<<"n"; cout << "Value of k is :"<< ob.k<<"n";

cout << "Sum is : "<< ob.sum <<"n";

return 0;

}.

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15⟩ Do you know what are pure virtual functions?

Pure virtual functions are also called 'do nothing functions'.

e.g. virtual void abc() = 0;

When a pure virtual fnction is declared in the base class, the compiler necessitates the derived classes to define those functions or redeclare them are pure virtual functions. The classes containing pure virtual functions cannot be used to declare objects of their own. Such classes are called as abstract base classes.

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17⟩ What is general form of pure virtual function? Explain?

A pure virtual function is a function which has no definition in the base class. Its definition lies only in the derived class ie it is compulsory for the derived class to provide definition of a pure virtual function. Since there is no definition in the base class, these functions can be equated to zero.

The general form of pure virtual function is:

virtual type func-name(parameter-list) = 0;

Consider following example of base class Shape and classes derived from it viz Circle, Rectangle, Triangle etc.

class Shape

{

int x, y;

public:

virtual void draw() = 0;

};

class Circle: public Shape

{

public:

draw()

{

//Code for drawing a circle

}

};

class Rectangle: public Shape

{

Public:

void draw()

{

//Code for drawing a rectangle

}

};

class Triangle: public Shape

{

Public:

void draw()

{

//Code for drawing a triangle

}

};

Thus, base class Shape has pure virtual function draw(); which is overridden by all the derived classes.

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18⟩ Tell me what are static member functions?

Static member functions are used to maintain a single copy of a class member function across various objects of the class. Static member functions can be called either by itself, independent of any object, by using class name and :: (scope resolution operator) or in connection with an object.

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19⟩ Can you please explain the difference between static and dynamic binding of functions?

Static Binding:

By default, matching of function call with the correct function definition happens at compile time. This is called static binding or early binding or compile-time binding. Static binding is achieved using function overloading and operator overloading. Even though there are two or more functions with same name, compiler uniquely identifies each function depending on the parameters passed to those functions.

Dynamic Binding:

C++ provides facility to specify that the compiler should match function calls with the correct definition at the run time; this is called dynamic binding or late binding or run-time binding. Dynamic binding is achieved using virtual functions. Base class pointer points to derived class object. And a function is declared virtual in base class, then the matching function is identified at run-time using virtual table entry.

 207 views