Jens Gustedt's Blog

June 23, 2010

Obfuscation or inventing a new operator tends to operator -->

Filed under: C++, C99, syntax — Jens Gustedt @ 09:21

I found a really nice one in this discussion here. Basically the idea is that you may format operators a bit to show this code, which is valid C99 and C++:

for (unsigned x = 10; x --> 0;)
     printf("%u\n", x);

Ain’t that cute?

Now I was thinking that in C++ we could really obfuscate that much better by inventing some helper class. I came up with the following class Heron that `converges’, (written as aHeron --> eps) towards the square root of the initial value.


#include <iostream>
#include <math.h>

using std::cout;
using std::endl;

struct Heron {
  double const a;
  double x;
  Heron(double _a) : a(_a), x(_a) { }
  operator double(void){ return x; }

class Heron_tmp;

Heron_tmp operator--(Heron& h, int);

class Heron_tmp {
  friend class Heron;
  friend Heron_tmp operator--(Heron& h, int);
  Heron* here;
  Heron_tmp(Heron& h) : here(&h) { }
  inline int operator>(double err) const;

Heron_tmp operator--(Heron& here, int) {
  return here;

int Heron_tmp::operator>(double err) const {
  double& x = here->x;
  double const& a = here->a;
  x = (x + a/x) * 0.5;
  return fabs((x*x - a)/a) > err;

int main(void) {
  Heron aHeron(2.0);
  while (aHeron --> 1E-15)
    cout << (double)aHeron << endl;

Blog at