How do you declare a vector in VS C++2008/managed?
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Thread: How do you declare a vector in VS C++2008/managed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    How do you declare a vector in VS C++2008/managed?

    Hello. This is not homework. I am just studying different tools for my job as a programmer, trying to decide which will be best for me to use at work. One of the tools is Visual Studio (which I am finding out I do not care for, Code::Blocks is better, but in case I must use all managed code at work, I want to know how to do it)

    I do not wish to mix managed and unmanaged code in this program.

    What is the proper way to declare a vector using only managed code?

    Here is what I have (the relevant parts anyway)

    #pragma once
    #include <math.h>
    #include <vector>
    namespace Calculator {
    	using namespace System;
    	using namespace System::ComponentModel;
    	using namespace System::Collections;
    	using namespace System::Windows::Forms;
    	using namespace System::Data;
    	using namespace System::Drawing;
    	using namespace std; //for vector
    //lots of code in between...
    private: System::Void button21_Click(System::Object^  sender, System::EventArgs^  e) {
    array< String^ >^ sentence = gcnew array< String^ >(ARRAY_SIZE); 
    //I included the array because it works, and I assume the vector declaration should be similar?
    vector<String^> word = gcnew vector<String^>; //what is missing on this line?
    //this gives me: error C2726: 'gcnew' may only be used to create an object with managed type
    String^ x = "Hello! ";
    //error C2440: 'initializing' : cannot convert from 'std::vector<_Ty> *' to 'std::vector<_Ty>'
    //I assume that managed code would have a -> instead of the dot member operator, wouldn't it?
    Since I posted this before, in a different section (sorry!), I found a solution that seems to work, though I still don't know if this is the 'right' way to do it.

    			System::Collections::Generic::List<String^> word;

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: How do you declare a vector in VS C++2008/managed?

    As you probably have seen in the threads I linked you to in the other thread over there in the VC++ section, it's not really advisable to use the STL/CLR containers without really good reasons. In particular I recommend against using them as a mere convenience feature for native C++ developers who add C++/CLI to their repertoire.

    Yes, the List<T> you used in your second code snippet is the .NET container of choice for this purpose. (Actually, when I was new to C++/CLI and looking for an equivalent to std::vector, I failed to consider it at all because its name reminded me to std::list which, as we know, is something completely different. I ended up not only using cliext::vector but also other STL/CLR containers which got me into considerable trouble, and that's what is about. I only did that in that single program ever... )

    However, note that what you've created in your snippet is a thing called implicitly dereferenced variable. (That's because you used that syntax for a reference type. If you'd have used it for a value type like int it wold actually be an ordinary local variable like it would be in native C++.) Implicitly dereferenced variables pretty much have the look and feel of ordinary local variables, yet they still represent an instance of a reference type behind the scenes. In particular, the instance gets implicitly default-constructed (unless you provide construction parameters) when the declaration is reached during execution. Also, and that's what I like most about them, they implicitly get deleted (in .NET speak: disposed) when the variable goes out of scope.

    I really like them and use them every now and then in my code, but I try to avoid them in code I intend to post here on the forum. That's because AFAIK they're a speciality of C++/CLI (the only comparable construct I kow of is the using statement in C#, but that looks different) and tend to obscure the reference type semantics going on behind the scenes. For these reasons I'm afraid they can be confusing for programmers new to C++/CLI, perhaps especially when they already know another .NET language where AFAIK they always need to explicitly create reference type instances using the new operator (C# in this case) or something equivalent.

    So, for comparison, your snippet expressed in the "usual" reference type syntax looks like this:

    			System::Collections::Generic::List<String^> ^word = gcnew System::Collections::Generic::List<String^>;
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