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Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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Creating your own STL style algorithms

Once you become comfortable with the style of STL algorithms, you can begin to create your own generic algorithms. Because these will conform to the conventions of all the other algorithms in the STL, they re easy to use for programmers who are familiar with the STL, and thus they become a way to extend the STL vocabulary.

The easiest way to approach the problem is to go to the <algorithm> header file, find something similar to what you need, and pattern your code after that.[98] (Virtually all STL implementations provide the code for the templates directly in the header files.)

If you take a close look at the list of algorithms in the Standard C++ library, you might notice a glaring omission: there is no copy_if( ) algorithm. Although it s true that you can accomplish the same effect with remove_copy_if( ), this is not quite as convenient because you have to invert the condition. (Remember, remove_copy_if( ) only copies those elements that don t match its predicate, in effect removing those that do.) You might be tempted to write a function object adaptor that negates its predicate before passing it to remove_copy_if( ), by including a statement something like this:

// Assumes pred is the incoming condition
replace_copy_if(begin, end, not1(pred));

This seems reasonable, but when you remember that you want to be able to use predicates that are pointers to raw functions, you see why this won t work not1 expects an adaptable function object. The only solution is to write a copy_if( ) algorithm from scratch. Since you know from inspecting the other copy algorithms that conceptually you need separate iterators for input and output, the following example will do the job:

//: C06:copy_if.h
// Create your own STL-style algorithm.
#ifndef COPY_IF_H
#define COPY_IF_H
template<typename ForwardIter,
typename OutputIter, typename UnaryPred>
OutputIter copy_if(ForwardIter begin, ForwardIter end,
OutputIter dest, UnaryPred f) {
while(begin != end) {
*dest++ = *begin;
return dest;
#endif // COPY_IF_H ///:~

Notice that the increment of begin cannot be integrated into the copy expression.

Thinking in C++ Vol 2 - Practical Programming
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire