C++ is a widely used programming language that has been around for over three decades. Despite its widespread popularity, it has some obscure features that are rarely utilized and odd designs that often go unnoticed. In this article, we will delve into the bizarre side of C++ and examine some of its most unusual and often overlooked features.
First up, we have C++'s abstract classes. Unlike regular classes, abstract classes cannot be instantiated, but can only be inherited from. This is a weird design, as it seems to serve no real purpose. However, it is actually used as a blueprint for creating other classes, as the abstract class defines the interface and the derived classes provide the implementation.
Next, we have the "mutable" keyword. This is a strange feature, as it seems to go against the principle of immutability that is present in most programming languages. However, it allows the value of a constant object to be changed, as long as the change is performed inside a member function that has been marked as "mutable." This can be useful in certain circumstances, but it is not a feature that is commonly used.
Another quirky feature is the "explicit" keyword, which is used to prevent implicit type conversions. This can be useful for avoiding unwanted type conversions, but it also makes it more difficult to write generic functions, as you need to be mindful of the types that are being passed as arguments.
Finally, we have C++'s overloaded operators. This feature allows you to define custom behavior for built-in operators, such as "+" and "==." This is a powerful feature, but it is also one of the most bizarre, as it can lead to unexpected results if not used carefully. For example, it is possible to overload the "-" operator to subtract two dates, but also to subtract a date from an integer.
In conclusion, C++ has many rarely used features and bizarre designs that often go unnoticed. While these features may not be necessary for most programming tasks, they can come in handy in certain circumstances and can even add an extra level of expressiveness to your code. Whether you are a seasoned C++ programmer or just starting out, it is always useful to be aware of these oddities, as they can sometimes provide unique solutions to complex problems.