C++ – the difference between static_cast and reinterpret_cast?


Possible Duplicate:
When should static_cast, dynamic_cast and reinterpret_cast be used?

I'm using c function in c++, where a structure passed as a void type argument in c is directly stored that same structure type.

eg in C.

void getdata(void *data){
    Testitem *ti=data;//Testitem is of struct type.

to do the same in c++ i use static_cast:

void foo::getdata(void *data){
    Testitem *ti = static_cast<Testitem*>(data);

and when i use reinterpret_cast it does the same job, casting the struct

when i use Testitem *it=(Testitem *)data;

this does the same thing too.
But how is the structure gets affected by using the three of them.

Best Solution

A static_cast is a cast from one type to another that (intuitively) is a cast that could under some circumstance succeed and be meaningful in the absence of a dangerous cast. For example, you can static_cast a void* to an int*, since the void* might actually point at an int*, or an int to a char, since such a conversion is meaningful. However, you cannot static_cast an int* to a double*, since this conversion only makes sense if the int* has somehow been mangled to point at a double*.

A reinterpret_cast is a cast that represents an unsafe conversion that might reinterpret the bits of one value as the bits of another value. For example, casting an int* to a double* is legal with a reinterpret_cast, though the result is unspecified. Similarly, casting an int to a void* is perfectly legal with reinterpret_cast, though it's unsafe.

Neither static_cast nor reinterpret_cast can remove const from something. You cannot cast a const int* to an int* using either of these casts. For this, you would use a const_cast.

A C-style cast of the form (T) is defined as trying to do a static_cast if possible, falling back on a reinterpret_cast if that doesn't work. It also will apply a const_cast if it absolutely must.

In general, you should always prefer static_cast for casting that should be safe. If you accidentally try doing a cast that isn't well-defined, then the compiler will report an error. Only use reinterpret_cast if what you're doing really is changing the interpretation of some bits in the machine, and only use a C-style cast if you're willing to risk doing a reinterpret_cast. In your case, you should use the static_cast, since the downcast from the void* is well-defined in some circumstances.