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7.2.4 Binary operator overload resolution

Visual Studio .NET 2003

An operation of the form x op y, where op is an overloadable binary operator, x is an expression of type X, and y is an expression of type Y, is processed as follows:

  • The set of candidate user-defined operators provided by X and Y for the operation operator op(x, y) is determined. The set consists of the union of the candidate operators provided by X and the candidate operators provided by Y, each determined using the rules of Section 7.2.5. If X and Y are the same type, or if X and Y are derived from a common base type, then shared candidate operators only occur in the combined set once.
  • If the set of candidate user-defined operators is not empty, then this becomes the set of candidate operators for the operation. Otherwise, the predefined binary operator op implementations become the set of candidate operators for the operation. The predefined implementations of a given operator are specified in the description of the operator (Section 7.7 through Section 7.13).
  • The overload resolution rules of Section 7.4.2 are applied to the set of candidate operators to select the best operator with respect to the argument list (x, y), and this operator becomes the result of the overload resolution process. If overload resolution fails to select a single best operator, a compile-time error occurs.
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