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MFC Sample Code: CList Iterator

 By Craig Henderson. 
A simple iteration class for MFC's CList linked list
  • Download source files - 1 Kb


    MFC's CList provides a template linked list implementation and works perfectly adequately. However, iterating through the list can be a little combersome. Code like that below is common place for processing list elements, but the POSITION variable is meaningless and confusing as it always points to the next node rather than the current one.

    POSITION        pos;
    CList<int, int> list;
    // add nodes to the list
    pos = list.GetHeadPosition();
    while (pos)
        int nElement;
        nElement = list.GetNext(pos);
        // do something with nElement

    TLListIter class

    The iterator class I present here simplifies the use slightly, making the code easier to read and maintain. It originates from a larger project I wrote where I have a list of objects of type A, each with their own list of objects of type B, and I needed to iterate all objects of type B in the system. This class simplified the immensly.

    So using this class, the above code becomes

    CList<int, int>      list;		// linked list
    TLListIter<int, int> iter(list);	// linked list iterator
    // add nodes to the list
    while (iter)
        int nElement;
        nElement = iter++;
        // do something with nElement

    Public Members


    TLListIter(TLList<TYPE, ARG_TYPE> &__list);
    Constructor to initialise the iterator with the the linked list to be iterated.

    TLListIter(TLListIter<TYPE, ARG_TYPE> &__iter);
    Copy constructor to create a new iterator for the same linked list with the same node position.

    virtual ~TLListIter();
    Virtual class destructor.

  • Operators

    operator bool ();
    Boolean operator will return true if there is a current node, or false if not.

    operator ARG_TYPE ();
    Linked List argument operator will returns the element at the current node.


    TLListIter<TYPE, ARG_TYPE> operator++(int);
    Post increment operator returns the current node and moves the internal position to the next node.

    TLListIter<TYPE, ARG_TYPE> operator--(int);
    Post decrement operator returns the current node and moves the internal position to the previous node.

    // these functions will return false if there are no elements in the list

    bool begin(void);
    Moves to the first node in the list. This function returns false if the linked list is empty.

    bool end(void);
    Moves to the last node in the list. This function returns false if the linked list is empty.

    MFC Compatibilty

    POSITION GetPosition(void) const;

    Returns the internal POSITION variable.


    • As the class stands, it cannot be used to process a list of bool. This is because of the operator bool() used to determine the end of the list.
    • For some reason unknown to me (please let me know any solutions) a compiler error is generated if the class is used while (nNumber == 7 && iter). Instead, this must be coded while (nNumber == 7 && iter == true) and then all is fine. Wierd.




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