Erle Robotics C++ GitBook


We might want to give a value a name so we can refer to it later. We do this using variables. A variable is a named location in memory. For example, say we wanted to use the value 4 + 2 multiple times. We might call it x and use it as follows:

 #include <iostream>
 using namespace std ;

 int main () {
     int x ;
     x = 4 + 2;
     cout << x / 3 << ' ' << x * 2;

     return 0;

(Note how we can print a sequence of values by “chaining” the << symbol.) The name of a variable is an identifier token. Identifiers may contain numbers, letters, and underscores (_), and may not start with a number. Line 5 is the declaration of the variable x. We must tell the compiler what type x will be so that it knows how much memory to reserve for it and what kinds of operations may be performed on it. Line 6 is the initialization of x, where we specify an initial value for it. This introduces a new operator: =, the assignment operator. We can also change the value of x later on in the code using this operator. We could replace lines 5 and 6 with a single statement that does both declaration and initialization: int x = 4 + 2;

This form of declaration/initialization is cleaner, so it is to be preferred.