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As a second example of a user-defined structure, we will define a type called Time, which is used to record the time of day. The various pieces of information that form a time are the hour, minute and second, so these will be the instance variables of the structure.

The first step is to decide what type each instance variable should be. It seems clear that hour and minute should be integers. Just to keep things interesting, let's make second a double, so we can record fractions of a second.

Here's what the structure definition looks like:

struct Time {
  int hour, minute;
  double second;

We can create a Time object in the usual way:

  Time time = { 11, 59, 3.14159 };

The state diagram for this object looks like this:

The word "instance" is sometimes used when we talk about objects, because every object is an instance (or example) of some type. The reason that instance variables are so-named is that every instance of a type has a copy of the instance variables for that type.

Last Update: 2005-12-05