By Stephen R. Davis

The result of a logical operation in C++ can be assigned to a variable of type bool. The term bool refers to Boolean algebra, which is the algebra of logic. This was invented by a British mathematician, George Boole, in the 19th century.

int n1 = 1;
int n2 = 2;
bool b;
b = (n1 == n2);

This expression highlights the difference between the assignment operator = and the comparison operator ==. The expression says, “Compare the variables n1 and n2. Store the results of this comparison in the variable b.

The following BoolTest program demonstrates the use of a bool variable:

// BoolTest - compare variables input from the
//            keyboard and store the results off
//            into a logical variable
#include <cstdio>
#include <cstdlib>
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main(int nNumberofArgs, char* pszArgs[])
    // set output format for bool variables
    // to true and false instead
    // of 1 and 0
    // input two values
    int nArg1;
    cout << "Input value 1: ";
    cin >> nArg1;
    int nArg2;
    cout << "Input value 2: ";
    cin >> nArg2;
    // compare the two variables and store the results
    bool b;
    b = nArg1 == nArg2;
    cout << "The statement, " << nArg1
         << " equals "        << nArg2
         << " is "            << b
         << endl;
    // wait until user is ready before terminating program
    // to allow the user to see the program results
    cout << "Press Enter to continue..." << endl;
    cin.ignore(10, 'n');
    return 0;

The first line cout.setf() makes sure that the bool variable b is output as “true” or “false”.

The program inputs two values from the keyboard and displays the result of the equality comparison:

Input value 1: 5
Input value 2: 5
The statement, 5 equals 5 is true
Press Enter to continue...

The special value endl inserts a newline. The difference between the value endl and the character ‘n’ is subtle.