C++ Extending Classes via the Stream Operator


Looking for a way to create a class which behaved like one of the std::ostream classes.

MyClass obj;

obj << "foo" << 123 << some_string.c_str();


Implementing all those operator<< overloads would be redundant because something like std::stringstream already does it. However inheriting from std::stringstream is more complicated than it should be.

struct MyClass : public std::stringstream {
    /* not that simple ... */


You can use a simple template to achive the desired effect.

struct MyClass {

    std::stringstream m_ss;

    template <class T>
    MyClass & operator<< (T const& rhs) {
        m_ss << rhs;
        return *this;

This comes with the benefit being able to ‘hook’ into each invocation.