bugGNU Octave - Bugs: bug #53911, default implementation of 'eq' for...


bug #53911: default implementation of 'eq' for handle classes

Submitted by:  Richard <crobar>
Submitted on:  Tue 15 May 2018 02:13:18 PM UTC  
Category:  Interpreter Severity:  3 - Normal
Priority:  5 - Normal Item Group:  Matlab Compatibility
Status:  Need Info Assigned to:  None
Originator Name:  Richard Crozier Open/Closed:  Open
Release:  4.4.0 Operating System:  Any

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Tue 15 May 2018 06:18:47 PM UTC, comment #2:

True, but I also need some way of uniquely identifying the instance, like adding a random number property or something like this. I can probably come up with something, but if there's some other method of uniquely identifying objects that would be useful.

The default behaviour of isequal and == for handle classes is mentioned briefly in this doc:


A more comprehensive discussion is here:


basically handle class has a default eq operator. == returns true if the instances are the same, isequal returns true if the property values are the same.

For value classes there is not a default eq operator, but isequal will return true if the objects are of the same class and have the same property values.

There does seem to be a default ne operator for handle classes too:

Richard <crobar>
Tue 15 May 2018 05:18:44 PM UTC, comment #1:

Well you can add your own 'eq' overload method to your class to do a value comparison between two instances.

So Matlab has a default 'eq' operation for classdef instances? I'm guessing also a 'ne' operation? What about value classes? What are the default equality semantics for handle or value classes? Are these default operations documented anywhere?

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Tue 15 May 2018 02:13:18 PM UTC, original submission:

In matlab you can compare two handle class object to determine if the are actually the same instance, e.g. in Matlab:

In Octave this is not possible:

Is there any workaround to determine if two handle objects are actually the same?

Richard <crobar>


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Attach Files:

Attached Files
file #44161:  compare1.m added by crobar (98B - text/x-objcsrc)


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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2018-05-15 mtmiller CategoryNone => Interpreter
        StatusNone => Need Info
        SummaryComparing handle classes using == fails => default implementation of 'eq' for handle classes
    2018-05-15 crobar Attached File- => Added compare1.m, #44161

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