Up front: just step into it with a de *** .
Explanation: the conversion to a void pointer allows the use of a stream in
a conditional expression, typically seen like this:
if(!(in >> value))
error("failed to read value");
Using a void pointer instead of a bool makes it less likely to activate
unwanted implicit conversions. Note that this is still far from perfect,
using a pointer to a memberfunction is better still.
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