C++ Smart pointers

This article is a discussion on smart pointers, what they are and why they are important to C++ programmers. Following the primary discussion I present a simple implementation of a reference counted smart pointer and show a simple example of using it. Although this article does not go into detail about how to develop a […]

Unsafe use of smart pointers

Ubiquitous use of smart pointers can prevent memory leaks and make for much easier to read and understand code. Unfortunately, as with most things C++, there are some caveats you need to be aware of otherwise your attempts to write robust code could very well come back to bite you. This little quiz shows how […]

Definition or a declaration?

The C++ language is a context sensitive language, which means a compiler cannot always decide the semantics of a line of code in isolation. Sometimes, though, it is impossible for the compiler to make up it’s mind so it just guesses. Yup, that’s right, it guesses. To find out more try this little quiz.

Order of initialization

In general, it’s pretty obvious what order the compiler will initialize variables: it’s the order in which they appear in the translation unit. What happens, though, when you have a global variable in one translation unit depending on the the initialization of a global variable in another translation unit? This little quiz explores just that.

Return Value Optimization

In days of old, returning something by value from a function in C++ was necessarily avoided because it would, invariably, involve one or even two copies of the object being created and potentially costly calls to a copy-constructor and destructor. Advances in compiler optimizations have all but eliminated this concern thanks to a clever set […]

Determining if a C++ type is convertible to another at compile time

When writing generic code, using template meta-programming techniques, it is sometimes useful to know if a type is convertible to another type. A good example of when this might be is if you are writing diagnostic instrumentation for code to generate a log or trace file for debugging purposes. The relationship of the types may […]

The Zen Of C++

Are you a C++ programmer who works with Python programmers? Are you fed up with them banging on about their “Python Philosophy”? Do you feel like beating them over the head with your compiler every time they witter on about using 4 space intending? Does the fact they continuously try to convince you enforced white […]