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 reference counted smart pointer the example code at the end is very well commented and that should be enough to aid understanding.
Sometimes, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Unfortunately, the C++ Standards Council missed that memo when they ratified the exception specifiers. To find out why, try this little quiz.
Need to store objects in an STL container? Need polymorphic behaviour meaning you’ll need to store pointers to a base class? Want to use a smart pointer to avoid memory leaks? Planning on using auto_ptr because it’s available as part of C++? Before you go any further, try this little quiz.
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 careless misuse of auto_ptr could open up a big can of worms.
When working with STL containers we generally use iterators to access, manipulate and enumerate the contents. This almost becomes second nature and it’s very easy to go on auto-pilot and end up coding an innocuous looking bit of code that can contain a rather nasty surprise. This little quiz shows just one example of how such a surprise might come back to bite you.
One feature missing from standard C++ that you will find in many other Object Oriented Programming languages is something called a Property. These are like data members except they can have preconditions imposed on them prior to getting or setting their value.
This article is aimed at someone who has never used IRC before. It covers the very basics of setting up and configuring a client and a little bit about starting a channel and the basics of being a channel operator. What it doesn’t do is review or promote any of the various IRC clients available. Nor does it cover power users; however, suitable reference material is suggested at the end for eager readers.