Wednesday, January 20, 2010

weak_ptr can access inner ptr only through a shared_ptr

Unlike shared_ptr, scoped_ptr and auto_ptr, a boost weak_ptr doesn’t overload operator-> and operator*

There’s an important implication.[2]

"If I want to veto deletion of internal ptr, then I must join the club, i.e. the club must register me as --veto-- member”.

As a passive observer, weak_ptr is helpless to prevent the internal pointer’s demise. There’s an important implication again [3].

[2] No direct means to get the raw pointer from a weak_ptr. You must create and go through a shared_ptr, either this->lock() or shared_ptr conversion ctor[3] User of weak_ptr can’t reliably use the referenced resource, since the resource could disappear any time.

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