Monday, September 12, 2011

qq( char * ) reflexes in C++ developers

A java guy develops reflex on wait() or HashMap; a c++ guy has the same for ( char * ), a C heritage that's pervasively inherited and embedded in C++.

- reflex -- if this is a key field of a class, then very likely there's implicit conversions to/from a "string like this"
- reflex -- usually a string. Specifically, if this appears as func param or return type, then almost always means a string

- if on heap, array-new. Note array-new or regular new expressions share identical return type i.e. qq( char * ). Therefore whoever calling new is the only buy knowing to call array-delete or regular delete. No one else knows how to delete that pointer.

- if on heap, someone must delete it, or we get memory leak. Best way is RAII dtor

- if you see any variable declared as qq( someType * ), then you know this is one side of a coin. Something is wrong if the other side is not specified -- the array size. However, for qq (char *), array size is optional, given the null terminator.

- It's possible for the array not to have a null terminator

- It's possible for the pointee to be on heap or stack

- better use all the C string functions. They operate on qq( char * ), be it stack or heap, null-terminated or not

- reflex -- if you see 2 qq( char* ), they might be 2 overlapping char-arrays !
- reflex -- if we have qq (char * var1; float var2)   then the object addresses are qq( var1;  &var2). Note the missing & in front of our string variable!

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