A question of style?

Discussion in 'C++' started by Lilith, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Lilith

    Lilith Guest

    I've only recently started to learn Windows programming using VC++.
    It's relatively easy to understand the basics fo attaching functions
    to controls but I've been trying to learn Windows from the roots on
    down. In looking at source code I'm finding a tendency for some
    programmers to declare an object of their application type with a new
    and subsequently use the pointer-member-of operator to access the
    members of the class object. Considering it was obvious in these
    instances that there was only going to be one application object, what
    is the point of declaring a pointer and then go through the process of
    allocating the object itself rather than simply declaring the object
    and forgetting the allocation?
    Lilith, Jul 5, 2005
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  2. Lilith

    Phlip Guest

    Sample VC++ code is about the most wretched style you can find. The only
    thing worse in our industry is Dr Dobb's Journal.
    You just mean -> notation. Not pointer to member.

    But, yes, these programmers are using 'new' because "all the other
    programmers were doing it", not because they need an object to live longer
    than the current scope.

    Read books like /Design Patterns/ and /Effective C++/ to learn good style.
    Phlip, Jul 5, 2005
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  3. You mean -> operator, yes?
    The difference is where the object is allocated and _when_ it is
    initialised. Statically allocated objects (objects with static storage
    duration) are allocated potentially in a different place than those with
    dynamic storage duration. Also, you may need to have control over the
    time when your application object is initialised. Statically allocated
    objects are initialised at some point before the 'main' function is
    called, which is not necessarily the right time.

    Victor Bazarov, Jul 5, 2005
  4. Lilith

    BigBrian Guest

    I've only recently started to learn Windows programming using VC++.
    This has nothing to do with the C++ language.
    I'm not exactly sure what your question is, but it sounds like you're
    asking "what the difference between creating an object with new and
    just declaring it as an automatic variable?" If that's what you're
    asking, new creates memory on the heap, declaring an automatic variable
    puts the object on the stack. Another difference is that with a
    pointer to an object created with new, you can use polymorphism.

    BigBrian, Jul 5, 2005
  5. Lilith

    David White Guest

    You can use polymorphism with a pointer to an object on the stack as well.

    David White, Jul 5, 2005
  6. Lilith

    Lilith Guest

    No, it was by way of a small introduction and an explanation of where
    I'm coming from.
    No, I know the difference as regards to their creation. I was more
    interested in the why of it in a particular instance. I didn't see
    the purpose of creating the object dynamically when a statically
    declared variable would have sufficed. I was also curious as to
    whether or not there is a small impact on performance in using -> to
    reference the members of the object.
    Lilith, Jul 6, 2005
  7. Lilith

    Lilith Guest

    So, my earlier issues aren't going to bring much on eBay? Seriously,
    it was Dr Dobbs that got me over my impass at understanding C in the
    first place.
    Yes. I'm inclined to try to be concise in my wording and it sometimes
    works against me.
    Someone had to start it. :) I see little reason for declaring a
    single object dynamically but I can see the need for doing it for
    arrays and as part of a linked list. But I'm not the expert
    programmer that many on this are and wanted to make sure I'm not
    missing a bet somewhere.
    Lilith, Jul 6, 2005
  8. Lilith

    Lilith Guest

    Many thanks,
    Lilith, Jul 6, 2005
  9. Lilith

    Phlip Guest

    Sorry. You mentioned "Windows" too high in your post. Knees jerked. We'll
    try not to do it again.
    Phlip, Jul 6, 2005
  10. * Lilith:
    Difficult to say without a concrete example, but one reason might be that
    the single object is of a class that's derived from a class A that is
    designed for dynamic allocation, e.g. an A-object will self-destroy when
    a given "we're finished" message is processed. But that is speculation.
    I've programmed extensively on the platform you mentioned and can not recall
    ever needing to dynamically allocate an application object (window objects,
    on the other hand...).

    Perhaps Phlip's answer is the most likely, that they're doing this because
    they see other programmers doing it (in various situations), and don't
    understand the reasons but just copy what they think others do.

    That's very common in general.
    Alf P. Steinbach, Jul 6, 2005
  11. Lilith

    Lilith Guest

    And I was aware that that could happen. But I anticipated that the
    practice I was questioning might be a necessity of the environment I
    was programming for or at least a convenience.
    Lilith, Jul 6, 2005
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