what is Deep Copy, shallow copy and bitwises copy.?

Discussion in 'C++' started by saxenavaibhav17, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. what is Deep Copy, Shallow copy and Bitwise copy, Memberwise copy?
    and what is the difference between them?

    pls help
    saxenavaibhav17, Aug 30, 2006
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  2. saxenavaibhav17

    mlimber Guest

    mlimber, Aug 30, 2006
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  3. It doesn't sound like homework. The question is not covered in the C++
    FAQ. I cannot quickly find a link with decent explanations. The
    answers are not entirely trivial (e.g.: For which objects is a bitwise
    copy appropriate? When is a memberwise copy shallow, when deep? ...).
    Nobody should hold back answers.
    BTW, copy constructors almost never need to be implemented but should
    be made private (without implementation).

    Best regards,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 30, 2006
  4. Roland Pibinger wrote:

    why? Doesn't copy construction very often make semantic sense?
    Nick Keighley, Aug 30, 2006
  5. what is Deep Copy, Shallow copy and Bitwise copy, Memberwise copy?

    (1) Shallow Copy and Memberwise copy (They're equivalent)

    struct MyStruct {
    int *p1;
    double *p2;

    int main()
    MyStruct obj1 = {new int,new double};

    MyStruct obj2;

    obj2 = obj1; /* Shallow or Memberwise */

    (2) Bitwise Copy

    #include <cstdlib>
    using std::memcpy;

    struct MyStruct {
    int *p1;
    double *p2;

    int main()
    MyStruct obj1 = {new int,new double};

    MyStruct obj2;

    memcpy(&obj2,&obj1,sizeof obj2); /* Shallow / Memberwise */

    Note that a Bitwise Copy will also copy any padding between and after

    (3) Deep Copy

    class MyClass {
    int *p;


    MyClass() : p(new int) {}

    MyClass(MyClass const &) : p(new int) {}

    int main()
    MyClass obj1,obj2;

    obj2 = obj1; /* Deep Copy */
    Frederick Gotham, Aug 30, 2006
  6. Frederick Gotham posted:

    That comment should read /* Bitwise Copy */
    Frederick Gotham, Aug 30, 2006
  7. MyClass() : p(new int()) {}
    MyClass(MyClass const &rhs) : p(new int(*rhs.p)) {}

    Should copy something.
    Thomas J. Gritzan, Aug 30, 2006
  8. Are they equivalent? Doesn't 'memberwise' just mean 'member by member'
    which may result in a deep or a shallow copy depending on the members.

    Best wishes,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 30, 2006
  9. For 'value types' the compiler-generated copy constructor is usually
    the best. OTOH, objects (in the OO-sense) typically are non-copyable
    and therfore need no copy constructor implementation, just a
    private(ly) declared copy constructor (to make them non-copyable).

    Best wishes,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 30, 2006
  10. saxenavaibhav17

    loufoque Guest

    Roland Pibinger wrote :
    Please don't confuse your personal beliefs with programming theory.
    I see no reason why objects would typically be non-copyable. Especially
    in C++ which is based on copy semantics.
    On the contrary, most objects should be copyable, unless they manage
    some kind of unique resource (sockets, files, ...).

    Moreover, if you want to make your object non-copyable clearly says so
    instead of saying "write a private constructor". Actually, inheriting
    from boost::noncopyable is probably clearer.
    loufoque, Aug 30, 2006
  11. I don't.
    Why should objects be duplicated? What should it mean? Eg.

    Person dilbert;
    Person wally (dilbert); // ???
    and reference/pointer semantics ...
    Objects have identity. The can be referenced by multiple refences but
    it hardly makes sense to duplicate them. (Even in OO languages like
    Java objects are hardly ever 'cloned' even though a Clonable interface
    Making the class dependant on Boost just to make it non-coppyable??

    Best wishes,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 30, 2006
  12. saxenavaibhav17

    Old Wolf Guest

    Sheep dolly (bill);

    Anyway, copy-constructors are also used for moving objects
    around in memory. For example, returning an object from a
    function, or storing an object in a container than can re-allocate
    its memory. The new object is copy-constructed from the
    original and the original is then destroyed.
    Old Wolf, Aug 31, 2006
  13. saxenavaibhav17

    m_schellens Guest

    Sorry, but saying objects should not be copied in such a general way
    is just plain BS.

    One (out of many) more example is if you compose your object from
    others. Then you might need to copy the contained objects form several
    others to form a newly composed (individual) object.

    m_schellens, Aug 31, 2006
  14. What you can do in C++ is different from what is desirable. Having
    duplicate objects (objects (in the OO sense), not values) of the same
    entity in your program is harldy ever a Good Thing (at least I can
    quickly think of no case where it is).

    Best regards,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 31, 2006
  15. saxenavaibhav17

    Kai-Uwe Bux Guest

    Keep in mind, though, that C++ supports various other viable styles of
    programming, where your orignial remark
    hardly is applicable. I find that value semantics is the most appropriate
    model for most of my programming and copy constructors need to be defined
    in most cases. In the vast variety of what can be done well in C++, strict
    OO programming is but a small fraction; and advice targeted to OO design
    proper is of very limited scope when talking C++.


    Kai-Uwe Bux
    Kai-Uwe Bux, Aug 31, 2006
  16. saxenavaibhav17

    Jim Langston Guest

    std::vector<CPlayer> PlayerList;
    CPlayer Player;
    Player.LoadData( SomeFile );
    PlayerList.push_back( Player ); // Ooops, need copy constuctor for that
    Jim Langston, Aug 31, 2006
  17. What I mean is that copy constructors are either trivial for values
    (and therfore need not be implemented) or should be made private (and
    left unimplemented) for objects.

    Best wishes,
    Roland Pibinger
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 31, 2006
  18. PlayerList.push_back( Player ); // Ooops, why would you duplicate
    your CPlayers??
    Roland Pibinger, Aug 31, 2006
  19. saxenavaibhav17

    Kai-Uwe Bux Guest

    That copy constructors for classes with value semantics are trivial, is not
    true in my experience. It does not apply to any container like class, e.g.,
    a matrix class. Similarly classes that model graphs or cell complexes are
    very much similar to containers -- it would be hard and inefficient to try
    implementing them just using standard containers. Also, whenever you choose
    a COW implementation for efficiency, you will have to deal with your own
    copy constructor.

    The validity of your remark depends very much on the problem domain that you
    are dealing with. The way you state it, to me, seems to be a vast


    Kai-Uwe Bux
    Kai-Uwe Bux, Aug 31, 2006
  20. I agree. I only disable copy-ctors in singletons and classes wrapping
    resource handles.

    Diego Martins
    Diego Martins, Aug 31, 2006
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