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王一伟 湖南商学院毕业 电子信息工程专业

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The PIMPL idiom

In C++ when anything in a header file changes, all code that includes the header (either directly or indirectly) must be recompiled. To minimalize this we use PIMPL idiom:

// file x.h
class X
{
public:
// public members
protected:
// protected members
private:
// pointer to forward declared class
class XImpl *pimpl_;  // opaque pointer
};

Questions: -- What should go into XImpl? Options are:

  • Put all private data but not functions into XImpl.: Not too bad, but there is better

  • Put all private members into XImpl.

  • Put all private and protected members into XImpl. Bad, protected members must be in X

  • Make XImpl entirely the class that X would have been, and write X as only the public interface made up entirely of simple forwarding functions (handle/body variant).

-- Does XImpl require a pointer back to the X object?

Caveats:

  • You can't hide virtual member functions in the Pimpl (here private inheritance differs from membership)

  • Functions in Pimpl may require a "back pointer" to the visible object (by convention that is called: self_.

  • Often the best compromise is to use Option 2, and in addition to put into XImpl only rhose non-private functions that need to be called by private ones.

  • 4th is better over 2nd not needed "back pointer", but X is useless for inheritance.

PIPML has some drawbacks, like allocating/deallocating objects in the heap, which could be slow.

What about this "optimalization"?

// file: y.h
class Y
{
//...
static const size_t sizeofx = /* ... */;
char x_[sizeofx];
};
// file: y.cpp
#include "x.h"
Y::Y()
{
assert( sizeofx >= sizeof(X) );
new(&x_[0]) X;
}
Y::~Y()
{
(reinterpret_cast<X*>(&x_[0]))->~X();
}

Questions:

  • What is the Pimpl space overhead?

  • What is the performance overhead?

Space overhead:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
struct X {
char c;
struct XImpl *pimpl_;
};
struct XImpl { char c; };
int main()
{
cout << sizeof(XImpl) << '\t' << sizeof(X) << endl;
return 0;
}
// result: 1    8

Runtime overhead:

  • allocation/deallocation cost: relativelly expensive

  • indirect access of private members (+ back pointer)

  • alignment problems: new guaranties, that object will align properly, char[] buffers doesn't!

  • X must not use the default assignmentoperator=()

  • If sizeof(XImpl) grows greater then sizeofx, we need to update the source.

// file x.h
class X
{
//...
struct XImpl *pimpl_;
};
// file x.cpp
#include "x.h"
struct XImpl
{
// private stuff here ...
static void *operator new(size_t)   { /*...*/ }
static void *operator delete(void*) { /*...*/ }
};
X::X() : pimpl_( new XImpl ) { }
X::~X() { delete pimpl_; pimpl_ = 0; }
posted on 2007-07-16 14:51 @王一伟 阅读(1063) 评论(0)  编辑 收藏 引用

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