Re: Class with functions that return STL containers with incomplete types

Joe Greer <>
Wed, 9 Jan 2008 21:38:33 +0100 (CET)
massysett <> wrote in


Having classes with member objects that have STL containers of objects
whose definitions are incomplete results in undefined behavior. See
for example:



I am wondering: is it okay to have member functions that return an STL
container with an incomplete type? My member objects do not contain
incomplete types. For instance, would the following code be OK?
Thanks. --Omari

#include <boost/shared_ptr.hpp>
#include <vector>

class HasSelf
    HasSelf(std::vector<HasSelf>& contents);
    std::vector<HasSelf> getContents() const;

    std::vector<boost::shared_ptr<HasSelf> > _contents;

shared_ptr<> does not require that the class be complete, but in this
case, shared_ptr itself is complete. Therefore you can have a vector of
shared_ptrs to an incomplete class. I assume that since the member is a
vector of shared_ptrs, that the other vectors are also vectors of


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