Re: Garbage collection in C++

Juha Nieminen <nospam@thanks.invalid>
Tue, 18 Nov 2008 20:57:46 GMT
Matthias Buelow wrote:

Juha Nieminen wrote:

  No. I'm saying that people who are fluent in programming might be more
tempted to write imperative code rather than modular code when they have
a GC engine available. After all, the imperative code usually requires
less writing (at least for the first version of the program).

I really don't understand what you mean by this.

    char* myString = new char[100];


    std::string myString(100, ' ');

  (And don't nitpick on the details of the example. It's just an
example. Try to understand my *point*.)

  If we had a GC engine, we might be tempted to write like the first
line above because, after all, we don't have to care about the
management of that memory. Of course the first line is extremely
non-abstract: It hard-codes the type, size and geometry of the array,
and exposes that it's accessed through a char pointer.

  The second line is the more modular approach: It has encapsulated the
details inside the object, rather than them being exposed. It doesn't
hard-code the array type, it doesn't even hard-code that it *is* a
(contiguous) array, it doesn't hard-code how the array is accessed or
how it's stored in memory, and it doesn't necessarily make the array
fixed in size.

  However, if you didn't have a string class like that already handled
to you by a library, the lazy approach would be to use the first method
rather than doing the work of actually encapsulating the whole concept
of "string" into a class.

  I feel that a GC engine just gives the incentive to do exactly that:
Skip on the pesky encapsulation and do it in the imperative way. It's
less writing in the short run.

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