Queue cleanup

John Nagle nagle at animats.com
Thu Sep 2 08:08:05 CEST 2010


On 8/30/2010 12:22 AM, Paul Rubin wrote:
> I guess that is how the so-called smart pointers in the Boost C++
> template library work.  I haven't used them so I don't have personal
> experience with how convenient or reliable they are, or what kinds of
> constraints they imposed on programming style.  I've always felt a bit
> suspicious of them though, and I seem to remember Alex Martelli (I hope
> he shows up here again someday) advising against using them.

    "Smart pointers" in C++ have never quite worked right.  They
almost work.  But there always seems to be something that needs
access to a raw C pointer, which breaks the abstraction.
The mold keeps creeping through the wallpaper.

    Also, since they are a bolt-on at the macro level in C++,
reference count updates aren't optimized and hoisted out of
loops.  (They aren't in CPython either, but there have been reference
counted systems that optimize out most reference count updates.)

				John Nagle



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