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C++ Programming Tips

In this article, I give you programming tips that can improve your C++ code. I will cover use of parentheses, long expressions, modifying objects, and more. By the time I'm done, you will hopefully have learned a few ways to make your code faster as well as easier to understand and maintain.

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By: Chrysanthus Forcha
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March 12, 2008
  1. · C++ Programming Tips
  2. · Modifying Objects
  3. · Advanced Parameter Passing
  4. · List
  5. · Pointers and Dynamic Memory

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C++ Programming Tips - Advanced Parameter Passing
(Page 3 of 5 )

Efficiency in Using Constant Reference Parameter

If you pass an object by value to a function, a copy of the object is first made and then passed to the called function. For large objects, copying can add considerable overhead to the program and may also adversely affect the performance of the program. For such objects, you can obtain efficiency and retain safety by passing the object as a constant reference parameter, such as the following:

ReturnValue functionName(const type &objectName)

The const modifier ensures that the called function does not modify the actual object.

Abstract Data Types

Developing object-oriented programs is typically simpler than developing procedure oriented programs. For example, member functions generally have a smaller parameter list than non-member functions because there is no need to pass the data to member functions.

Since well-written member functions ensure that the data members are correctly initialized and updated, other program functions do not need to validate whether they are using proper object values. The access protection provided by encapsulation also ensures that clients use the public interface and not side effects of the library implementation that may continue as the implementation is modified over time.

Rule of minimality

The rule of minimality states that unless a behavior is needed, it should not be part of the Abstract Data Type. A corollary of this rule is the Class Minimality Principle, which states that if a function or operator can be defined such that it is not a member of the class, then do not make it a member. This practice makes a non-member function or operator generally independent of changes to the class’s implementation.

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