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C++ in theory: Bridging Your Classes with PIMPLs

Very often, when a program takes longer to compile after you have made what appear to be trivial changes, the blame can be laid at the door of dependency chains between header files. One change can trigger the need for a massive rebuild. J. Nakamura explains a way to make header files insensitive to any change -- thus saving all that rebuild time -- by using pimpl.

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By: J. Nakamura
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February 01, 2005
  1. · C++ in theory: Bridging Your Classes with PIMPLs
  2. · The Private Implementation
  3. · Pimpl Drawbacks
  4. · Summary

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C++ in theory: Bridging Your Classes with PIMPLs - Summary
(Page 4 of 4 )

The pimpl allows you to decouple the interface of your class from its implementation. On top of that, the implementation is not permanently bound to the interface. Any compile time dependencies are completely eliminated with the pimpl. This frees you from the fear to make changes to the implementation.

So use the pimpl when you want to hide the implementation details of your class. Before you do, however, make certain that you understand the performance penalties involved.


[Sutter] Exceptional C++ item 26~30.

[Gamma et all] Design Patterns Bridge.

[Meyers] More Effective C++ item 11.

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