To RAII or Not to RAII?—Jonathan Boccara

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Good question.

To RAII or Not to RAII?

by Jonathan Boccara

From the article:

RAII is a central concept in C++, that consists in relying on the compiler to call destructors automatically in certain cases. Putting appropriate code in such destructors then relieves us from calling that code – the compiler does it for us.

RAII is an idiomatic technique of C++, but can we use RAII for everything? Is it a good idea to shift every possible piece of code to the destructor of some class, to leave the work to the compiler and make calling code as light as can be?

Since this question comes down to asking if the proverbial hammer is a tool fit for every single task, the answer to that question is probably the proverbial No.

But then, in which cases would RAII improve the design of a piece of code?

In this article we’ll see a case where RAII is adapted, then a case where RAII is NOT adapted. And after that we’ll see a case open to discussion. We’ll then conclude with how to use levels of abstractions to make the decision to RAII or not to RAII...

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