Quick Q: How does virtual inheritance solve the “diamond” (multiple inheritance) ambiguity?

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Quick A: by making sure only one instance of each parent class is created.

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How does virtual inheritance solve the “diamond” (multiple inheritance) ambiguity?

You want: (Achievable with virtual inheritance)

  A 
/ \ 
B   C 
\ / 
  D

And not: (What happens without virtual inheritance)

A   A 
|   |
B   C 
\ / 
  D

Virtual inheritance means that there will be only 1 instance of the base A class not 2.

Your type D would have 2 vtable pointers (you can see them in the first diagram), one for B and one for C who virtually inherit A. D's object size is increased because it stores 2 pointers now; however there is only one A now.

So B::A and C::A are the same and so there can be no ambiguous calls from D. If you don't use virtual inheritance you have the second diagram above. And any call to a member of A then becomes ambiguous and you need to specify which path you want to take.

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