How Can I Prevent Myself From Using a Parameter After I’ve Extracted All Value? -- Raymond Chen

Imagine you have a function parameter that you want to protect from direct access, ensuring that all future interactions occur through a wrapper or transformation. This situation often arises in scenarios like implementing a logging wrapper for a class. In this discussion, we'll explore a clever technique known as "hide_name" to achieve this goal, allowing you to enforce the use of the wrapper and prevent direct access to the parameter.

How Can I Prevent Myself From Using a Parameter After I’ve Extracted All Value From It?

By Raymond Chen

From the article:

Suppose you have a function that takes a parameter that you want to transform in some way, and you want to require that all future access to the parameter be done through the transformed version. One example is a wrapper class that does logging.¹

struct WidgetRefWrapper
        Widget& widget,
        Logger& logger) :
    m_widget(widget), m_logger(logger) {}
    void Toggle() try
        m_logger.Log("Toggling the widget");
        m_logger.Log("Toggled the widget");
    } catch (...) {
        m_logger.Log("Exception while toggling the widget");

    Widget& m_widget;
    Logger& m_logger;

void DoSomething(Widget& widget)
    Logger& logger = GetCurrentLogger();
    WidgetWrapper wrapper(widget, logger);

    // Do not use the widget directly!
    // Always use the wrapper!

    if (needs_toggling) {

You want that “Do not use the widget directly!” comment to have some teeth. Can you “poison” the widget parameter so it cannot be used any more?

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