intermediate

Which One Is Better: Map of Vectors, or Multimap?—Jonathan Boccara

Depends!

Which One Is Better: Map of Vectors, or Multimap?

by Jonathan Boccara

From the article:

While advising on how to make code more expressive on the SFME project, I came across an interesting case of choosing the right data structure, which I’ll share with you with the permission of the authors of the projects.

We had to associate a key with several values, and perform various operations. Should we use a map of vectors, or is a multimap more appropriate? Let’s see the case in more details, and compare the two solutions...

Getting the Benefits of Strong Typing in C++ at a Fraction of the Cost—Vincent Zalzal

Very interesting!

Getting the Benefits of Strong Typing in C++ at a Fraction of the Cost

by Vincent Zalzal

From the article:

Strong types promote safer and more expressive code. I won’t repeat what Jonathan has presented already in his series on strong types.

I suspect some people may find that the NamedType class template has a nice interface but is using a somewhat heavy machinery to achieve the modest goal of strong typing. For those people, I have good news: you can achieve many of the functionalities of NamedType, with a very simple tool. That tool is the humble struct...

Quick Q: Why does unary operator & not require a complete type?

Quick A: It only need to take the address.

Recently on SO:

Why does unary operator & not require a complete type?

What if stru has overloaded operator&()?

Then it is unspecified whether the overload will be called (See Oliv's comment for standard quote).

How could unary operator & does not require a complete type?

That's how the standard has defined the language. The built-in address-of operator doesn't need to know the definition of the type, since that has no effect on where to get the address of the object.

One consideration for why it is a good thing: Compatibility with C.

Quick Q: Why does shared_ptr needs to hold reference counting for weak_ptr?

Quick A: To know when to deallocate the control block.

Recently on SO:

Why does shared_ptr needs to hold reference counting for weak_ptr?

The reference count controls the lifetime of the pointed-to-object. The weak count does not, but does control (or participate in control of) the lifetime of the control block.

If the reference count goes to 0, the object is destroyed, but not necessarily deallocated. When the weak count goes to 0 (or when the reference count goes to 0, if there are no weak_ptrs when that happens), the control block is destroyed and deallocated, and the storage for the object is deallocated if it wasn't already.

The separation between destroying and deallocating the pointed-to-object is an implementation detail you don't need to care about, but it is caused by using make_shared.

If you do

shared_ptr<int> myPtr(new int{10});

you allocate the storage for the int, then pass that into the shared_ptr constructor, which allocates storage for the control block separately. In this case, the storage for the int can be deallocated as early as possible: as soon as the reference count hits 0, even if there is still a weak count.

If you do

auto myPtr = make_shared<int>(10);

then make_shared might perform an optimisation where it allocates the storage for the int and the control block in one go. This means that the storage for the int can't be deallocated until the storage for the control block can also be deallocated. The lifetime of the int ends when the reference count hits 0, but the storage for it is not deallocated until the weak count hits 0.

Is that clear now?

Using Parallel Without a Clue: 90x Performance Loss Instead of 8x Gain—“No Bugs” Hare

Be careful.

Using Parallel <algorithm> Without a Clue: 90x Performance Loss Instead of 8x Gain

by "No Bugs" Hare

From the article:

With C++17 supporting1 parallel versions of the std:: algorithms, there are quite a few people saying “hey, it became really simple to write parallel code!”.

Just as one example, [MSDN] wrote: “Only a few years ago, writing parallel code in C++ was a domain of the experts.” (implying that these days, to write parallel code, you don’t need to be an expert anymore).

Inquisitive hare:
“I made an experiment which demonstrates Big Fat Dangers(tm) of implying that parallelization can be made as simple as just adding a policy parameter to your std:: call.
I always had my extremely strong suspicions about this position being deadly wrong, but recently I made an experiment which demonstrates Big Fat Dangers(tm) of implying that parallelization can be made as simple as just adding a policy parameter to your std:: call...

String’s competing constructors—Andrzej Krzemieński

A tough problem.

String’s competing constructors

by Andrzej Krzemieński

From the article:

Let’s start with the problem. I want to check whether a program received a text message that consists of four consecutive zeroes. Not '0', but the numeric zero. I will create a constant std::string representing the special sequence and compare the messages (also stored as std::strings) I receive...