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From: Alisdair Meredith (alisdair.meredith_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-02-27 09:14:27

Phil Nash wrote:

> The fact is that most (I would hope) of those that are subscribed to the
> list know what a smart pointer is. Many would also make the extra connection
> between smart POINTERs and general RESOURCE management.

Not sure even here we agree 100%. What is the precise scope of the term
smart pointer? Does it encompass iterators, for instance, which model
another aspect of pointers totally unrelated to resource management?

AFAICT the link between pointers and resource management is simple an
old implementation detail, the pointer was the easiest tool in the box
for allocating variable resources at run-time, but there is nothing
forcing this link, or even strong support for it in the language (or the
whole smart pointer topic would never arise and there would be no issue
with delete[]) It concerns me to name and model the behaviour of a
future library on the implementation detail with shortcomings that needs

Final disorganised point <g> When you think 'pointer' without a
context, what concept do you associate first? Resource-manager? Or
dereferencable? The very name suggests the latter to me! [Which could
be why I have such a hard time with pointers-that-don't-point]


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