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From: Alisdair Meredith (alisdair.meredith_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-04-24 15:20:45

Terje Slettebø wrote:

> Therefore, I did not miss the point. However, did you get mine? The use of
> const to achieve the same?

I am not sure I followed that one.
Are you saying that the variable at the calling side must be declared
const in order to avoid accidentally being passed to a routine that
might take parameters by non-const reference? This would seem a highly
impractical solution, as I suspect in many cases variables are variable,
well, for a reason!

The point of the proposal, as I understand it, is to prevent
accidentally passing parameters into functions that require modifyable
references without being aware of it. Given all you see at the
call-site as a function with a few arguments, there is no clear
indication of what is happening.

The proposal allows the library writer to make such usage clear, most
other opinions seem to be that it is simply up to the library clients to
pay attention, read their headers and not make mistakes. Most (if not
all) suggested conventions require you to read the declaration for each
function that is called before they can be applied. I don't know about
you, but for me jumping in to maintain an established code-base
contaiming potentially megabytes of source is a daunting enough task,
anything the library writer can do to clear up misunderstandings sounds
like a good thing.

That's what I understand to be the spirit of the proposal. How
practical it is to persuade people it is worth typing extra characters
just to say 'yes I know what I am doing' seems to be more than open to
debate <g>


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