[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

C++ Idioms

C++ programming idioms are computing concepts which aren't part of the language, but are useful, fairly standard constructions. Coplien's "Advanced C++ Programming Styles and Idioms" (Addison-Wesley, 1992) mentions a few. His 1998 paper C++ Idioms justifies, illustrates and classifies some more. Mundane-sounding idioms like "Detached Counted Body" and "Envelope/Letter" are listed along with the Cheshire Cat idiom which is a special case of the "Bridge" pattern described in "Design Patterns" by Gamma et. al..

Idioms are often used to facilitate Implementation Hiding - an aim of object-orientated programming - though safety and efficiency are also factors.

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Updated in December 2000