Top 7 most used C++ idioms (Part1).

Idioms and design patterns are both common solutions to recurring problems in software development, but they differ in scope, granularity, and formality:

  1. Scope:
    • Idioms: Idioms are small, language-specific coding techniques or patterns that address specific programming challenges within a particular programming language. They often involve leveraging language features or conventions to achieve a desired outcome efficiently and effectively.
    • Design Patterns: Design patterns are higher-level, language-agnostic architectural solutions to common design problems in software engineering. They provide general reusable templates for solving design issues and promoting best practices in software design.
  2. Granularity:
    • Idioms: Idioms tend to be more granular and focused on specific coding constructs or techniques within a single programming language. They often involve manipulating language features or syntax to achieve particular goals.
    • Design Patterns: Design patterns are more comprehensive and deal with broader design concepts and relationships between components within a software system. They provide templates for organizing and structuring code at a higher level of abstraction.
  3. Formality:
    • Idioms: Idioms are typically informal and are commonly passed down through experience, code reviews, or programming literature within a specific programming community. They may not always have formal names or documentation.
    • Design Patterns: Design patterns are more formalized and well-documented solutions to common design problems. They often have recognized names, descriptions, and implementation guidelines outlined in literature such as the Gang of Four (GoF) book “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software.”
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Are you curious to know where the move feature is used in your C++ projects, on your behalf?

Move semantics is a feature introduced in C++11 that allows more efficient transfer of resources (such as dynamic memory) from one object to another. It addresses the inefficiencies associated with deep copying objects, especially large ones, by allowing objects to “steal” the resources of other objects when possible, rather than duplicating them.

Before C++11, when you assigned one object to another, a copy constructor or assignment operator would be invoked, resulting in a deep copy of the object’s data. This process could be expensive, particularly for large objects or those containing dynamic memory allocations. This feature is particularly useful in scenarios where performance optimization is critical, such as in high-performance computing, game development, and resource-constrained environments.

Move semantics introduces the notion of “rvalue references” and a new concept called “move constructors” and “move assignment operators”.

Here’s how it works:

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C++ is now a feature-rich language, Be aware of OverEngineering

Being aware of overengineering is crucial when working with a feature-rich language like C++. Overengineering occurs when developers introduce overly complex or unnecessary solutions to a problem.

C++ developers could be attempted to use as possible the new features introduced by the new standards. which makes the code finally more complicated than it must be.

Here’s an example to show how C++ metaprogramming can be used to create a type-erased container with arithmetic operations that are evaluated at compile time. While this example show the power and flexibility of C++ metaprogramming techniques. it might seem complicated due to the use of templates, concepts and constexpr functions:

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Proposal for the next C++ standards

Modern C++ refers to the evolution of the C++ programming language beyond its original design principles, incorporating newer features, idioms, and best practices that have emerged since the language’s inception.

C++ is standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). C++ standards are typically released every few years, bringing new features and improvements to the language.

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Average experience of active C++ development Poll

C++ has a steep learning curve compared to some other programming languages. Its syntax and concepts can be complex, especially for beginners or those transitioning from higher-level languages. C++ may not be as beginner-friendly as some other languages, it offers unparalleled power, flexibility, and opportunities for those willing to invest in learning and mastering its intricacies. 

The level of experience, particularly with active development spanning more than five years, often correlates with a deeper understanding of C++ and its capabilities. Developers who have been actively working with C++ for an extended period tend to have a comprehensive knowledge of the language’s features, nuances, and ecosystem, enabling them to leverage its power effectively in various applications.

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Loki: The Premier C++ Library for Mastering Design Patterns – Join Us in Its Modernization!

Should you opt to delve into modern C++ design with a background in Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), consider starting your journey with the Loki library.

Loki is a C++ software library authored by Andrei Alexandrescu, developed alongside his book “Modern C++ Design.”

In the C++ community, there’s a need for a library that provides a robust framework for design patterns. Loki stands out as a strong contender for such a role. Therefore, modernizing Loki and incorporating as many widely used design patterns as possible would greatly benefit C++ developers.

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