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Subject: Re: [std-proposals] Idea: extend forward declarations to include base class(s)
From: Михаил Найденов (mihailnajdenov_at_[hidden])
Date: 2020-02-22 04:56:11


I believe this has the same issue as not being able to frw decl a nested
class. In any case frw decl will not be needed in the world of modules.

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 7:53 PM John Yates via Std-Proposals <
std-proposals_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> This is just a kernel of an idea. It addresses a problem on which I have
> "subbed my toe" many, many times, namely that forward declarations do not
> express the inheritance hierarchy. This issue is significant enough that
> the Google C++ style guide advices against using forward declarations:
>
> *Pros:*
>>
>> - Forward declarations can save compile time, as #includes force the
>> compiler to open more files and process more input.
>>
>>
>> - Forward declarations can save on unnecessary recompilation.
>> #includes can force your code to be recompiled more often, due to unrelated
>> changes in the header.
>>
>> *Cons:*
>>
>> - ...
>>
>>
>> - It can be difficult to determine whether a forward declaration or a
>> full #include is needed. Replacing an #include with a forward declaration
>> can silently change the meaning of code:
>>
>>
>> * // b.h:*
>> * struct B {};*
>> * struct D : B {};*
>> * // good_user.cc:*
>> * #include "b.h"*
>> * void f(B*);*
>> * void f(void*);** void test(D* x) { f(x); } // calls
>> f(B*)*
>>
>
>
> If the #include was replaced with forward decls for B and D,
>> test() would call f(void*).
>
>
> The cited problem would disappear if struct D's forward declaration were
> allowed to include its base class:
>
> struct D : B;
>
> I am not enough of a language lawyer to know why this would not work and
> whether it might have problems in the presence of multiple base classes.
>
> /john
> --
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> Std-Proposals_at_[hidden]
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>



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