Thursday, July 14, 2005

Should we have friend....?

Ok hold it.... hold it....before you ask why I ask such a silly question...

I was talking about C++ lar!

Ok, this is probably my first technical-related posting...but I won't say anything, I will just ask the question and see what you people think.

My question is:
Does the "friend" access modifier in C++ enforce or break encapsulation?

Confession time: I used to say in class that you should avoid "friend" as much as you can (but I do use it sometime). however I have second thought about it now, not conclusive yet, but I would like to hear what you say. Hopefully if someone give a good comment that I agree, then I no need to write lo...:)


At 7:16 PM, Anonymous kangaro said...

Foo Yoh

Wow, now you have gone online into the internet. Share with us, what brings you here?

At 9:29 PM, Blogger exiang said...

hmmm. recall back, i never use 'friend' in real life project before..

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Izzam said...

neither do I, and as far as Im concern I have already violated the encapsulation rule for so many times.

encapsulation : basic method for producing information hiding.

friend : allow access to another function or class.

As in the case of encapsulation vs friend.
- I think "No", because friend keep private things private, unless they simply use public declaration which already destroy the encapsulation itself.

Does this makes any sense ? hehehe :p

At 3:32 PM, Blogger YP said...

Thanks for the comments, will write something about this later, but much later as I am going to Beijing next week.

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Obsius said...

i agree that friend breaks encapsulation, but I would look at it from the reverse perspective. Its a tool to *intentionally* break encapsulation for the times when it really is needed. Its one of those things thats there incase you need it.

It's only a problem when you end up using it wrongly or, more commonly, prematurely before evaluating alternative approaches. Sometimes its a poor design, but at times it *can* be helpful to use friend functions.

personally, i've never used them in my own code libraries... but my encounters with Win32 API has occasionally necessitated 'friend' as a quick fix to a problem that would've otherwise taken a longer time to solve.

that's my 2 cents ;)

At 12:41 AM, Blogger YP said...

Thanks all for the comments, I really appreciate them. Do continue to give your views. I will write something about this later, but I am going to Beijing for conference tomorrow for a week, so got to wait till I come back.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Izzam said...

I couldnt agree more with obsius, well said man !. It all depends on how the programmer wants to use it.


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Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, opinions expressed here do not represent the views of my employer!