[osg-users] Returning ref_ptr<> vs. ref_ptr<>::get()

Cliff Taylor bloodgain at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 14:43:03 PDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM, Paul Martz <pmartz at skew-matrix.com> wrote:
>> What I don't understand is
>> why he doesn't just return "grp" and let it call the copy ctor.
> In the example you cited, I could've done as you suggest. But as you and
> Robert already discussed, this wouldn't work if the return type were a
> ref_ptr to a base class of Group.
> I figure there are two types of programmers: those who know C++ and can spin
> up on things like ref_ptr in a matter if a few minutes just by glancing at
> the code, and those who aren't so experienced and need some hand holding. To
> address the needs of the latter group, the section on ref_ptr could have
> been an entire chapter unto itself. To keep the book short and affordable, I
> decided to give them a set of short but "safe" instructions that would keep
> them out of trouble when using ref_ptrs. Exploring all of ref_ptr's ins and
> outs is left as an exercise to the reader. (There are, of course, multiple
> ways to return ref_ptr memory from a function. If I update the book, I'll
> consider recommending release(), for example.)
> Thanks for reading the book.
> Paul Martz
> Skew Matrix Software LLC
> http://www.skew-matrix.com
> +1 303 859 9466

Once I picked up on that, I figured out where you are coming from with
the book.  It's a smart way to write it if you want to keep it short,
but now I know to just apply my knowledge of C++ to it and not be
afraid that there's something you're not telling us in the book.  Or
rather, there's a lot you're not telling us, but you are telling us
what we need to know.

And no, thank YOU for writing it.  It's a great introduction to OSG,
and it's only around 100 pages long.  I'm glad the boss paid for the
hardcopy :-)

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