C++/CLI Primer : the visual C++ language of .NET by Gordon Hogenson

By Gordon Hogenson

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N* n = new N; // standard C++ pointer to an object R^ r = gcnew R; // C++/CLI handle to an object Recall that native objects, when created with the new statement (or malloc), are allocated on a large pool of memory called the heap. It’s important to understand that there are actually two heaps in a C++/CLI application, the native heap and the managed heap. The native heap is used when you use the new statement, as usual, to create instances of your native classes. As in standard C++, you must explicitly manage the lifetime of the objects on this heap yourself.

The nature of C++ has been to grow as programming paradigms evolve. ” Many of the new language features that have come along have been reflected in the C++ language, such as templates, runtime type information, and so on; they have enhanced the richness (and complexity) of the language. The features added to C++ by C++/CLI are no different. C++/CLI provides a new set of extensions to the C++ language to support programming concepts such as component-based software development, garbage collection, and interoperability with other languages that run on a common virtual machine, along with other useful features.

This enables arrays of value types to be created very efficiently, but of course limits their usefulness to situations where a zero value is meaningful. Let’s say you try to satisfy the compiler and remove the default constructor. Now, you’ve created a problem. If you create an atom using the built-in default constructor, you’ll have atoms with atomic number zero, which wouldn’t be an atom at all. fm Page 16 Friday, October 13, 2006 2:14 PM 16 CHAPTER 2 ■ A QUICK TOUR OF THE C++/CLI LANGUAGE FEATURES fields to zero, so if you wanted to create arrays of atoms, you would have to initialize them after constructing them.

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