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STL compliant container example

, 9 Aug 2003
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A self explaning example on how to build a fully compliant STL container
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Introduction

It seems very hard indeed to find anything on the net or in C++ STL books about how to implement a fully compliant STL container with class iterators, how to use the allocator etc. So now I've made this easy to understand example, which should more or less show it all. It models a linked list as the < slist > in SGI's STL implementation. Exception handling is not in this example, but it should be easy to add.

Background

It will be necessary to have a basic idea of how STL is used.

Using the code

Start by examining the stl_boost/my_container.hpp along with the stl_boost/_test/_my_container.cpp test examples. The code in my_container.hpp is well documented and is intended as being used as a "self explaning working example". Hope to see some good general purpose STL-containers soon ... Smile | :)

Here the most interesting part of the code is shown:

template < typename T, class A = std::allocator< T > >
class my_container 
{
public:
// -----------------------
// --- Typedefs PUBLIC ---
// -----------------------
typedef A                           allocator_type;
typedef typename A::value_type      value_type;
typedef typename A::reference       reference;
typedef typename A::const_reference const_reference;
typedef typename A::pointer         pointer;
typedef typename A::const_pointer   const_pointer;
typedef typename A::size_type       size_type;
typedef typename A::difference_type difference_type;

// ------------------------------------
// --- NodeType Inner Class PRIVATE ---
// ------------------------------------
private:
struct my_container_node
{
    // --- Typedefs ---
    typedef my_container_node                            node_value_type;
    typedef typename node_allocator::pointer             node_pointer;
    typedef typename node_allocator::const_pointer       node_const_pointer;
    typedef typename A::rebind< node_value_type >::other node_allocator;

    // --- Member data ---
    node_pointer m_pNext;
    T            m_Data;
};

// --------------------------------------
// --- Iterators Inner classes PUBLIC ---
// --------------------------------------
public:

/* Base iterator template class. Bsed on this two typedefs are made: one
 * for const_iterator and one for iterator. This way we make sure we only 
 * have to overload the iterator operators (like '++' '==' etc.) one 
 * place. */
template < bool bIsConst > class iterator_base
{
public:
    // --- Typedefs PUBLIC ---
    typedef typename std::forward_iterator_tag iterator_category;
    typedef typename A::value_type             value_type;
    typedef typename A::difference_type        difference_type;

    /// Select pointer or const_pointer to T.
    typedef typename tutils::select< bIsConst, const_pointer,
                        pointer >::result pointer;

    /// Select reference or const_reference to T.
    typedef typename tutils::select< bIsConst, const_reference,
                        reference >::result reference;

    /// Select node_pointer or node_const_pointer.
    typedef typename tutils::select< bIsConst, node_const_pointer,
                        node_pointer >::result node_pointer;
private:
    node_pointer get_node_pointer() { return m_pNode; }
    node_pointer m_pNode;
};


// --- ITERATOR TYPEDEFS ---

/* Iterator. Used to iterate through a container. This is the normal mutable 
 * iterator which allows modifying the pointed to object T.*/
typedef iterator_base< false > iterator;


/* Const iterator. Used to iterate through a container. Not able to modify 
 * the pointed to object T. */
typedef iterator_base< true > const_iterator;

// ------------------------------------------
// --- Constructors and destructor PUBLIC ---
// ------------------------------------------

/* Create with allocator. Construct empty container, allocator. */
explicit my_container(const allocator_type& alloc)
             : m_NodeAlloc(alloc), m_pFirst(0), m_pLast(0) {}


private:
// -------------------------------------------
// --- Create/destroy node methods PRIVATE ---
// -------------------------------------------

/* Create node.
 * We only allocate space for the node, but don't call the constructor for 
 * 'elem'. At least it seems like that's the way STL container classes do
 * it!*/
node_pointer create_node(const_reference elem)
{
    node_pointer pNode = m_NodeAlloc.allocate(1);// Allocate space for 1 node
    m_NodeAlloc.construct(pNode, node_value_type(elem));
    return pNode;
}

/** Delete node.*/
void    delete_node(node_pointer pNode)
{
    m_NodeAlloc.destroy(pNode);
    m_NodeAlloc.deallocate(pNode, 1);  // De-allocate space for 1 node
}


// --------------------------------
// --- Member variables PRIVATE ---
// --------------------------------
node_allocator        m_NodeAlloc;    //< Allocator for the nodes.
node_pointer        m_pFirst;    //< Points to FIRST node in  list
node_pointer        m_pLast;    //< Points to LAST actual node in list
};

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

doxys
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Denmark Denmark
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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberShane Stevens7-Jul-10 20:54 
GeneralQ Pinmembercuigg18-Aug-03 20:50 
GeneralQuestion Pinmembercuigg18-Aug-03 20:45 
GeneralRe: Question Pinmembermlutken18-Aug-03 23:15 
GeneralGood overview PinmemberPatje10-Aug-03 22:12 

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