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C is highly portable and simple language. But, because of some limitation of C, it is loosing fame.
The main reason behind is, it doesn't support object-oriented programming features. Means-
are not suported by C programming language, that's why C++ is developed.
In object oriented programming languages, encapsulation is used to refer to one of two related but distinct notions, and sometimes to the combination thereof:
- A language mechanism for restricting direct access to some of the object's components.
- A language construct that facilitates the bundling of data with the methods (or other functions) operating on that data.
Opaque structs in C fit at least one of those definitions for abstraction. You could probably make the case that since you'd need to bundle the opaque struct with some subroutines to manipulate it that you're basically writing methods - the only difference is the class keyword and the lack of an implicit *this* pointer.
Sorry, I misread that. No you could not refer to the members if they are not defined in the header. But in most cases of writing pure C code this is not an issue. Both the caller and the provider need the definition of the struct in order to pass data between them.