Who modified my local variable?

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Tue Jun 13 14:12:24 MDT 2006

On Tue, 13 Jun 2006 at 13:11 -0600, Michael L Torrie wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-06-13 at 12:47 -0600, Bryan Sant wrote:
> > C++:
> > 
> > void no_leak() {
> >   MyObject obj(1, 2, 3);
> > }
> > 
> > Local variable.  Allocated on the stack.  Falls out of scope shortly.  No leaks.
> > 
> > Java:
> > 
> > void noLeak() {
> >   MyObject obj = new MyObject(1, 2, 3);
> > }
> > 
> > Local variable.  Sometimes called an automatic variable in Java-terms.
> >  Allocated on the heap (which is really just a stack in the case of
> > auto vars).  Falls out of scope shortly.  GC will pop this off the
> > heap-stack-thingy.  No leaks.
> Sure.  But my real point was the Java habit of always doing "new" causes
> a ton of problems for Java programmers heading into C++.  Rather than
> use a local variable allocated on the stack, they do "new" which leaks.
> That is the problem.  So really it's not a language problem; it's a
> programmer problem.  But a programmer can be trained; unfortunately Java
> is not a good trainer in this instance.  In my opinion it would be

I doubt Java's goals included training students to program in C/C++.
You sound silly.

> better to subject a new CS student to C and C++ in all their glory and
> then introduce them to managed, Garbage-collected languages later,
> rather than the other way around.

That's a valid approach. In either case, students are going to have to
_understand_ the memory model of C++ to avoid memory leaks. This doesn't
happen automatically with either approach. 

Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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